Holiday Tea Raises Funds, Pinkies For Grandmother's Garden

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
The Mother's Day tea.
The Mother's Day tea.
- photo by Jeff Guenther

The Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center at Reflection Riding will host a Grandmother’s Holiday Tea on Saturday, Dec. 14.  There will be a variety of holiday foods, decorations and hot tea and all proceeds will support the new Grandmother’s Garden. 

“Our last tea was a Mother's Day tea, and it was a wonderful celebration of both family and springtime,” said Holiday Tea event committee chairman Sharon Turner. “The guests wore adorable hats, the servers wore big aprons, and we all devoured tasty little sandwiches and treats. We're having a second tea because: one, so many of the guests asked us to do it again, and, two, it's a wonderful opportunity to show off Reflection Riding in the winter.  Sometimes we forget how beautiful Nature is when she sleeps—and the intimate venue of a tea is a perfect way to slow down and admire the property."  

The Holiday Tea will have two seatings, at 11:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $15 for children ages 8-12.  

On arrival, guests, who are encouraged to dress in their favorite seasonal finery, will be greeted with a selection of foods, including roast beef and brie with cranberry and warm scones as well as holiday cookies and cakes.  

“A good cup of hot tea is the ultimate in comfort food, and, for many, one of the most civilized thing in the world,” Ms. Turner said. “ The thing about a tea is, it's intimate and encourages the guests to mingle and meet each other, and take time to enjoy Humphreys House and the landscape.  The tea is a lot like Reflection Riding—once you get there, it's personal.” 

The funds the Grandmother’s Holiday Tea raises will be go towards the creation of the Grandmother’s Garden. Attendees will see a presentation of the Garden’s design and plans for its placement in front of historic Humphreys House. A Grandmother's Garden is an old-fashioned cottage garden with native and non-native plants, which male and female Impressionist artists began planting near the turn of the century so as to have beautiful gardens and flowers to paint.  

“Our Grandmother's Garden will be an old-fashioned garden that invites you to linger,” Ms. Turner said. “Think of the Cottage Gardens of Jane Austen's books—they make you want to bring a book, or a picnic—or both.” 

For more information and to register, please visit

The Mother's Day tea.
The Mother's Day tea.
- Photo2 by Jeff Guenther

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