published Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Private gardens, community gardens on Chattanooga Area Food Bank's tour

If You Go

* What: Spring Garden Tour, benefits Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

* When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 1; 1-6 p.m. Sunday, June 2.

* Where: Five gardens around city plus teaching garden at Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

* Tickets: $15 ages 13 and older, ticket good both days.

* For more information: 622-1800.

TOUR STOPS

• Jimmy Wooten, 3813 Fairmount Pike, Signal Mountain.

• Jim and Estelle Harris, 9326 Houston Lane, Ooltewah.

• Tammy Hass, 2716 E. 17th St.

• Mark and Sandy Koss, 1855 Lewis Mine Road, Signal Mountain.

• Grace Episcopal Church community garden, 4009 Sunbeam Ave.

• Evelyn Davenport Navarre teaching garden, 2009 Curtain Pole Road.

From Tammy Hass' property, tucked into the side of Missionary Ridge, she has an unimpeded sightline of Lookout Mountain.

She enjoys the expansive view from a lawn chair surrounded by knockout roses, irises, hydrangeas and tiger lilies on the grounds where Confederate soldiers once hunkered down for cover during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. A stone battlement crossing her property is a reminder of the site's 150-year-old significance.

Hass' home is one of six stops on the Chattanooga Area Food Bank's annual Spring Garden Tour, set for June 1-2. Whether your interest lies in vegetable or flower gardening, native landscaping or even the area's Civil War history, the tour covers them all.

Four private residences and two community gardens are included in the two-day fundraiser. Garden coordinator Jane Mauldin says one ticket is good both tour days.

One trend that Mauldin says visitors will come across is vegetable gardens incorporated into the landscape.

"There is a definite trend toward edible landscaping, combining beauty and utility in the landscape," she says.

Garden sites on the tour are selected for "good structure or 'bones,'" she says, as well as their ability to teach visitors how to incorporate sculpture, water features or stonework.

The stop at Hass' home actually spills across both sides of East 17th Street. As visitors turn off Dodds Avenue and start up the 17th Street hill, they'll notice a large, vacant, landscaped lot on the right, but Hass lives in the last cottage on the left.

"I used to live in a home on the vacant lot," explains Hass. "I began renting it in 1978, then bought the house in 1983. I tore it down three years ago and now I live across the street until my new house is built on the lot."

In the meantime, she began landscaping the four-tiered property in spring 2012. The Master Gardener says she has planted some of her favorite wildflowers, vegetables and spring-blooming flowers. She created a charming fairy garden on the top tier of the lot, and further developed two fish ponds already in place on the grounds.

Other stops on the tour

• Wander wooded paths at the Signal Mountain home of Mark and Sandy Koss, where guests will see smart plant choices for sun and shade gardens.

• Jimmy Wooten's six-acre garden is in the Fairmount neighborhood of Signal Mountain. He has more than 100 varieties of hostas and rhododendrons, 30 species of evergreen azaleas, 50 deciduous azaleas and an herb garden.

• Tour Grace Episcopal Church's community garden on Saturday when the weekly Farmer's Market is in full swing. This Brainerd garden, maintained by the church congregation for its neighbors, uses raised beds for growing vegetables. There are also two butterfly gardens, a cottage cutting garden and a berry bed.

• Guests at Jim and Estelle Harris' home in Ooltewah will be greeted by a colorful daylily collection. But take note of their Peggy Martin roses, the prolific climber also known as the Hurricane Katrina Rose. The Peggy Martin Rose was one of two plants surviving 20 feet of salt water over Peggy Martin's garden in Plaquemines Parish, La., after the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to southernliving.com. Martin passed some cuttings along to friends who, in turn, shared them, and the rose was later introduced into the mainstream.

• The Evelyn Davenport Navarre teaching garden at the Food Bank features 23 raised beds that last year yielded more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce to supplement the nonprofit's emergency food boxes. Or visit the new nature trail where Master Gardeners will demonstrate woodland gardens and display edibles that are shade-tolerant.

"At the Food Bank garden, Wild Ones will be selling milkweed, which is the host plant for monarch butterflies," says Katie Bishop, garden tour co-chairwoman.

Wild Ones is a local group that promotes use of native plants. Bishop said guests are not required to purchase a tour ticket if they only want to buy milkweed plants.

Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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