Tuckaleechee Garden Club focuses on Education for National Garden Week – submitted by Allison Pearson

Tuckaleechee Garden Club, District IV, Townsend, TN focused on garden education events for National Garden Week 2022 at two locations, the Townsend River Walk and Arboretum and the Heirloom Kitchen Garden at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. All events were open to the public and free.

Educational Tours were offered at Townsend River Walk & Arboretum (TRWA) on Wednesday and Saturday of National Garden Week where 42 participants pre-registered on the TRWA website. The educational tours focused on maintaining natural areas, protecting the riparian area of the Little River, invasive plant species and invasive plant removal, tree identification in the arboretum, wildflowers, ferns, pollinator garden, and specimen garden where the Franklin tree, a direct descendant of Bartram’s trees, was in bloom. Mark Seder, Chair of the Townsend River Walk & Arboretum organized this educational event.

Prior to the event, club members volunteered approximately 30 hours pruning, brush clearing, weeding, and adding stone to the walkways to freshen up the area for National Garden Week. Publicity for the event included announcements on the TRWA website and Facebook Page, as well as an article in the Daily Times newspaper.

Townsend River Walk & Arboretum Chair, Mark Seder, shares the history of the River Walk with tour participants for National Garden Week.


Tuckaleechee Garden Club members also staffed the Heirloom Kitchen Garden at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center each morning of National Garden Week for “Mornings in the Garden”. Club members were in period dress tending the Heirloom Kitchen Garden, giving tours, and answering questions. Prior to National Garden Week, Co-chairs Debbie Dickie and Diane Rhotert held an orientation session for Club volunteers regarding the vegetables, medicinal herbs, and flowers growing in the garden. Marketing for the event was provided by the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage center, including emails and Facebook postings. Approximately 60 visitors participated in the “Mornings in the Garden” tour and talk.

Tuckaleechee Garden Club members hosted “Mornings in the Garden”, an educational tour and talk at the Heirloom Kitchen Garden at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Townsend, TN for National Garden Week.