The 6th annual Southern Blooms Festival at Rock City Gardens is returning this weekend with daily speakers, garden tours, music and more, Saturday and Sunday May 3-4. This event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and honors Rock City’s original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter.
This year’s Southern Blooms hosts three speakers every day, including returning southern chef, writer and TV personality, Virginia Willis; southern storyteller, Andy Offutt Irwin; and southern gardener, Felder Rushing!
Willis is sharing some secrets for dressing up southern food and showing fun tips doing a food prep featuring local foods. She is the food editor for Southern Living, former kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living Television and author of Bon Appetit, Y’all! Irwin is an entertainer, writer, musician and recent winner of the “Storytelling World Award” for his latest cd Risk Assessment. Rushing is the founder of the “Slow Gardening” movement and has authored several books. All speakers are available for meet-and-greets and book signings after their workshops.
Garden tours of Rock City are being offered daily at 10 a.m., led by Rock City’s Director of Horticulture George Schimpf and Chattanooga’s Master Gardeners (limited space available). Gardening advice is also available in the vendor area near Lover’s Leap.
Kids can make-and-take scented tissue paper flowers! And Coca-Cola is back again sponsoring an interactive rain barrel workshop at 3 p.m. in the pavilion. Check out the full event schedule with specific workshop times at www.seerockcity.com/southernblooms and come back for free by purchasing an annual pass!
Also enjoy delicious southern food with a modern twist at Café 7, an outdoor restaurant with a breathtaking view. Hear live music from the Old Time Travelers from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the flowers currently blooming including rhododendrons, native azaleas, mountain laurel and rose campion.
As Rock City continues its community partnerships with each special event and festival, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank is a featured community partner during Southern Blooms.
Just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., Rock City Gardens is an enchanted, 4,100-foot walking trail showcasing lush gardens, caves and soaring rock formations.