Let’s take a walk through a Tennessee master garden

The University of Tennessee Extension has a master gardener program. It recently hosted a unique tour of some of the most creative home gardens in Memphis.

What used to be a play area for their kids is now a peaceful haven for empty nesters. Serene with a Zen vibe, the Rieman’s from Bartlett have truly transformed their home garden.

The front has curb appeal and then some, and the backyard is downright stunning.

“We’ve had a lot of fun over the years as it’s transformed and aged with us,” Tom Rieman states.

Rieman is with the master gardener program in Shelby County, and his home is part of a tour called “Through our Garden Gates.”

Nice home gardens have a style and personality all their own. At the Rieman place, you can cross a bridge by a waterfall, or stroll near a brook, but the real stars here are the plants and flowers.

“We have about 270 different plants, different varieties of plants, and different cultivars within species. I tend to be more towards the formal side, but also may be formal with tennis shoes. Sometimes a little bit looser. There’s a little bit of whimsey here and there,” he explains.

There are six home gardens on this tour, all in the Bartlett area. Each stop includes a list of all the plants there, educational displays, and in some cases, works of art. Art and nature are a good match-- beauty on top of more beauty.

“Through our Garden Gates” is a visual treat, but there is also the opportunity for gardening enthusiasts to learn.

Chris Cooper is UT Extension Horticultural Agent and Coordinator of the Master Gardener program in Shelby.

“That’s part of the educational component of these tours themselves. We’re letting home gardeners known that, ‘Look, you can actually grow these plants right here in our zones in Memphis, Tennessee. So, give it a shot; see if it works for you,” Cooper states.

He says that people can learn about plants in sun and shade, and how to best use their gardening space to showcase beauty. This home garden is a perfect example.

“You can learn from out mistakes because as master gardeners, we’ve probably killed more plants than most gardeners,” Rieman adds.

This tour is a real opportunity to see Memphis horticulture. When you love flowers and plants, you want others to enjoy them too, and when you open your home to grateful visitors, they get to share the experience.


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