Last month, I accompanied DH on a trip to Nashville for a few days. He had an open afternoon one day, so we went to visit Cheekwood Mansion and Cheekwood Botannical Gardens during the Harvest exhibition. This is a huge estate with an American Country mansion and 55 acres of gardens built in 1929. We only got to a small fraction of the gardens, taking the Harvest tour walk and getting to a couple of the specialty gardens, but we had to skip the Sculpture gardens because we ran out of time. Visiting in the fall, they had a wonderful array of autumn color gardens. This orange gerbera daisy attracted one of the many butterflies in the Bradford Robertson Color Garden.
The entrance was inviting us to keep walking, with pumpkins, gourds and autumn squash lining the walkway.
Walking paths were accented with pumpkins, and full of autumn blooming flowers.
They do a fun pumpkin house every year. The frame of the house has small hoops of metal that cradle the pumpkins without damaging them.
It is surrounded by bales of hay to define a ‘yard’.
Inside the bales, a pumpkin patch with pumpkins available for purchase.
In the meadow next to the bar, a ‘tree’ made of potted chrysanthemums made a beautiful autumn display.
Next to that was a tower with orange and white pumpkins, so festive for the season. Workers were still arranging more pumpkins under the trees for an event later in the week.
Autumn color abounded in the flower gardens as well. This area is part of the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden.
Orange impatiens were profusely blooming near the visitor center.
All along the walking path out from the visitor center, lanterns were placed for an upcoming evening event.
On the other side of the visitor center, more autumn pumpkins and gourds on display.
Rows of small yellow chrysanthemums in front of tall dark elephant ears had surprise pumpkins placed here and there.
This was the first time I ever saw a ‘black’ elephant ear, never knew they came in this color.
Monarch butterflies sporting autumn color wings were everywhere, feasting on the bounty of nectar.
These flowers and butterflies were in the Wills Perennial Garden.
Stunning color, rows of flowers, it was gorgeous in every direction and every path.
Again, a surprise of pumpkins tucked into the floral displays.
Coming back around after several hours of walking and seeing the mansion, we came upon the pumpkin house again.
I should mention here that the entrance fee to see the gardens, mansion, art museum and the rest of the estate was $20 per person, but when I told the gatekeeper that we were members of our local arboretum, we got in free just by showing our membership card. Many arboretums have reciprocal agreements like this, so if you are a member of your local arboretum, be sure to ask when you go elsewhere. I took over 100 pictures of the gardens, but will stop here. I’ll save some of the others for another post. Tomorrow, we’ll visit the mansion. It is gorgeous!
Thanksgiving is coming fast, and just in case you want to try it, my post on Brining Turkey will show you how to brine and bake the most moist and succulent turkey you have ever eaten. The meat is moist and tasty even after a day in the frig too!
Do you like to visit pumpkin patches and fall gardens?