People, plants and a beautiful place

ivy and mary

The huge walking ivy plant threatens guest Mary Bogert, the general manager of the Knoxville Convention Center. The ivy was a stilt walker provided by One World Circus. Very clever!

The 10-foot-tall walking ivy plant was a little disconcerting. But everything else at the 2013 Green Thumb Gala at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum earlier this month was perfectly charming.

Sara and Ben Pinnell, co-chairs of this year’s Gala, said they have been enchanted by the historic East Knoxville garden for many years. They have visited it to play kickball, climb trees, attend events and quietly explore the 47-acre site of the former Howell Nurseries. That’s why they chose it as the site for their wedding rehearsal dinner in June of 2010.

The diversity of the garden is what makes it so interesting and appealing to a wide range of visitors. Folks come to learn more about horticulture and gardening, Civil War history, ecology and wildlife, among other things. They come for recreation, education, photography and picnics large and small. Next up for the privately held non-profit: a new visitor center.That’s what part of the proceeds from this year’s Green Thumb Gala will fund.

The garden is located on Wimpole Street, barely five minutes from downtown. Drop by when you can. But, until then, take a look at this wonderful garden party.

Gay Bill Margaret Gehring

Governor Bill Haslam poses with Gay Lyons, left, and Margaret Gehring, a member of the family that originally owned Howell Nurseries, which today is the location of the Knoxville Botanical Garden.

Sara

Sara Hedstrom Pinnell and her husband, Ben, were co-chairs of the Green Thumb Gala. I love that the straws at the event looked like birch tree trunks!

catanis

Tom and Deanene Catani were co-chairs of the Green Thumb Gala last year. They love the Garden so much that they got married there. Tom’s company, U.S. Cellular, sponsored the opening reception this year.

Allyn Purvis Schwartz and Matthew McClellan during the reception.

Allyn Purvis Schwartz and Matthew McClellan during the reception.

Nancy Young with Bill Arant, left, and Bill Cobble

Nancy Young with Bill Arant, left, and Bill Cobble

 

Dr. Steve and Mary Ellen Brewington with Jim Pugh, right

Dr. Steve and Mary Ellen Brewington with Jim Pugh, right

Beef roll-ups were passed during cocktails.

Beef roll-ups were passed during cocktails. Tasty.

 

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts

Bacon-wrapped water chestnuts

Garlic cheese grits triangles were unusual, but good!

Garlic cheese grits triangles were unusual, but good!

 

Deconstructed candied apples on sticks were interesting.

Deconstructed candied apples on sticks were interesting.

Mary liked them!

Mary liked them!

 

I loved the artistic shadows of leaves on the ceiling of the huge tent.

I loved the artistic shadows of leaves on the ceiling of the huge tent.

Among the creative silent auction items was this clay flower pot signed by Coach Butch Jones.

Among the creative silent auction items was this clay flower pot signed by Coach Butch Jones.

deer

This antiqued metal deer was donated by Michael Peters Home.

Sara Berry scarecrow given by Wade Richardson

Sara Berry was raising the bid on the whimsical tree person created by Wade Richardson.

leaf bowl

I loved this leaf-cast stone birdbath. (But we don’t really need a birdbath in our downtown condo!)

Paul James, left, with Caesar Stair

Paul James, left, with Caesar Stair

From left, Rosemary Gilliam, John Butler and Theresa Stone

From left, Rosemary Gilliam, John Butler and Theresa Stone

HGTV stars Peyton and Chris Lambton were on hand. Their current show is called "Going Yard."

HGTV stars Peyton and Chris Lambton were on hand. Their current show is called “Going Yard.”

 

Donna and  Craig Griffith, left, with Cathy and Dan Brown

Donna and Craig Griffith, left, with Cathy and Dan Brown

Karen Kalec and Jay McBride

Karen Kalec and Jay McBride

 

Dr. Jan Henley and John Diasmore

Dr. Jan Henley and John Diasmore

 

Tom and Anna Ford with Sara Hedstrom Pinnell, right

Tom and Anna Ford with Sara Hedstrom Pinnell, right

 

Ha! Erin Donovan, left, and Tamara Warner have very similar tastes!

Ha! Erin Donovan, left, and Tamara Warner have very similar tastes!

 

Greg and Jennifer Dunn with Jennifer's father, Tom Scanlan

Greg and Jennifer Dunn with Jennifer’s father, Tom Scanlan

City Councilman Duane Grieve, left, with Marlene and Jack O'Hanlon

City Councilman Duane Grieve, left, with Marlene and Jack O’Hanlon

David Butler, left, with state Rep. Joe Armstrong

David Butler, left, with state Rep. Joe Armstrong

 

Pamela and Dan Chips

Pamela and Dan Chips

Victor Ashe, left, with Joan and Neal Allen

Victor Ashe, left, with Joan and Neal Allen

Sarah Stowers, left, and Susan Greer

Sarah Stowers, left, and Susan Greer

 

Sandy and Hank Bertelkamp

Sandy and Hank Bertelkamp

 

Mary Bogert, right, chats with Kim and Scott Bumpas

Mary Bogert, right, chats with Kim and Scott Bumpas

 

Dinner time! Salad was mixed greens with pears, gorgonzola and maple balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinner time! Salad was mixed greens with pears, gorgonzola and maple balsamic vinaigrette.

I loved the shape of the crouton!

I loved the shape of the crouton!

 

But my favorite part of the presentation was the charger!

But my favorite part of the presentation was the charger!

The centerpieces looked ready to plant!

The centerpieces looked ready to plant!

 

At the Moxley Carmichael table: Jennifer Lawson, a MoxCar account executive, and Maria Cornelius, our new writer/editor.

At the Moxley Carmichael table: Jennifer Lawson, left, a MoxCar account executive, and Maria Cornelius, our new writer/editor.

 

Erin Donovan and John Martin were with us, as well.

Erin Donovan and John Martin were with us, as well.

 

Lauren Christ, director of client services for Moxley Carmichael, and Mary Bogert helped fill our table.

Lauren Christ, director of client services for Moxley Carmichael, and Mary Bogert helped fill the MoxCar table.

Our account executive Natalie Lester and her boyfriend, Chase Bailey, joined us.

Our account executive Natalie Lester and her boyfriend, Chase Bailey, joined us.

 

Some table-hopping turned up Terry and Tank Strickland.

Some table-hopping turned up Terry and Tank Strickland.

And state Rep. Joe Armstrong with City Councilman Duane Grieve.

And state Rep. Joe Armstrong with City Councilman Duane Grieve.

Joan Ashe visited with Stuart Worden.

Joan Ashe visited with Stuart Worden.

 

Jamie and Lee Butler

Jamie and Lee Butler

 

Sandra and John Butler, sitting, with Ginny Jones

Sandra and John Butler, sitting, with Ginny Jones

 

Andrea Cartwright and Alan Solomon

Andrea Cartwright and Dr. Alan Solomon

 

Let's take a look at that entree! Cranberry stuffed chicken breast with orange champagne sauce, mixed wild rice, roasted butternut squash with pine nuts and sweet potato biscuits with honey butter. Yum.

Let’s take a look at that entree! Cranberry stuffed chicken breast with orange champagne sauce, mixed wild rice, roasted butternut squash with pine nuts and sweet potato biscuits with honey butter. Yum.

 

Alan's favorite part of any meal - dessert. This is pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon infused whipped cream.

Alan’s favorite part of any meal – dessert. This is pumpkin cheesecake with bourbon infused whipped cream.

Speaking of Alan, here he is with Vicki Baumgartner of the Botanical Garden.

Speaking of Alan, here he is with Vicki Baumgartner of the Botanical Garden.

Dino Cartwright did a great job with the nine-item live auction. (Alan and I bought an awesome shrimp boil for 25 courtesy of Allyn Schwartz!)

Dino Cartwright did a great job with the nine-item live auction. (Alan and I bought an awesome shrimp boil for 25 courtesy of Allyn Schwartz!)

 

Here's Lauren with Keyes Williamson, the executive director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden.

Here’s Lauren with Keyes Williamson, the executive director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden. Lauren is showing the receipt for the item she won in the silent auction: materials to plant a square-foot garden! Cool, huh?

 

It looks like Julia and Gary Bentley liked those cool chargers as much as we did!

It looks like Julia and Gary Bentley liked those rustic chargers as much as we did!

 

Here's Ben Pinnell of Hickory Construction at the end of the evening celebrating a job well done. He and his wife, Sara, were the co-hosts of the event.

Here’s Ben Pinnell of Hickory Construction at the end of the evening celebrating a job well done. He and his wife, Sara, were the co-chairs of the event.

Three good friends: from left, Natalie Lester, Lauren Christ and Erin Donovan.

Three good friends: from left, Natalie Lester, Lauren Christ and Erin Donovan.

 

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12 Responses to People, plants and a beautiful place

  1. Bob Wilson, on October 25th, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

    Yikes, that giant ivy is very creepy!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on October 25th, 2013 at 1:48 pm said:

    I know! But it also was kind of brilliant. After all, that’s what we’re still talking about!

  3. Sara Pinnell, on October 25th, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

    What GREAT photographs! It was such a fun night with so many wonderful people coming out to support the Botanical Garden- I think you captured it well! We’ll be there next year for sure!!!

  4. Lauren Christ, on October 25th, 2013 at 2:38 pm said:

    What a fun event and a fun table! Thanks for having us, Cynthia and Alan. John was very pleased with my square-foot garden purchase. He can’t wait to get started growing some veggies!

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on October 25th, 2013 at 2:39 pm said:

    Sara: Thank you and Ben for co-chairing! So many great touches that I know came from you all! It was a total blast. (Even with the guy from the “Ivy League!”)

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on October 25th, 2013 at 2:51 pm said:

    Lauren: What a great idea for a starter garden! I can’t wait to follow the progress. Next thing we know, you all may be buying a tractor!

  7. Allyn Purvis Schwartz, on October 25th, 2013 at 3:25 pm said:

    Great review and pictures of a fabulous party! As a new member of the Special Events Committee for KBGA, I can tell you we are already talking about how difficult it will be to top this! The shrimp boil will be fun to do for y’all!!

  8. Cynthia Moxley, on October 25th, 2013 at 6:00 pm said:

    Allyn: If you are on the special events committee, I have no doubt next year’s Gala will be even better, although that will be tough! We can’t wait for the shrimp boil! Thanks for donating it.

  9. Gay Lyons, on October 26th, 2013 at 10:13 pm said:

    Best Green Thumb Gala. The Garden is doing it right. Kudos to them.

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