Thank you to Lauren Miller of Moxley Carmichael for writing this guest post for the Blue Streak. -Cynthia Moxley
Everyone was welcomed by this cute sign.
Mother Nature smiled on the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum this week. Yesterday, the historic East Knoxville garden hosted the third annual Hats in Bloom luncheon, and the weather for the outdoor springtime event was divine – breezy and cool in shade and warm in the sun.
The nice weather may have wooed attendees to the gardens after a bout of rainy days in Knoxville, but the success of this fundraiser cannot be credited to the forecast alone.
Event chair Jackie Wilson, along with the staff of the Knoxville Botanical Garden, has grown Hats in Bloom from just more than 50 attendees in its first year to about 100 in its second year to a total of 150-plus supporters at this year’s event on April 23.
With three successful years of growth, it’s no surprise that the event has scored a hat trick, you might say. A unique draw for the luncheon are the one-of-a-kind hats for sale by esteemed milliner Patricia Frankum.
You hardly could maneuver through the crowd that formed around Frankum’s display to admire her creations – and try them on. Ladies in attendance modeled and purchased a colorful array of fascinators, bonnets and stylish bucket hats.
Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum Interim Director Anna Ford pointed out that the attendees had gathered on the site of a 200-year-old nursery. She said she imagines that many hats have passed through the garden: “From straw hats to baby bonnets to Easter hats to the beautiful Hats in Bloom attire to baseball caps and now – hard hats!”
Ford reminded guests that the Knoxville Botanical Garden currently is working on building its new $1.4 million visitors center. The new visitors center is part of a master plan to revitalize the park, making this a pivotal time for the gardens to grow – as an asset to East Knoxville and a destination for both the community and visitors.
Upcoming fundraisers to help Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum achieve this goal include:
Tomorrow’s Spring Plant Sale in the Garden – Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Beer, Burgers & Botanicals at the home of Jeanie & Chip Johnson – Thursday, June 11
Summer Solstice Dinner in the LeConte Meadow at the Garden – Friday, June 19
Perhaps we’ll see some of these lovely hats at those upcoming events, as well!
We also were greeted by Alice Rotar from The Gem Store by Jewelry Television. She was showcasing the event’s door prize – a 12.5-carat amethyst pendant.
Patricia Frankum poses with one of her designer hats.
Ladies enjoyed trying on the colorful hat styles. Modeling some here are Erica Beck, Amanda Shell Jennings and Shaun Fulco Hyver, all of Moxley Carmichael.
Sisters Nora Robinson and Ellen Robinson shop.
Amy Barger tries on this one, which I thought was simply adorable. Amy is the administrative support clerk at Moxley Carmichael, but many know her as “the voice of Moxley Carmichael” as she answers the phone whenever it rings!
Linda Blocksom, left, and Janet Jungclaus of U.S. Cellular both purchased the hats they’re wearing at last year’s luncheon.
Kati Blalock and Jane Sidwell
Judith Foltz and Michelle Hardin
Evelyn Gill’s magnificent butterfly hat made everyone smile.
Deborah Franklin, left, purchased this showstopper that she described as a modified lampshade hat. I posed with her, wearing the hat I purchased at last year’s luncheon and wore exiting my wedding reception last May.
Melinda Meador and Susan Farris
Amanda Shell Jennings, left, with Lila Honaker of the Tennessee Theatre
Patricia’s husband, Jeff Frankum, provided the entertainment and played the dulcimer.
Terry Keltner, right, and Kim Henry, who wore a vintage hat she inherited from her grandmother.
Kim Denton, Barbara Grobicki and Bridget Mounger were looking very sophisticated in their hats.
Anne LeZotte, left, of Pilot Flying J joined the Moxley Carmichael table for lunch. She was admiring the hat Sandra Butler had just purchased and how it complemented her antique leather dogwood pins.
Vicki Williams-Baumgartner and Gay Lyons
Anna Ford, right, talks about the construction of the new visitors center – and thanks event chair Jackie Wilson, left.
More than 150 guests seated for lunch in the Martha Ashe Garden
Herbed cucumber cups with a tomato goat cheese tart — all the dishes by Bradford Catered Events were garnished appropriately with a flower.
Moxley Carmichael enjoyed hosting Table No. 7 — the beautiful flower arrangements were created and provided by Beverly Bell and Leonard Palladino of Always in Bloom.
Maria Cornelius, Natalie Lester and Amy Styles. Maria and Natalie work at Moxley Carmichael, and Amy is the marketing director for Young-Williams Animal Center.
Entree was chicken and roasted vegetable crepes with spring mint potato salad and pimento cheese biscuits. Yum!
Clever — and delicious — “garden party hat” cookies were served for dessert.
Melinda Whetsell won the stunning amethyst pendant in the door prize drawing.
Here’s one more look at those lovely centerpieces.
It’s no surprise this spring event becomes more popular each year. I recommend you plan ahead to attend the next Hats in Bloom luncheon.