Lovely table set for the garden party. That's Gay Lyons checking out the menu.
Remember when I noted earlier this year that there sure does seem to be an inordinate number of garden parties around here? Well, here’s another one — and it was a doozy!
This one, a fundraiser for the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, was to celebrate the summer solstice last month. It was just a relaxing time in the great outdoors with convivial friends and acquaintances — the best kind of garden party if you ask me. No formal program. And, best of all, no auction!
We worried about the weather all day, but fortune smiled upon us and the rain held off. One side benefit, as you will see from these photos, was a pretty double rainbow. Always a welcome addition to an outdoor occasion.
As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat sunflowers in a summer centerpiece.
Betsey Bush, left, and Dr. Michelle Brewer
It was a lovely setting for cocktails.
Angela Howard and Rick Stone
Joan Ashe, left, and Mary Ellen Brewington
Mickey Mallonee, left, and Allyn Purvis Schwartz
Alan Carmichael and Jackie Wilson
Carol Evans passing appetizers.
Other volunteers, Sam Maynard and Kim Henry
Rick Fox, left, and Ralph Cianelli
Mike Combs and Marsha Hollingsworth
From left, Paul and Susan Campbell, Botanical Garden Executive Director Keyes Williamson, Gideon Fryer, Fran Scheidt and Georgiana Vines
The delicious first course was a sweet vidalia onion tart with beet salad.
Sometimes it is so festive to eat at a really long table like this!
Gay Lyons and Dr. Steve Brewington sat across from Alan and me. (Gay had taken a fall in her kitchen, which accounts for the bandage.)
Music was by Nancy Brennan Strange and her bandmates, from left, Will Yeager, Dan Gammon and Don Cassel.
Focaccia from Flour Head Bakery and garlic scape pesto. I cannot tell you how good this was!
This double rainbow came out during dinner! Magical.
Grass fed beef from Strong Stock Farm with mushroom marmalade: yum.
Keyes Williamson, left, with Ryan Patrick and Danielle Velez, who are brother and sister. (Their father, Michael Patrick, is a long-time News Sentinel photographer.)
John Niceley and Martha Strong Kern of Strong Stock Farm.
Roasted Kennebec potato salad from Shelton Farm.
Grainger County tomato basil bread salad.
Veggies on the grill
The band played on.
This delicious dessert was Cruze Farm buttermilk pound cake with black raspberries and fresh cream. Alan was in heaven.
Vicki Baumgartner serving dessert.
The caterers were Amy and Ben Willis-Becker and they did a fantastic job. They formerly operated Harry's, a restaurant on the 100 block of Gay Street.
Rush and Alexis Niceley
John and Karen Kalec
Shonda Robbins and Rob Wallace
Stuart Worden and Lane Hays
We loved the guest appearance by Carrie Niceley. Here, she is doing a fabulous rendition of "Crazy."
I am liking this great new garden party trend. Bring on the next one!