Beer was served in souvenir glasses that everyone could take home. I love this picture because it just says, “summer.”
Garden party season is in full swing in East Tennessee. And that’s fine with me.
The Great Gardens Party, a fundraiser for the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, is held each year in a different great garden. This year, its fourth, it was in the waterfront garden and lawn of Chip and Jeanie Johnson at the very end of Houser Road in West Knox County. In fact, the estate is named “Houser’s End.”
In welcoming the guests, Chip Johnson explained that the 5,500-square-foot home was built in 1926 of lumber harvested from the site. “Because it was rough hewn lumber, there’s not a straight corner in the entire house,” he laughed. “But we love it.” The Johnsons bought the property in 1990.
“In the summer we have 16 acres and in the winter we have 18 acres,” Johnson said, referring to the rise and fall of the Tennessee River as TVA manages the water level. “But I have to pay Mr. Burchett for 18 acres,” he laughed, meaning the amount of property for which he is taxed.
Presenting sponsor of the party was HGTV Gardens, a major benefactor of the Knoxville Botanical Garden. These folks were on the planning committee: Emily Bell, Samantha Edwards, Anna Ford, Carlton Long, Beth McCabe, Katrina Phelps, Angie Riedl, Natalie Robinson, Sherry Shepherd, Megan Stair, Emily Wakefield, Vicki Williams-Baumgartner, Jackie Wilson and Shelby Wright.
The setting was stunning.
Our hostess, Jeanie Johnson, center, with Kim and Beecher Bartlett.
Three members of the planning committee, from left: Emily Wakefield, Katrina Phelps and Shelby Wright. Great job, ladies.
Natalie Robinson, left, and Megan Stair also were on the committee.
I love hydrangeas. This one was at the bar.
From left, Bart and Ruthie Carey, Randy MacDonald and Allyn Purvis Schwartz.
Dino Cartwright is at all the best parties.
From left, Gary and Julia Bentley, Judge Pam Reeves, Charles Swanson and my hubs, Alan Carmichael.
Judge Reeves’ earrings were perfect for the occasion!
From left, Marianne Nichols, her mother Missy Wallen and Cara May.
Brothers Marshall, left, and Caesar Stair IV.
Here are their parents, Caesar III and Dorothy Stair, with John Cotham, center.
The mingling was great.
Pretty bird feeder matched the house.
This lovely shrimp plant was in the small but interesting silent auction.
So was this piece by Lofton Stuart.
From left, Milton McNally, Melinda Meador, Fred Hodge and Alan Carmichael.
Anna Ford, the interim director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden, welcomed guests.
Homeowner Chip Johnson made a few remarks.
From left, Lane Hays, Jackie Wilson and Betsey Bush.
Cathy and Mark Hill.
John and Karen Kalec.
Danni Varlan with Alan.
Mike DiStefano and Missy Wallen.
Dinner featured a variety of sliders. But sweet potato waffle fries and seasoned curly fries caught my attention.
And dessert got Alan’s attention. These are strawberry shortcake shooters.
Banana pudding shooters.
Chocolate mint shooters.
We sat with these nice folks: Bo and Kelly Baxter.
From left, Jackie Imbrey, Patricia Bible, Sol Holcomb and Richard Imbrey.
Food always tastes better al fresco.
The music was bluegrass.
Vicki Williams-Baumgartner, left, with Allyn Purvis Schwartz.
What a beautiful tree.
And who do we find under it? From left, Greg Marrett, Phyllis Eldridge, John Eldridge and Bonnie Marrett. Great idea.
Alan and Allyn.
I can’t wait until the next garden party.