We haven’t heard much from Jeff Calton (tntreeman) in Tennessee lately, because he’s been busy with a special project lately—getting a local property that’s near and dear to his heart ready for a big garden tour after years of not being seen by the public. After last weekend he reported in with how it all went.
He says, “The Keep Kingsport Beautiful Garden Tour went perfectly. Our client property on the tour was Rotherwood Mansion and we had A LOT of people throughout the day. Bright blue skies, not hot, and low humidity, so we had a great turnout. There were lots of photographs taken, some brought their children and staged them for photos around the property. People enjoyed the gazebo and shady porches.
The old girl had not had that much company for a garden party in decades. The people were interested in the house and history and the plantings so there were many questions and I got to talk…a LOT! It was a day for spending time with other garden people. Everyone was appreciative, curious, and most fun. I got to meet many people from the area I would never have met otherwise.
We had to tape off some areas that have not been redone yet but other areas that are cleared but not redone were open for exploration. It was horticultural archaeology for many who were there. Long forgotten stone walls, pathways, boxwoods large enough to go inside and walk around, the gigantic oaks and copper beech, and even the old water feature that hasn’t been operative for at least 75 years was a hit.
I think people have grown up here seeing that house from the bridge and finally got the opportunity to visit and explore the grounds. It was a good thing for the area and I was surprised at how nice and respectful people were of the house, plantings, and the lady who lives there.
Now this week we have to hit it all again in preparation for a wedding and reception there this Saturday. The old girl gets to party and entertain again after 50 years of loneliness and I think she likes it!”
I love how you personify this old house, Jeff. You obviously love her, judging from the loving care you’ve given her over the years! Everything looks gorgeous, and I’ll bet it will be even more beautiful this weekend! Thanks so much for this glimpse of history.