Open Rose Gardens 2019

Dogwood Arts Open Rose Gardens

Selected by the Open Gardens Committee, these exceptional rose gardens are works of art shown during their peak blooming season. Stroll through the open rose gardens presented by members of the Tennessee Rose Society. The gardens are Open Mother’s Day weekend and the following weekend- May 10th, 11th, and 12th and 17th, 18th, and 19th from 10:00AM-5:00 PM.

Welcome to the Open Rose Gardens!

Please feel free to walk through the gardens to take a closer look at the roses. Most of the gardens are level and easy to walk.
Below are the addresses of the Open Rose Gardens along with statements from each rosarian about their garden and tips they have learned while growing roses.


Michael and Mary Bates
513 Altamira Drive,
Farragut, 37934

World travel created a lifelong love of roses for these property owners. Their garden is home to over 300 roses including hybrid teas, floribundas, climbers, David Austin English roses and easy-care shrub roses.

How old is your garden and how did you start?

“Our garden is now 25 years old and has grown slowly over the years. Many of the plants have naturalized into drifts which bloom at different times of the year. Our garden was established with many perennials and pass-along plants from my mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. The Dogwood Arts Open Gardens in North Knoxville have been a big influence in our gardening. When we started our garden, we added several pink dogwoods which mingle happily with the native white ones that were on site. We started with perennials that would come back each year and expanded our shaded area to include spring woodland plants, but we wanted more sun loving plants like roses.

Our travels to New Zealand started our continuing love affair with roses. In Christchurch New Zealand, it seemed that every home had a beautiful garden; and nearly all included roses. We were determined to add more roses to our garden.

Returning home with the mission to add more roses to our garden, we searched for beds that received a minimum of four hours of sun. Since our front and side yards receive the most sun, we decided to plant our roses there. We selected easy-care shrub roses that were soon followed by floribundas, hybrid teas, miniatures and OGRs (Old Garden Roses). We joined the American Rose Society and the Tennessee Rose Society, and they taught us how to grow roses. The advice and support on a local level was invaluable. By incorporating better garden care and practices, our garden was rewarded with an even better display of flowers. Roses are the power house players in our garden as they bloom from early spring to late fall.”

What is your secret to growing roses?

“One secret I learned during Tennessee Rose Society meetings on growing roses is planting the rose in a BIG HOLE. Older Tennessee Rose Society members recommended planting the rose in a 3 ft deep V shape hole with a bit of rock in the bottom so that is how all my roses are planted. When removing the soil from the hole, I placed the clay in a wheelbarrow and chopped the soil in small pieces, added an equal amount of soil conditioner and backfilled the deep hole. I have found this deep hole protects the rose during the cold winter months, and the rose uses the water that drains to the bottom in the summer months.
The key to the success of all plants is amending the soil before planting, continual mulching with organics and correct amount of water. Each plant must have its own proper environment in order to thrive which includes the proper amount of sunlight. Study how the sun crosses the garden and plant each plant in a favorable spot. Roses love sun so select a sunny spot.

Each year we winterize the roses with shredded pine bark heaped around the roses, and in February we add a very thick layer of aged horse manure. The beds often are slightly elevated as we continually add fine pine bark (Nature’s Helper Soil Conditioner) and horse manure (bagged) or from Star Stables.”

Mary Bates
ARS Consulting Rosarian
ARS Horticulture Judge

Kathy Brennan
706 Landing Lane,
Farragut, 37934

Brenrose is a small fragrant secret rose garden hidden from the street and entered only through an arching, white climbing rose. Once entered you will experience a peaceful superb photo opt along with the vision of freshly scented roses and their companions.

What organizations have helped you in growing roses?

“Since joining the American Rose Society in 1994, I have learned so much about the culture and different varieties of roses from the many sources offered their members. ARS has given me the opportunity to share this knowledge with my Community as an ARS Consulting Rosarian.  Last year I was honored to receive the ARS Master Rosarian Award for 10 years of service.

By joining the American Rose Society, I have met many rose friends all over the country.  Growing roses is a beautiful, satisfying path to a happy, healthy life.
By opening and sharing my garden in the Dogwood Open Rose Gardens, I am sharing my soul.”

You downsized from a large garden to a smaller more manageable garden. How did you accomplish this?

In 1992 my garden club visited a local rosarian’s garden of 300 plus rose bushes.  Her garden was the most beautiful and inspiring garden I had ever seen.  Right then and there I knew I wanted to grow roses.  The lady and I became good friends while she encouraged and mentored me in my rose gardening.

When my husband and I built our new home in 1994, I started planting rose bushes, along with companion plants, all around our home.  Soon my garden had grown to 300 rose bushes consisting of all rose varieties.

Four years ago I downsized my home and garden.  At first this move was very daunting; however, I survived and so did my garden.  At my new home, I have a small “secret rose garden” hidden from the street accented with a sprinkling of companion plants.

Having only 50 rose bushes, the garden is very manageable and so much fun.  A great start to the day, is looking out any window and seeing a beautiful rose blooming in my garden.  That rose becomes my favorite rose for the day.

Kathy Brennan
ARS Master Rosarian
Tenarky District CR Chairman