Updated: Nov 10, 2021
Lloyd King has volunteered with Dogwood Arts for over 40 years. Since 1982, he has given his time and many talents to help our organization promote the art, culture, and especially the natural beauty of our community. From humble beginnings—stuffing fundraising mailers and volunteering on Market Square during the Dogwood Arts Festival—to helping start the Bazillion Blooms Program, serving on our Board of Directors Advisory Committee, and becoming the first Chair of the North Hills Dogwood Trail in 1992—Lloyd has done it all with Dogwood.
As an avid, long-time gardener, Lloyd is a regular participant in the Open Gardens program. Every spring, private residents open their blooming gardens to the public. Lloyd’s garden features over 229 mature azaleas, boxwoods, dogwoods, hydrangeas, and Japanese Maples, as well as over 300 wildflowers, tulips, roses, hostas, and perennials. Visitors come from Atlanta, Charleston, Lexington, and beyond every year to enjoy the Historic Dogwood Trails. His favorite part is seeing the same people year after year. “When visitors say ‘oh, I was here in 19-whenever’, that speaks to their loyalty to Dogwood Arts.” When Lloyd meets other gardeners, he feels an instant connection and a shared passion that runs in their blood.
Lloyd was one of the original committee members that got the Bazillion Blooms program off the ground in 2008. Bazillion Blooms is our annual initiative to Keep Knoxville Blooming by encouraging the public to purchase and plant new dogwoods in our community.
Over the last 13 years, Lloyd and the North Hills Boulevard Garden Club have planted and nurtured over 110 dogwood trees in their community. “Dogwood Arts makes getting dogwood trees accessible and affordable through the Bazillion Blooms program,” Said Lloyd, “Our neighborhood couldn’t continue planting dogwood trees at this volume otherwise.”
The North Hills Dogwood Trail was established in 1971 and the neighborhood has continued to bloom thanks to the volunteer efforts of their Garden Club’s Boulevard Committee. They raise funds through bake sales, plant sales, open houses, and garden tours to continue planting new dogwood trees each winter. During the summer, they organize watering teams for each street based on who is in town. They pay particular attention to the development of young trees into maturity by keeping them mulched and pruned.
To Lloyd and the North Hills Boulevard Committee, the Bazillion Blooms program is an essential stimulus for the community’s neighborhood spirit. When a neighborhood is as established as North Hills, trees will eventually start to decline. By planting new dogwood trees alongside the older trees, the neighborhood can continue blooming well into the future. The North Hills Garden Club created ‘pocket gardens’ to add more planting beds in the neighborhood. The pocket gardens also create a perfect space for the community to plant memorial trees and celebrate loved ones.
As professionals with young families are looking to move out of the cities and into the boulevards, Lloyd hopes that the pocket gardens in his neighborhood can bring residents together for future generations.
About North Hills:
The neighborhood is a certified level-1 arboretum that contains hundreds of trees, located throughout the neighborhood’s boulevards and its park. The neighborhood arboretum is the first of its kind in Knoxville and one of very few in all of the state. The certification is a partnership between the City of Knoxville and the North Hills community to enhance Knoxville’s urban forest canopy and provide educational outdoor recreation. There are more than 40 trees of distinct species with interactive labels that list the tree’s common and scientific name, along with a QR scan code that links to an interactive database.
The North Hills Garden Club also installed five natural stone benches on the boulevards to provide resting points for residents and visitors exploring the arboretum.