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UT Blooms DaysUnique garden goods, live musical performances, workshops, children’s activities and more make the UT Gardens’ Blooms Days a great destination for more than just gardeners. Blooms Days has become a summer tradition, drawing families, students and Knoxville natives to experience the splendor of the gardens. The event will run Saturday, June 27, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 28, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.New to this two-day event is tree-climbing with Sam Adams of Cortese Tree Specialists. The tree-climbs will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. There will be a $5 climb fee. A new feature of the Gardens is the Beall Family Rose Garden complete with water feature containing Koi, a Gazebo and a large variety of roses.

More than 30 workshops will be offered for everyone, from novice to advanced gardeners, covering a variety of gardening interests. Workshops with such titles as How to Make a Rain Barrel, Basic Landscape Design, Heirloom Veggies, Japanese Maples You Need to Know, and Butterfly Gardening will be led by regional gardening experts and included in the cost of admission.

Featured speaker, author and Ijams Nature Center Naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales will share tales from his first book, Natural Histories: Stories from the Tennessee Valley. Bales will “take” participants up and down the Valley to discover the natural wonder and beauty of the Carolina chickadee, wild turkey, opossum, whip-poor-will, cicada, bald eagle, sycamore, pawpaw and many more.

Live musical performances will be held on both days. On Saturday, Wild Blue Yonder will perform from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.; Four Leaf Peat from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.; and the Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Early Morning String Dusters will play from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and the Hector Qirko Band from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Kids of all ages will be able to visit the insect zoo and explore the butterfly house. Other kids’ activities will include make-and-take crafts projects, face painting and sprinkler time on the half-hour.

The festival will also include a garden marketplace in which visitors can shop for arts, crafts, garden goods and specialty plants from 47 vendors, and snacks will be available on site for purchase.

Round out the day with a self-guided tour of the gardens and learn about some 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropicals, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses.

Advance tickets may be purchased for $5 from the following local business partners: Bearden Garden Center, Carpe Librum Bookseller, Ellenburg Nursery, Emery’s 5 & 10, Pope’s #2, Stanley’s Greenhouse, Sweet Pea Garden Gifts, Vagabondia, Emory Road Garden Center, Thress Nursery Garden, Pope’s Garden Center, Out of Eden Garden Center, Willow Ridge Garden Center, Ridge Greenhouse & Florist and Meadow View Greenhouses.

Tickets may also be purchased online at https://web.dii.utk.edu/agstore, click on the “Events” link. At the gate, tickets will be $6.00. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Tickets are good for one day only, and the event will be held rain or shine. All proceeds will benefit the UT Gardens.

Blooms Days, in its 7th year, is made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the UT Gardens, the Knoxville News-Sentinel, WBIR-TV, WNOX News Talk 100.3 FM, WUOT 91.9 FM and UT Federal Credit Union.

The UT Gardens is located just off Neyland Drive behind the UT College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville. Parking is available in lot 66. From I-40 take Exit 386B onto Hwy 129 (Alcoa Hwy toward the Airport). From Hwy 129 take exit for Hwy 158 (Neyland Drive). Turn left at end of exit ramp. Turn left onto Joe Johnson Drive, and right at next light onto Chapman Drive. Parking lot 66 is directly across from the entrance to the UT Gardens. For more information, please visit http://www.bloomsdays.utk.edu or view the complete schedule on the Blooms Days brochure.

The University of Tennessee Gardens located in Knoxville and Jackson are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. Their mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, collections, educational programs and research trials. Some 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropicals, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses are evaluated each year. Both gardens are Tennessee Certified Arboreta and American Conifer Society Reference Gardens. The gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public. For more information, visit http://utgardens.tennessee and http://west.tennessee.edu/ornamentals/.