Blount Mansion’s gardens are a green oasis tucked between the steel and glass office towers of downtown Knoxville—in fact, we boast the only public garden in the city’s center.
Our gardens date to 1934, when the Knoxville Garden Club offered to install and maintain a proper garden at Blount Mansion, the new museum started in 1926. In 1941, the club commissioned William Pitkin, Jr., one of the leading landscape architects of the early 20th century, to create a formal design.
Pitkin’s plan called for an herb garden, a sunken garden, herringbone brick paths, and a sunken well. The work was postponed during WWII and was completed in 1947.
In 1958, after the Blount Mansion Association restored Governor Blount’s office and reconstructed the Blounts kitchen on its original location, the Knoxville Garden Club engaged Alden Hopkins, landscape architect at Colonial Williamsburg, to redesign the gardens at Blount Mansion in a more “authentic” eighteenth-century style. Hopkins’ plan kept many of Pitkin’s original elements but simplified the layout and added more plants which were common in the Blounts’ day. Hopkins’ associate at Colonial Williamsburg, Donald Parker, stepped in to finish the work at Blount Mansion after Hopkins died suddenly after submitting his first drawings.