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Southern Blooms Festival


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April 2017
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About Southern Blooms Festival

  • Southern-Blooms-Festival-Flowers
  • Frieda Utermoehlen Carter
  • Rock-City-flowers

Rock City's Flower Festival and Gardening Event

Come "See" Rock City in all of its spring glory as we celebrate and honor our original gardener, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter. Walk in Frieda's Footsteps and learn about the legacy and heritage of the gardens by our tour guides and Master Gardeners. Meet members of our horticulture team and be a part of planting the gardens. Kids of all ages can enjoy educational make-and-take activities and learn what it takes to make a garden grow!

Hours and Pricing

May 13, 14, 20, & 21, 2017

10am – 5pm

  Adult Child (ages 3-12)
Rock City General Admission $19.95 $11.95
Special Annual Pass Purchase - available May 21, 2017 only** $19.32 $19.32
Buy Tickets

** Buy a Rock City Annual Pass on Sunday, May 21st for only $19.32 per person, in celebration of 85 years of memories worth repeating since May 21, 1932. 

*Most event activities included with admission

Southern Blooms Activities

Southern Blooms Festival Activities

See Rock City in full bloom during this flower festival and gardening event. There's fun for the whole family, including garden tours and kids' activities, plus Southern Blooms dining specials and garden-themed souvenirs!

What's New

Book Signing with Author Tim Hollis

Meet Tim Hollis, author of See Rock City - The History of Rock City Gardens. Tim will be available to answer questions and autograph copies of his books. Saturday and Sunday, May 20 & 21 only. 

Legacy Lane 

See Rock City through the decades at our new Legacy Lane Showcase. Stroll down Legacy Lane from the original 1931 gatehouse enjoying the nostalgia of each decade showcase. You'll learn about the history of Rock City Gardens as well as what else was happening in the country and the world during that time. Who knows, you may even see Clark Byers painting the beckoning message to "See" Rock City on the side of a barn. 

Gardening Events

Walking in Frieda's Footsteps - a historical, guided walking tour

Set out on a guided tour of Rock City Gardens and learn about the enchanting history of the gardens and our founder, Frieda Utermoehlen Carter.  

Limited space available. First come, first serve. Tours begin promptly at the Ticket Plaza. 

Times 11:00am and 3:00pm

Free Gardening Advice 

The Hamilton County Master Gardeners will host an information table next to Cliff Terrace. Master Gardeners will be available for garden questions or planting advice. 

Interactive Planting Demonstrations

Rock City's Horticulture Team will be conducting planting demonstrations each morning. Kids and adults alike can join in the fun and plant a flower at Rock City Gardens! 

Daily 10:00am and 12:00pm next to the Rock City Pavilion 

Fairy Garden Workshops

Enjoy the art of gardening and learn how to make your own Fairy Garden. The class is approximately 30-45 minutes and includes a Fairy Garden starter kit. The kit consists of a garden container, dirt, 2 plants, decorative rocks and moss. Fairy Garden figurines and accessories are available at an additional cost. Participants must register and purchase tickets in advance

Saturday and Sunday 2:00pm, $29.95

Kids' Activities

Garden 2 Go!

Kids can plant their own flower garden to go all while learning about what it takes to make a garden grow! 

10am - 5pm on the Prospector's Point Patio

Character Photo Ops 

Have your picture made with Rocky the Elf and a Southern Belle along the Enchanted Trail. 

10am - 4:30pm

Fairyland Caverns

There's no better way to experience Frieda's love of German fairytales and folklore than to explore the childhood wonders of her beloved Fairyland Caverns. Debuting in the late 1940's in response to the post war tourism boom, this enchanting addition to Rock City Gardens was lovingly created by artist Jessie Sanders and featured scenes from classic fairytales illuminated in ultraviolet black light, a cutting edge technology of the day. Now, nearly 70 years later, this hand crafted legacy is bursting with new magic as refurbishments are underway; creating new immersive experiences for children of all ages. 

Southern Belle Makeovers*

Kids can dress up just like a belle on her way to a Spring garden party! Package includes dress, parasol and hair clip. Available at Fairyland Forest Makeovers. 

Other Events

Harp Music

Daily in the Cliff Terrace Porch enjoy Harp Music by local artist Ellen Shiraef.

10am - 4:30pm

Dining Specials 

Lunch at Cafe 7

Enjoy southern cuisine and the best view around at Café 7 featuring Southern Blooms specials. Café 7 will also feature Clumpies' Gingerbread Ice Cream, with gingerbread crumbles and a lemon curd swirl, in celebration of Frieda's Sugar Loaf Shop. 

Located at Lovers Leap, seating available beginning at 11am. 

Big Rock Grill

Featuring a Southern Blooms special of homemade chicken salad sandwiches topped with an edible flower and enjoy sugar cookies with green icing - just like on opening day!  

Southern Blooms (Blackberry) Wine

The Georgia Winery is offering a limited release, sweet, blackberry wine custom label for Southern Blooms Festival. Available only at the Georgia Winery Tasting Bar at Rock City on the Marketplaza. 

Located in the main courtyard beginning at 11am. 

Nourish Your Garden

Nourish your garden with "Grounds for your Garden" available FREE daily inside Starbucks by the condiment bar. Starbucks will also be featuring a Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino - a cupcake frappuccino with variegated strawberry puree. 

Garden Themed Merchandise

You can't celebrate southern gardening without taking home your very own gardening gnome! Visit Woodland Wonders Gifts to find your special garden companion. 


*Some activities additional cost. 

Enchanted Mother's Day Lunch

Celebrate Mother's Day at this Special Event

Allow us to pamper Mom, and your family, at our Enchanted Mother's Day Lunch! Skip the "Mother's Day restaurant crowds" and walk right in to a beautifully set table waiting just for you. Enjoy a freshly prepared three-course meal, all while enjoying the beautiful melodies performed by harpist, Ellen Shiraef. After lunch, take a stroll along the Enchanted Trail and enjoy the beauty and wonder of Rock City Gardens. Mom will have memories to last a lifetime! 

Sunday, May 14th
Big Rock Grill at Rock City Gardens


Adults: $39.95 - includes admission to Rock City Gardens, table service lunch with choice of entree below, one souvenir photo with Mom, and fresh flower stem. 

Children (ages 3-12): $23.95 - includes admission to Rock City Gardens, table service lunch with choice of entree below, coloring sheet and crayons. 

Tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable. 

*Discounted Annual Passholder tickets available by calling 423-475-8988 for reservations. Tickets are $25.95/Adult and $14.95/Child 

Buy Now

(please make your reservations by 5/10/17 at 12:00pm)

Meal Options

When purchasing tickets, please indicate your meal selection for each guest.

Chicken Milano - A pasta and chicken dish with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil served with grilled asparagus. Choice of Strawberry Cream Pie or Raspberry Cheesecake for dessert. 

Chicken Tenders - Served with Macaroni and Cheese and Mashed Potatoes. Choice of Strawberry Cream Pie or Raspberry Cheesecake for dessert. 

Coca-Cola products, iced tea and coffee available with either meal. 

What's Bloomin'


Festival Flowers in Bloom

In May, look for these Southern Blooms blooming in our gardens:

Rhododendrons, Native Azaleas, Mountain Laurel, and Rose Campion

Partners & Sponsors

Community Partner

Rock City is proud to support the Family Connections Supervised Visitation Center as our community partner for the Southern Blooms Festival.