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About Southern Blooms Festival
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. Use your artistic ability to create a unique, personalized postcard to send to family and friends, and join the legacy of Rock City by painting a part of our Legacy painting. Join the Master Gardeners to answer any gardening questions you may have. This "fun for all ages" event pays homage to our founders and those that helped create and support our beautiful legacy.
Hours and Pricing
May 11, 12, 18, & 19, 2019
8:30am – 5pm
|Adult||Child (ages 3-12)|
|Rock City Premiere Event Admission||$26.95||$14.95|
|Annual Passholders||Free with valid annual pass||Free with valid annual pass|
*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!
Walking in Frieda's Footsteps: The Garden Legacy Tour - This tour is tailored to educated and detail the amazing life of our founders, Garnet and Frieda Carter, and the legacy of our beautiful, historic gardens. Included with your admission, The Legacy Tour will provide guests with a fun and engaging historical tour of the founding and development of the gardens; it will also describe the amazing detail to marketing, and the legacy Clark Byers brought to this wonderful garden. See Schedule Above.
New! "Paint a Postcard" Kid's Activity - Create a memory and paint it! Stop by the activity center at the pavilion and paint a postcard. This fun activity allows you to use your creativity to design, draw, and take home your very own Rock City postcard. Send this one of a kind Rock City postcard to family, friends, or have as a unique keepsake.
New! Legacy Painting (Paint by Number) - Become a part of ART here at Rock City Gardens. Guests can take a special opportunity to leave a piece of art here at Rock City Gardens. Traditional "make and take" activities are fun, but what is even cooler than taking a piece of art home? Leaving a piece of your art for a Legacy. Founder's Garnet and Frieda Carter left a beautiful legacy with the enchantment that is Rock City Gardens. Artist Jessie Sanders left an unforgettable legacy through her detailed and timeless sculptures in Fairyland Caverns. Painter Clark Byers left an interstate legacy through each barn he painted pointing guests to come "See Rock City." Now YOU have the opportunity to leave a piece of art legacy here at Rock City Gardens. Paint with a Rock City Talent Partner several numbers on a "paint by number" canvas created by SRC, Inc's Marketing Team. These unique pictures will then be displayed as Mantle decor throughout the year.
New! Water Art Kid's Activity - Take a break from the day and relax with this fun kid's (or kid at heart) activity! Create a one of a kind art piece...with water! Use water on a unique canvas to create a fun or beautiful scene, but finish is quickly before it evaporates! Use brushes or your fingers to make an art piece to remember. Finish it fast enough to snap a picture!
Free Gardening Advice - The Hamilton County Master Gardeners will host an informational table next to Cliff Terrace to answer garden questions and offer planting advice.
Enjoy the peaceful sounds of harpist, Ellen Shiraef
New! Frieda's Flower Sale - Shop Frieda's Flowers! Founder Frieda Utermoehlen Carter walked through the gardens laying out the path that we continue to follow today. Her love of floral enchantment is vividly alive throughout Rock City. To honor Frieda, we are opening Frieda's Flower Sale for a limited engagement during Southern Blooms A Founder's Day Festival! Purchase and take home 1 gallon potted plants! There will be 3 different plants to shop from including an Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Coreopsis, and a Fern! Plants will range in price beginning at $11.99 while supplies last! Shop Freida's Flowers and take home a garden plant purchased here at Rock City Gardens!
Fairy Garden Workshop - Enjoy the art of gardening and learn how to make your own Fairy Garden at our Southern Blooms Fairy Garden Workshop. The class is approximately 30-45 minutes and includes a Fairy Garden starter kit. See Schedule Above. $29.95
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! See Schedule Above.
Plein Air Painters - Saturdays during Southern Blooms, local artists will be setup to paint and capture the natural beauty of the gardens.
Meet Rocky the Elf and Southern Belles and Gentlemen!
Featured Areas of the Enchanted Trail
- Stroll Legacy Lane - See Rock City through the decades at our Legacy Lane showcase. Stroll down Legacy Lane from the original 1932 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 United States and the world during that time.
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.
Fairy Garden Workshops available by advance reservation.
- The Big Rock Grill will be featuring Homemade Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Edible Flower and Sugar Cookies with Green icing - just like on opening day!
- Cafe 7 will feature Butterfly Pea Tea, Flower Spring Rolls, and a Strawberry Sparkler. Butterfly Pea Tea is a unique lemonade is a combination of the Butterfly Pea Flower that is steeped until its beautiful blue liquid is produced, when mixed with a traditional lemonade, it creates a stunning purple drink! Flower Spring Rolls are filled with traditional spring roll ingredients and become special with an edible flower rolled inside. The Strawberry Sparkler is the perfect way for the adults to cool down and relax at Cafe 7 - strawberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, sparkling wine, and Butterfly Pea Tea poured into it tableside.
- The Fudge Kitchen will feature special candies and fudge made with edible flowers.
- Southern Blooms Wine from the Georgia Winery - limited release, Southern Blush custom labeled for Southern Blooms Festival. This sweet and spicy Southern Classic is the perfect vintage to leisurly sip on the front porch during a warm summer night.
- Starbucks - nourish your garden with "Grounds for your Garden" available FREE daily inside Starbucks by the condiment bar. Plus, enjoy a Strawberry Shortcake Frappucino!
- Garden themed and Southern Blooms featured merchandise will be available in the Gardens Gateway Gift Shop and Woodland Wonders
- Southern Belle Boutique - kids can dress up like a belle on her way to a Spring garden party! Packages include dress, parasol and hair clip.
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 of a live harp performance. 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 12, 2019
Big Rock Grill at Rock City Gardens
Children (ages 3-12): $23.95
Tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable. Adult tickets include admission to Rock City Gardens, Table Service Lunch, one souvenir photo with Mom, and fresh flower for Mom. Child tickets include admission to Rock City Gardens, Table Service Lunch, and coloring sheet with crayons.
Sold Out for 2019
*Discounted annual passholder reservations are available. Please call 423-475-8988 for reservations.
When purchasing tickets, please indicate your meal selection for each guest.
Tuscan Garlic Chicken: Tuscan Garlic Chicken Cavatelli with fresh vegetables and choice of Blueberry Cheesecake or Double Chocolate Cake for dessert.
Chicken Tenders: Served with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. Choice of Blueberry Cheesecake or Double Chocolate Cake for dessert.
Coca-Cola products, iced tea and coffee available with either meal.
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
Rock City is proud to support the Family Connections Supervised Visitation Center as our community partner for the Southern Blooms Festival.