With the inaugural Cooper-Young Garden Walk, organizers hope to nurture a new tradition

The Cooper Young Garden Club is proud to present the inaugural Cooper-Young Garden Walk. The Cooper-Young Garden Club is a community of passionate gardeners. Some are beginners, others well seasoned. We formed our club to advise, inspire, and laugh with each other.

With this new event we wanted to show Memphis and the surrounding communities that Cooper-Young is a wonderful neighborhood in which to live. We are extending our Southern hospitality — most of the garden club members volunteered their homes and we even asked neighborhood non-participants to show off their yards — and are inviting our neighbors to come visit our gardens and our Cooper-Young businesses.

What makes our garden walk so unique compared to others in Memphis is its size and location. While most suburban garden walks highlight 6-10 gardens, we decided to go big and focus on 23 private gardens along with 6 green businesses.

Cooper-Young revels in gardens with personality. The limitations of small, urban gardens become the upsides of quaint, quirky, and creative gardens that fully utilize space and purpose. We have cottage gardens, whimsical gardens, herb and vegetable gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, container gardens, arbors, ponds, and fountains. There are gardens with chickens, raised beds, funky art, secluded patios, fountains, outdoor showers, ponds, fruit trees, perma-culture, and so much more. Visitors will discover creative solutions to deal with shade, pets, tiny spaces, and privacy issues. Each garden is unique and fits the owner.

With the gardens and business district in easy walking distance, visitors can quickly stop for lunch or beverages before resuming their tours. Many businesses will be offering discounts the day of the walk.

Some businesses are even getting their thumbs a little green. Jay Etkin Gallery is hosting the event’s featured speaker, Carol Reese, who will be speaking at 10 a.m. on “Adding Magical Design Elements to the Garden.” Based in Jackson, Reese is the University of Tennessee system’s ornamental horticulture specialist for West Tennessee. She is a gardening columnist for the Jackson Sun and a contributor to several gardening magazines, including Fine Gardening and Horticulture. Elsewhere, there will be gardening demonstrations throughout the day. At the DIY boutique Me & Mrs. Jones, they will be repurposing and refinishing garden items and furniture from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. And there will be booths Also we will have booths manned by urban foresters and master gardeners.

Early bird tickets are only $10 and can be ordered online at cooperyoung.org or picked up at the Cooper-Young Community Association offices, 2298 Young Avenue. Day-of-walk tickets are $15 and will be sold at the Cooper-Young gazebo. Be sure to buy your Garden Walk tickets before May 21st, to enter your name in a drawing for a gift basket of gift certificates valued at over $200.

All the money raised will go back into our future Cooper-Young neighborhood beautification projects.

The inaugural Cooper-Young Garden Walk has 23 homes on its tour. Here are some of the highlights:


Connie Arduini & Jim McCown

Connie’s front yard is a Nelson Avenue show-stopper. The front yard features all shade plants under a large willow oak and has a colorful, inviting front porch. The front yard contains hostas, hydrangeas, ferns, azaleas, and a leopard plant.  It is a shady, cool spot that whispers one to sit on the porch even in the hot summer months.The back yard has a covered deck and all sun plants.  Cannas, sedum, coneflowers,  cross vine, and gardenia fill the yard along with the eclectic sculpture.

South Cox

Heidi Knochenhauer

Heidi loves to garden. Since 2003, she has planted over 3,000 bulbs in her yard. There are over 15 different perennials in the front yard. From March to October, the yard explodes with color. There are tulips, five varieties of daffodils, creeping phlox, a fig tree, a pomegranate tree, climbing roses, and banana trees. The garden becomes a mosaic of color with hostas, white ginger, orange cosmos, gladiolas, dahlias, and tiger lilies. The back yard contains a lovely Japanese Fringe tree and a new chicken cottage for the hens, Johanna and Priscilla.


Marjorie Palazzolo

792 Meda has an easy to maintain garden for a busy owner.  Situated on a corner lot, the front welcomes you with peonies, forsythia, azaleas, dianthus, hydrangeas, and yard art.  A majority of the native plants were purchased through the Lichterman Nature Center.  No matter the season, the yard always contains color. The side has welcoming Crepe Myrtles, daylilies, Bebop shrub rose, baptisia (wild blue indigo), and barberry to usher you through the gate. The back yard contains a Japanese Maple, fountain, roses, iris, and clematis.  Look for a surprise in the back garden!


Jim Wilson

With a screened front porch and shady front garden, this bungalow has all the features for relaxing on a quiet Southern night. 2193 Elzey has an informal, eclectic garden. It includes several varieties of Southern shrubbery, such as azaleas, crepe myrtles, and a hydrangea almost as old as the house. There are many stones and pebbles used for walkways and decoration. The arbor is beautifully covered with wisteria and twisted vines. The back garden contains a screened porch, a fire pit, many native plants, a rock garden, perennials, and herbs. This is a special Southern garden cared for by a true Southern gentleman.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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