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It’s Gala time: Jonesborough prepares for 23rd annual garden tour

The Garden Gala event is back in Jonesborough. Guests can oogle at the scenery in Tennessee’s oldest town on Saturday, June 1.


Flower lovers from across the region will venture to Jonesborough for the 23rd Annual Garden Gala on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The self-guided walking tour will delight visitors with popular private gardens from past years, an afternoon tea enhanced by live music as well as gardening presentations.

“Jonesborough is so special as far as a community goes because everybody is proud of what they have here,” said Dona Lewis, chairman of the tour. “They are  proud of their gardens, they are proud of their homes and they are proud of their  heritage.”

And they are looking forward to sharing them with this weekend’s upcoming visitors.

In fact, the gala is considered the official welcoming of spring in Tennessee’s Oldest Town and has been recognized nationally as an award-winning event. This day-long charity event is hosted by the Tuesday Garden Club and the Schubert Club, and supported by the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners and the Southern Appalachian Plant Society.

This year, the Garden Gala will celebrate all things bee related with their theme, “Bee Happy”. This will create a platform for education on pollinators and how we can help these endangered species thrive. Visitors will also discover interesting and humorous facts about bees hidden throughout gardens.

“We have some homes that we have not had on it for several years, three houses that we have not had on for a long time,” Lewis said. “And the gardens themselves change every year. The flowers are different year to year.”

Visitors will get the chance to soak in the ambiance of true Southern charm at the afternoon tea taking place from 1 until 2:30 p.m. Enjoy sweet and savory finger foods beneath gorgeous shade trees all topped off with live music.

There will be Marketplace Vendors setup downtown on the International Storytelling Center Plaza and in front of the Washington County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be everything from yard art, stained glass, plants, garden items, tools, garden-style jewelry, and other handcrafted items.

To create a full experience, guests can visit Ardinna Woods Arboretum, which features 70-plus tree species located at Britt Drive and the Garden at the Library, a children’s garden for exploration of plants and nature located at 200 East Sabine Drive.

Tickets for the Garden Gala are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For a group of 10 or more tickets are just $13 and may be purchased online at or by calling the Jonesborough Visitors Center at (423) 753-1010.

Shuttle transportation and water stations will be available throughout the self-guided tour as needed.