“2nd Annual Cooper-Young Garden Walk” is a blooming success!

by Kim Halyak

The Cooper-Young Garden Club held its 2nd annual “Cooper-Young Garden Walk”, May 20-21. This botanical extravaganza was the perfect vehicle to showcase our beautiful, eclectic neighborhood while inspiring gardeners with creative garden ideas. It was great seeing community pride grow with so many neighbors sprucing up their yards and blocks.

Even with Saturday’s rain, 600 visitors marveled at the 75 private gardens and 10 business green spaces.  Additionally, they visited the farmer’s market, Peabody School Garden and stopped to eat and shop. Their presence added close to $6,000 to the Garden Club’s budget for future neighborhood beautification projects.  More about those projects in the coming months.

The Garden Club really pulled out all this stops for this year’s walk and their efforts show. Each participating garden received an official garden walk sign, usable from year to year. Homeowners wore gorgeous garden walk t-shirts designed by Taropop. This year’s extensive garden walk brochure highlighted not only the gardens but Cooper Young’s businesses and  6 creative artists. A brag book of our much-loved community.

Other garden walk highlights included:  Double the educational booths from last year: Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis Botanic Gardens, Urban Forestry, Bike Walk Memphis, Storm Water Dept.  and Memphis Area Master Gardeners.New this year were garden vendors from Southern Vintage, Girl Scout Troop #13348 selling water and cookies and MemPops selling herb-flavored ice cream. This year’s speakers included Chris Masin on rain barrels, Mary Wilder on rain gardens, and our keynote speaker, Lisa Orgler, who came all the way from Iowa to talk about adding design to your garden. Additionally, we added a bike valet and a guided bike tour by Urban Bike Food Ministry.

Visitors marveled at each beautiful garden, all unique in personality and style. From urban homesteading to shade gardens, raised beds, outdoor showers, fairy gardens, container gardening, historic garden, and child-friendly, there was something for everyone.

Visitors had so many positive comments about our walk:

“I loved seeing the variety of gardens and wonderfully repurposed items… I came home with so many new ideas to use in my garden….loved the creativity and originality of the gardens….These are gardens planned and nurtured by “REAL people” and not by landscape companies….Everyone was so friendly and welcoming….I liked that some gardens were very finished while others were just beginner gardens….we appreciated the refreshments offered, especially the coffee mocha punch and mint ice cream….enjoyed all the speakers….everyone was so friendly and proud of their gardens…….”

Thanks to the all the restaurants and shops who offered discounts and special menu items for garden visitors who stopped to refuel with food and drink. Our visitors really appreciated them!

The Cooper-Young Garden Club thanks everyone who supported us with money, in-kind donations, discounts on services received, publicity, volunteer docents, gift basket items, advice or garden sponsorships.A standing ovation to all the neighborhood residents who participated by hosting your beautiful gardens, sprucing up the neighborhood, or buying tickets to the walk! Special thanks to the CYCA and CYBA. We couldn’t do it without you!  Tamara + Bobby Cook—much appreciation!

Our dream is that every resident + business will get involved in this yearly event. It’s a wonderful way to keep our neighborhood, beautiful, hip, and close-knit! Won’t you join us next year?

First appeared in Cooper-Young Lamplighter, June 2017 edition.