Garden Walk History 

Garden Walk History

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The inspiration for our neighborhood garden walk was a 2008 trip my sister and I took to Buffalo, NY, to see the Buffalo Garden Walk, the largest garden walk in the US. We were astounded by the sheer number of beautiful, creative garden spaces. Each block trying to outdo the others.

At the time, there were 330 gardens on tour. Neither of us had ever been on a garden tour larger than 20 gardens. The gardens were full of personality, whimsy, bold colors, and enthusiastic hosts eager to share their gardens with strangers. We appreciated the wide array of garden styles and levels—from simple to sophisticated, novice to seasoned—-at no time did we feel disappointed. Coming home from the trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about the impact the walk had made on Buffalo. I saw enormous civic pride, elimination of blighted properties, beautiful gardens and streetscapes, and thousands of visitors spending their money and time touring the city.   My first thought was, “Darn, why is Buffalo  so far away?”  The second thought was, “Well, if Buffalo can do it, why not Cooper-Young and throughout Memphis, TN?”.

Year 1 — May 19, 2016 .

We hosted our first “Cooper-Young Garden Walk” with 22 gardens and 6 green business spaces. Our keynote speaker was the local favorite, Carol Reese.Our garden walk booklet was spiral bound and a favorite keepsake of visitors.



Year 2 — May 20-21, 2017

Cooper Young Garden Walk 2017

The response was so positive, we grew to 84 gardens and 10 green business spaces. We added an extra day, more educational vendors, a guided bike tour, and brought in Lisa Orgler, landscape designer, instructor, and blogger from Iowa. We also sold Garden Walk T-shirts. These successes showed us the power of flowers to inspire, beautify and build community.





Year 3  — May 19-20, 2018

2018 Cooper Young Garden Walk PosterWe added 24 new gardens and  focused on native plants, creating 9 educational demo gardens on specific native plants for specific places.  Saturday, our keynote speaker was: Dr. Doug Tallamy, renown speaker/author of “Bringing Nature Home” and “The Living Landscape”. Sunday, we listened as Chris Cosby, noted local native plantsman told us the best native plants for our region. A shuttle bus and art vendors were added.








Year 4 –May 18-19, 2019

2019 Garden Walk Poster

We added new gardens for a total of 84 garden and focused on showing visitors how to create Productive Gardens. Talks included: Growing Micro-greens, Growing Mushrooms, Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Composting, Container Gardening, Foraging Food, and more. Bee Inspired Staging, LLC showcased Tablescapes and Porch Staging” at three of the gardens. We even had 2 vintage “glamper campers” and a modern camper, all decked out for summer entertaining.  Jack Kenner, renown photographer, helped us showcase our beautiful gardens. We took part of our proceeds and created the “C Y We Beautify” Beautification Grant. Residents can apply for up to $500 seed money to create beautiful spaces in the neighborhood.

Cooper-Young Garden Walk Map












Year 5 –  May 15, 16, 17, 2020

For our 5th Anniversary, the Cooper-Young Garden Walk Board Members are eagerly planning this year’s garden walk. It’s going to be extra special as we add a first time Friday Moonlight Magic Garden Tour of six selected gardens. Visitors can discover beautiful illuminated gardens decked out for party festivities.  This limited ticket event includes music, drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Other attractions for the weekend include: new gardens, more speakers, and a newly designed t-shirt. Don’t be surprised to see vintage cars in front of some of our special gardens. As we continue to grow and bloom, we invite you to:

EDITED:  Due to Covid-19, we decided to switch our garden walk to a VIRTUAL one, and keep everyone safe. 31 homeowners stepped up to the plate on short notice and sent in pictures, garden information, and even summer recipes.  We showcased these throughout the months of May and June as our gift to the local community and beyond.  With everyone staying home and gardening, it was the perfect way to spread inspiration.

This was our poster and banner design, courtesy of Jake Fasano, minus the sponsor logos.







Karen Capps designed a t-shirt for our garden club and donated the shirts and design for our fundraiser.  We love the sentiment on the back. Perfect for the times this year.








We also redid our logo, courtesy of Jake Fasano, to reflect our urban garden lifestyle and highlight the trestle art Cooper-Young is famous for.  Add ginkgo leaves to represent the 31 ginkgo trees lining Cooper and our International Arboretum status.  All in all, 2020 was a busy year for our club and garden walk.








“Come visit our garden walk and see what a celebration of gardening can do to a neighborhood and the community at large! “

Mark your calendars now for our 2021 Cooper-Young Garden Walk.
See you May 14-15-16, 2021, 10 am. – 4 pm.

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