Oaklawn Garden is a spectacular place to spend the day. There is a botanical garden, a museum and a lovely park. The historical residential home is located in Germantown, Tennessee and was built in 1854. There are twenty acres of native flowers including azaleas and daffodils I found absolutely gorgeous. The garden was first started in 1924. You will love the beautiful trees and shrubs such as birch, oak and boxwood. There is also a nice variety of small, native wildlife. Learn more.
I spent hours at the indoor museum and enjoyed the outdoor collection as well. The outdoor area was not established until 1987, but the indoor section was built in 1957 in the old florist shop. Harry and Beck Cloyes made a donation of their property to Germantown. They wanted it to be a garden, a public park and a historical museum of Germantown. The first half of April, the azaleas bloom. The setting is ideal for wedding and family photographs.
You can visit for free, but I wanted to make a donation. In 2018, Oaklawn Garden was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The home was built in 1854 by William Carter. There were originally 493 acres, but it was subdivided in 1872. Mamie Cloyes and Fritz Hussy bought a twenty acre parcel that became the museum, park and botanical gardens. In 1918, they named the parcel Oaklawn Garden. In 1854, all that existed was the home. In 1924, Mamie Cloyes started the daffodil cultivation.
Mamie Cloyes son Harry Cloys along with his wife established the historical museum, park and botanical garden. In 1975, the local people, businesses, schools and railroad companies along with the City of Germantown donated items for the outdoor collection. The inside of the museum is fascinating, but was a florist shop in 1957. The flowers were grown right in the garden. Everything in the display is numbered. I used the brochure from the museum to take my own tour and identified everything easily.
What really caught my eye was an amazing fire truck. The truck was from the Germantown Fire Department in 1942. According the the brochure, there was only one jail cell at the first Germantown jail. I saw a 1944 caboose from the Western Railway, an awesome boxcar from the Southern Railway constructed in either 1889 or 1891, historic street lights, traffic signs, traffic lights, farm equipment and historic pumps. The outdoor display has a fascinating collection of displaced gravestones.
There are almost eighty items in the outdoor collection, so be prepared to spend some time so you can see everything. I spent hours at the indoor museum looking at all the historical items. Everything is relevant to the local folk life and history of the area. I felt like I was in an incredible park when I walked through the botanical gardens. There was a sensational variety of flora with small wildlife animals peeking out here and there. I saw the azaleas, daffodils and so many flowers I do not even recognize, but they were all lovely and scented the air.
I learned approximately two acres were dedicated to daffodil cultivation. In 2009, there were over 300 different varieties at Oaklawn Garden. There were so many trees, and a lot of them had markers for identification. I saw indigenous trees and shrubs and birch, oak and boxwood. The native birds were wonderful and I thought the squirrels were absolutely adorable. Everything is private property, but open to the public. The parking was limited, but I found a space. There was no charge to see the museum, park and botanical garden.
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