Botanical Gardens and Arboretums

The Smoky Mountains and Knoxville are full of wonderful flora and fauna that are gorgeous in any season. Many of these botanical gardens and arboretums feature meandering natural (or paved) pathways that will lead you and your family on a magical journey into nature. In season, these gardens are a great place to view butterflies, bees, and birds of all kinds. Now is the time to get outdoors and enjoy all the natural beauty East Tennessee has to offer!

Smoky Mountain Botanical Gardens represented by a bright tiger swallowtail on a purple flower

Smoky Mountain and Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretums

This wonderful collection of over 4,000 annuals, perennials, herbs, tropical plants, trees, shrubs, vegetables and ornamental grasses is recognized as the official botanical gardens of the state of Tennessee. Many of the plants in the garden attract a variety of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. The garden is also a TN Certified Arboreta. This botanical garden is open all year and is free to the public.

This lovely botanical garden is nestled in the mountains, down a quaint back road. Of course, this garden is famous for it’s lilies. Visitors are welcome when the barn is not holding events, which it does most every weekend (weddings, parties, etc.). This is a great place to take a nature walk and paint or photograph the flowers.

This wonderful aviary and botanical garden features hundreds and hundreds of exotic birds, many of which you can feed, touch, and interact with. Bird species include a variety of parrots, toucans, magpies, horn bills and much more! As you walk the the scenic pathways throughout the grounds, you can also enjoy the tens of thousands of gorgeous plants and flowers on site.

This wonderful botanical garden is FREE to the public and is filled with seasonal flowers and foliage throughout the year. Nature based educational programs are also available for children and adults throughout the year. This facility also hosts summer camp programs.

This Oak Ridge garden features over 2,500 plants and flowers. This is a research garden that facilitates forestry, wildlife and ecological research programs. It is free to the public.

This botanical garden provides a self-guided tour that identifies 73 species of trees, many of which are flowering in the appropriate season. There are also a variety of seasonal flowers along the paved walking path. This garden is free to the public.

This historical botanical garden features a variety of native plants and flowers in a natural setting. This garden is close to many other attractions in the Cherokee area including the famous Oconaluftee Visitors Center, which is a great place to view elk.

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Zebra Swallow Tail on a white flower in a TN Botanical Gardens

2 thoughts on “Botanical Gardens and Arboretums”

  1. Hello Erica, I love to do gardening very much. These gardens are great place to view butterflies, bees, and birds of all kinds. It’s time to enjoy the natural beauty. It is a very amazing blog and nice photography. Thanks for sharing such an awesome blog.


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