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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Arboretum Review : Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation
5025 Harding Pike
Nashville TN, 37205
(615) 356-0501 / 1-800-270-3991

Date Visited : 10 Oct. 2009

Natalie and I went to the Belle Meade Plantation today for its Fall Festival. It is always a joy to see parks and gardens on days that they are full of life and activity. The Fall Fest had art and craft vendors, games & rides for kids and live music & wine tasting for adults.

Guided tours of the mansion are available for guests that are interested in learning the history of the plantation.

Festival goers stop to watch a magician pull a rabbit from his hat.

A huge Southern Magnolia stands between the house (off camera left) and stables. There are several old and beautiful Southern Magnolias throughout the grounds.

Interpretive signs throughout the grounds tell the history of the plantation. Each building and landmark on the plantation has an information sign posted by it.

Behind the house a live band played music while people sampled wine in the boxwood lined garden.

At the Gardener's House a sign marked the arboretum's 1988 designation.

Natalie and I found a few trees throughout the grounds that were labeled "Belle Meade Plantation Tree Walk", but were disappointed with the overall lack of information available on the gardens. When we asked the clerk in the gift shop if she had any information she was rude and offered no assistance. When we later asked the guides at the mansion they indicated that there used to be maps available, but did not assist us in obtaining any. If you only have time to visit one garden in Nashville's Belle Meade Neighborhood I strongly recommend visiting Cheekwood over the Belle Meade Plantation.

Observed Trees:
Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple
Catalpa speciosa - Northern Catalpa
Celtis occidentalis - Hackberry
Cornus florida - Flowering Dogwood
Ginkgo biloba - Ginkgo
Ilex opaca - American Holly
Juglans nigra - Black Walnut
Juniperus virginiana - Eastern Red Cedar
Liriodendron tulipifera - Tulip Tree
Magnolia grandiflora - Southern Magnolia
Metasequoia glyptostroboides - Dawn Redwood