Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Easter Time

The day before Easter.

On our way home and one last stop back in Nashville, TN before returning home.
Cheekwood Botanical  Garden and Museum of Art.

To set the scene of this wonderful home and garden, here's a little background information.
The Cheeks were early entrepreurs.  Christopher T. Cheek moved to Nashville in the 1880's and he founded a grocery wholesale business.  His son Leslie became a partner.  Leslie married Mabel Wood of Clarksville, TN.
The elder Cheek's cousin, Joel Cheek, developed a superior blend of coffee that was marketed through the best hotel in Nashville, the Maxwell House.  Leslie and Mabel were investors of the coffee venture.  In 1928 Postum (now known as General Mills) purchased Maxwell House's parent company, Cheek-Neal Coffee for more than $40 million dollars.  They also invested monies in this new company of the time called, IBM.
The Cheeks then bought 100 acres of wooded land in Nashville and decided to build a home but not just any home.
 New York residential and landscape architect, Bryant Flemming was hired and they gave him total control over every detail of it's construction.  Some of the story include four train cars full of Parisian antiques and artifacts.
Mr. Cheek lived in the home two years before he passed and it then went on to their daughter and husband who eventually offerred it as botanical gardens and art museum.
After traveling a lovely country road and passed a classicly beautiful golf course, we entered the Cheekwood grounds and noticed it was decorated with multicolored spring flags and parents and children with their buckets and baskets were making their way in focused excitement to enter the grounds.  They were arriving for the annual Children's Easter Egg Hunt & Activity Day!  It was fun watching them arrive with their parents and grandparents.
Inside, the home also has art on display from the Smithsonian Institute and one room had a Faberge' collection under guard protection.

Janice mentioned a story that she over heard one of the parents telling their child that tonight they need to set their "Easter bucket" out for the Easter Bunny to fill.  Today's children have fun types of Easter egg & candy holders from plush bunnies, super heros, plastic buckets, wagons and anything else under the sun. 

 The kids came dressed in their play clothes and parents in their shorts and khakis & golf shirts as casual attire.
The feel of this garden takes me back.  The home and garden was finished in 1932.  I thought of our grandmothers and how they would have so enjoyed this special place as the setting to bring their children in all their new adorable outfits.  While viewing Cheekwood's photos for yourself, see it as we saw it that day or for fun, travel back with me and see it as I imagined it.

Irving Berlin's Easter Parade

Audrey Hepburn

1950's Fashion.

Coco Chanel suits.

Fashions of the time.

Cheekwood art & gardens.

Swans and small ducks on the 3 tiered ponds could have been a given at that time.

Easter pastel explosions of festive color.

A great large scale train surrounding a  garden for the kids and folks to enjoy.

A great wisteria covered terrace with cement pool below.

Water pools, ponds and features.


Activities and booths set up for the kids on the lawn.

So sweet.  A gorgeous 87 degree afternoon.  A welcome change from the 54 degree cool & heavy rain we came from.  Here children & parents are adding colored tissue paper to a chicken wire shaped caterpiller.
Children were engaging in activities such as face painting, seed planting, a puppet show, sitting on a blanket with Dad, Mom & Gram'a & Gram'pa.

We enjoyed the flower displays & gardens while in the distance we could hear the children's laughter and screams with excitement when the director blew the whistle to mark the time when the kids could scamper off to hunt eggs.  It was so fun to be in the background overlooking all this but having the leisure areas to enjoy for ourselves.

A nice place to sit & listen to the water in the fountain.

Dogwood in bloom.

Simulated woodland shed.


Another unique dogwood.

Lenora and Janice with the map.

This garden incorporated Greek columns.

A beautiful place to come to.
After leaving this lovely setting the drive home was beautiful as well with distinctive classic homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars lining the lightly wooded road.  The dappled sun shone through beautifullly.

With so many ideas from the great gardens of the past we came home with the excitement of seeing our family and loved ones.
We're also ready to begin getting into some gardening projects of our own.
I hope you enjoyed  our travel destinations just as we did and I hope it inspired you to get out and see what's about in our beautiful America.
Wishing you Spring Blessings as Easter has just passed, enchanting thoughts of beauty just as we recently viewed the Royal Wedding of William and Kate and the promise of a better future by lessening that which is dispicable as announced in our news today.
Be careful, be aware and stay safe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheekwood looks beautiful Kris!

Thanks so much for coming by the Back Porch. I so enjoy your visits.

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