Readyville FCE Tours Opryland Hotel Gardens

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During the Readyville Family and Community Education Club tour of the Opryland Hotel Atrium and Gardens our group stopped by a waterfall in the Conservatory for a picture.  Front: Martha Claire Youree and Ann Johnson, Middle row: Geneva McKnight, Judy Hoover, Kay Currie, Penny Meyers, Gail Norton, Eloise Rains, and Lucille Graham; Back: Hollis Malone, Manager of Horticulture, and Carla Bush, UT Extension Cannon County FCS Agent.

The Readyville FCE Club took a guided tour of the Opryland Hotel & Convention Center gardens in Nashville April 17 as their regular monthly meeting.  There were twelve members and guests with our group, who learned about the work that goes into managing the atriums and gardens.

The tour was led by Hollis Malone, Manager of Horticulture and Pest Control for the resort since 1982.  Upon joining Gaylord Opryland, Malone designed the gardens in the nine-acre Garden Conservatory, Cascades and Delta atriums.  He has won awards for design and management from the Interior Plantscape Association and the Interior Landscape Industry. He also has been recognized for his achievement by the American Horticulture Society and Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Malone is responsible for managing the care and design of all the Gaylord Opryland gardens, as well as creating holiday displays that are world-renowned.

There are numerous palm trees in the gardens, but Malone stressed the importance of the coconut palm to our world.  Here in the United States we don’t rely on palm trees as much as other parts of the world, where it is used it not only for food but shelter using the leaves for roofs and other parts for making fishing nets, rope, firewood, thatching, poles, baskets, and more.  The Seminole tribes relied on the Palmetto palm and it is the state tree for both South Carolina and Florida.  

The Atriums & Gardens of Opryland encompass nine lush acres of indoor gardens separated into three areas known as the Cascades, the Delta and the Garden Conservatory. Each of the three atriums offer an incredible and unique experience, from the Cascades which hosts a 44-foot cascading waterfall to taking an indoor riverboat cruise in the Delta's own quarter mile river.  

All combined there are approximately 50,000 total plants, plenty of cascading waterways, thousands of tropical and fragrant plants, along wonderful walkways for an enjoyable afternoon of exploration and relaxation that our FCE Club enjoyed.  To see more pictures join our Cannon County FCE Club Group on facebook.

After the tour, the group enjoyed lunch at Sante Fe Cattle Co. on Music Valley Drive.

If you are interested in learning more or visiting an FCE Club contact UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Carla Bush at 615-563-2554,  The Family and Community Education Club does not exclude persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, religion or veteran status from its membership, participation or benefits.  The club is in compliance with the University of Tennessee Extension nondiscrimination policy.
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