It’s a spring like no other here in Knoxville: people are staying inside, dedicated caregivers and medical professionals are working harder than ever, and most of us barely realize it’s the prettiest time of the year in our fair city. But one thing COVID-19 hasn’t stopped is the blooming of trees and flowers everywhere, Knoxville included.
In fact, spring is happening, with color and confidence.
The first shows in Knoxville are the tender greens — sprouts emerging from the ground, poking up to see what’s going on in this world of ours.
But pink quickly takes on a life of its own. Redbuds (maybe they should be called purple buds or pink buds) line the I-40 interstate and push out their color as if to say, “Look at me first.” But we can’t stop staring at them wherever we find them.
Pink cherry trees also bloom early, almost bending with the weight of what looks to be tissue-thin flowers clustered along meandering branches.
But the heart of springtime in Knoxville is the dogwood. Celebrated for 65 years now by the Dogwood Arts Festival, dogwoods even have their own trails. And a drive along any one of them is a spring awakening for residents and visitors alike.
We checked to see if trails and open gardens would be available for touring this year, and, best we can tell, some are. This cautionary statement appears on the website: Due to the spread of COVID-19, some of the Open Gardens listed below may choose to close. Please only enter gardens that have an “OPEN GARDEN” sign in the yard.
One garden we’ve previously shared, the estate of Dr. Alan Solomon, will not be on tour this year, but we remember fondly the elegance of the forested acres and statuary that make it a showplace like no other in town.
If you want a springtime lift, a drive along one of the trails may be your best bet. Check the Dogwood Arts website for a map showing the location of this year’s trails, and then drive along for a color treat. We took the Westmoreland Trail this week, and, as you can see, there’s much to celebrate.
It’s good to know that even when most things we value are shut down across America, Mother Nature still shows her colors majestically. It’s time to celebrate spring — whether in Knoxville or your own hometown — and be thankful for growth, renewal, and color in these tough times.
Stay safe out there.
Rusha and Bert