1 folder+ 36 digital images; 12 photographic prints
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Tennessee, Knox, Knoxville
Hillspoint (Knoxville, Tennessee)
ca 2011, 2013
When Hillspoint was acquired in the late 1920s it was a thirty-acre tract on a ridge overlooking the Tennessee and Little Rivers and the Cumberland Mountains. An informal cottage-style house with cedar shakes siding and stone chimneys was designed by BarberMcMurray architects and five acres of gardens were designed by family member Bonarges M. Dean. The spectacular natural setting was enhanced by garden rooms that were recessed and set away from the house so as not to obstruct the views. Native stone including marble and millstones from local industries were used to build walls along the roads, to outline garden rooms, for curving paths that connected cultivated to wild gardens, and to enclose two ponds. There were kitchen, rose, wild, herb and secret garden rooms that featured indigenous flowers and trees within the five acres, and 25 acres of woodlands. The original house burned down in 1967 and was nearly replicated by a house built in 1980, and the current owners care for a three-acre garden with the same hardscaping and natural style as the original.
Some changes over time include natural arbors formed by 50-year-old unclipped boxwood that arch over the side paths that lead from the secret garden. Metal arbors and trellises installed in the 1950s replaced the original cedar posts. The original rose and cutting garden now is a formal rose garden with beds edged in brick. Vinca and English ivy planted as ground covers in the 1950s is being removed and replaced with indigenous wild flowers that grow as an understory in the woodlands and among the native rocks sited in the 1930s. The original recessed secret garden had white lattices in flower beds; now it is a green and white garden with flowering trees and shrubs with an understory of groundcovers. Elsewhere native trees have matured and specimen trees have been added alongside the reflecting pool. A fernery has been planted under the trees in the woodlands. An alpine meadow with eight varieties of dwarf to midsize conifers, groupings of native shrubs, bulbs and wildflowers has been installed downhill from the house and is cut back each spring to preserve the view.
Persons associated with the garden include James W. and Minniebel S. Dean, James W. and Katie D. Dean (former owners, 1927 until circa 1979); Charles H. and Lottie L. Dean (former owners, beginning in 1979); James M. and Laurel M. Dean (former owners, 1999-2007); Bonarges M. Dean (garden designer, 1929); Barber McMurry (architects, 1929); Grieve Associates Architects (architects, 1979).
The folder includes worksheets, historical information, family histories, additional photographs and photocopies of articles.
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org