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History of the McCoy Gardens

Ornamental gardens have always been a part of McCoy Martha McCoy maintained several gardens and the current gardens are built upon her gardens. Our goal is to continue to grow these gardens to provide both beauty and enhance wildlife. The gardens contain primarily plants native to the Southeastern United States. However, we do include non-invasive ornamentals from around the world. 

Gardens Map
pollinator garden

Pollinator Garden

The Pollinator Garden also sometimes called the “Horseshoe Garden”, sits between the House and the Pavilion. It’s made up of 3 different beds that contain over 100 primarily native perennial shrubs and plants.   There’s a beautiful rhododendron, giant cone flower, cut leaf coneflower, Tiarella cordifolia, celadine poppy, woodland phlox, hydrangeas to name a few.  

The Garden was awarded the 2020 Search for Excellence award by the Tennessee Extension Master Gardeners. At least 15 Hamilton County Master Gardeners (HCMG) participated in the winning project.   

Serpentine Garden

The Serpentine Garden is located along the stacked stone wall that winds from the east side of the house to the trail. It’s planted with a mix of traditional garden perennials and annuals that are attractive to both people and wildlife. 

serpentine garden

Children's Garden

The Children’s Garden is located on the west side of the House next to the Barn. This was the original location of Martha McCoy’s Cutting Garden.   

This garden was conceived in 2020 and built in 2021 during COVID. It has several feature areas including a fairy garden, herb spiral, barnyard plant garden, native flower corner, cutting flowers, rock pit, and a willow dome. We invite the children to touch and smell all of the plants in the garden!


Boxwood Garden

The boxwood “maze” is a favorite with both brides and children. Located near the Children’s Garden on the northwest corner of the house, it’s the perfect place to play hideandgoseek or provide a beautiful entrance aisle for a wedding.  

boxwood garden
group holding shovels

Native Plant Nursery

A propagation bed for wildflowers is located in the dappled shade near the root cellar in the barnyard. The specimens grown will one day be transplanted along the Trail or to other areas where they can thrive and be appreciated.  The project was conceived by a high school student and completed with help from volunteers.  

Garden Maintenance

All of the gardens are maintained by our wonderful volunteers.  We would love for you to join us! Our standing workdays are the 1st Friday and 3rd Saturday of every month The time of day varies by season, but we usually begin at 9:30am in summer and 1pm in winter and work for 2-3 hours. Join our volunteer mailing list below to learn about upcoming workdays   

Volunteers working

General Information

Hours: Dawn to Dusk  – 7 Days/Week

Visitor Entrance: 1604 Taft Highway, Signal Mountain, TN 37377 

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