Nestled just behind the train tracks on Poplar Pike in Germantown, TN lies a local treasure that has become a favorite of photographers and lovers alike: Oaklawn Garden. Part museum and part botanical garden, Oaklawn is home to a beautiful field of azaleas, over 300 varieties of daffodils, a 1944 Norfolk & Western train caboose, a collection of historic artifacts relevant to the history of Germantown, TN, a small indoor exhibit, and even the city’s first jail cell!
The setting is breathtaking in the spring when the azaleas are in full bloom. The garden has ample seating to enjoy the sights and scents of the many flora decorating the 20 acre property. And don’t forget to check your seat – the bench you’re sitting on may well be a historical artifact itself!
Char and I spent a recent afternoon this Spring touring the grounds, taking photos, playing in the fields, and taking the time – literally – to smell the flowers. It’s a fantastic place to sit down with a book, to read poetry to your spouse, and to have an olive and cheese picnic.
If you speak with the owner of the property, you’ll hear how he doesn’t believe anything should be thrown away, but rather preserved. The garden is filled with old garden tools and antiques – objects that would look like trash if thrown by a dumpster but are truly museum pieces in this setting. The garden also includes old town signs, street lamps, etc. – even a Germantown fire truck from 1942. And just beside the indoor exhibit you’ll also find the city’s first jail, a double bunk cage open for your perusal.
As you stroll through the grounds, you’ll notice that many of the trees are identified with markers representing the species. Various native birds and small wildlife roam the grounds as you walk, making the experience all the more enjoyable. And don’t be surprised if you see (in season) swarms of dragonflies in the meadow!
Admission to the garden and the indoor exhibit is free but donations are kindly accepted.
We recorded a video of our stroll through Oaklawn Garden and also included a fun little sub-video as well. Go ahead and watch our movie from Oaklawn Garden – then plan a date with your spouse or significant other to take your own tour. It’s one of Germantown’s most romantic destinations.