Franklin in Bloom Festival

The third annual Franklin in Bloom was held last weekend in historic downtown Franklin. The family-oriented garden festival is one of Franklin’s newest festivals and is a celebration for family and friends with a focus on garden activities. The club created the event to bring an awareness to the colorful and beautiful gardens in the area and to bring people downtown to enjoy Main Street Franklin. This year’s festival focused on downtown Franklin’s three gardens — the Clock Tower, Rankin Square and Historical Society gardens.

The festival is held to show appreciation to the town for continuing to support the local garden club. With a focus on children, the festival had many garden activities for the children including making fairy gardens, sea terrariums, succulent gardens, face painting and making flower hats.

“With Franklin in Bloom, we hope to expose children to something different they can do,” said Maryellen Tully, member of the Franklin Garden Club and Master Gardeners Club. “It’s a cool thing to watch plants grow and change with the seasons. It’s a peaceful activity that introduces children to science especially observation and socialization.”

This year’s festival also held a new event a tea cup garden competition with Mary Ann Wilson winning 1st place for her creative tea cup creation. The festival also showcased several vendors with garden themed arts and crafts.

In addition to support from the Franklin Garden Club, this year’s Franklin in Bloom Festival was sponsored by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Development Commission, the Town of Franklin and Macon County as well as new sponsor Fox Mercantile.

Franklin in Bloom is one of two major events held by the Franklin Garden Club. The club also holds their annual fundraiser plant sale held in the Clock Tower garden every Mother’s Day weekend.

One of the goals of the club is to bring an awareness to the beautiful gardens located in the area some which many don’t realize exist. In addition to maintaining the downtown gardens, the local garden club teams up with the Master Gardeners Club to maintain three other gardens located in the area – the Macon County Master Gardeners at the Environmental Resource Center, Macon County Library Children’s Garden and Macon County Library Virginia Ramsey Brunner Memorial Garden.

“Gardens are an ever changing, evolving event,” said Tilley. “They are not stagnant; gardens are always changing and blooming. You can look at your garden and always see something blooming and it always makes you smile not matter what.”

The Franklin Garden Club welcomes new volunteers and invites those interested in joining the organization to attend their monthly meetings held the first and third Mondays of the month. On the first Monday of the month, the club meets at Fat Buddies for a program featuring guest speakers, talks, lectures or presentations on gardening. On the third Monday of the month, the club meets downtown to work in the Clock Tower and Rankin Square gardens weeding, raking, planting and watering to keep the gardens beautiful.

“We would like to have more volunteers come join the garden club and participate in Franklin in Bloom,” said Tilley. “We would like to see the festival grow, and we could always use extra hands.”