Garden name: Nashville City Cemetery

Location: 1001 4th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203

What grows here: Since 1998, Master Gardeners of Davidson County have collaborated with the Nashville City Cemetery Association in a program of historical planting to aid conservation of this important historical Nashville landmark. Planting Vinca minor, otherwise known as periwinkle or graveyard vine, between the old and closely set markers and tombs will eventually displace grass and weeds reducing damage to the soft limestone monuments by weed eaters and lawnmowers.

Four flower gardens at the Keeble building are also maintained as are 17 unique graves designed for planted flowers, known as “bed graves” that feature both head and foot boards. Restoration planting of trees in accordance with the original cemetery plan is ongoing.

What’s special about this place: Opened in 1822, Nashville City Cemetery is the oldest continuously operated public cemetery in Nashville and final resting place of city founders James and Charlotte Robertson. 

Master Gardeners conduct boxwood trimming demonstrations each February and also serve as guides during the annual interpretive history tour organized by the Nashville City Cemetery Association and the Metropolitan Historical Commission held every October. The boxwood event was not held in 2021.

What you need to know about volunteering here: Scheduled workdays are:

    • Last Wednesday of the month - beginning March 31 through October
    • Second Saturday of the month - beginning April 10 through October

Please bring a mask for working at the Cemetery. Plan to wear it when you can't be socially distanced.

Parking spaces are limited on-site. 

Contact: Catherine Atwell, Garden Lead, 615-456-6833 (please call; don't text).

What else should you see when you are here: City Cemetery is near historic Fort Negley. In fact, if you walk Fort Negley’s wildflower-lined trails you can see the cemetery below. Don’t forget to take in the views of the city skyline and check out the interpretive center while you are there.

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