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Installed in 1972, this space is reminiscent of a garden in Padua, Italy that is considered to be the oldest surviving botanical garden in the world. The Burr Garden is an enclosed cottage garden on three levels with pastel colored perennials, an armillary bed, and a fountain. The flowering season begins in early spring with blooming perennials and contrasting violas. Summer presents a sea of color with summer phlox, blue star, columbine and purple cone flower. In the fall, asters, dahlias, and anemones are evident. Near the circular fountain there is an arbor with the elegant rose ‘New Dawn’.

Below the formal gardens of the mansion is the Wills Perennial Garden. It is dedicated to both new and traditional perennials and many bearded irises. A steep limestone wall provides both habitat and background for this colorful, full-sun garden. The Wills garden reaches its peak in the summer when the succession of color culminates with asters, salvias, sunflowers, rudbeckias and ornamental grasses.

The lantern at the gate is a symbol of enlightenment, and is always open as a sign of welcome. Shomu-en, the pine-mist garden, is in four parts. The roji, or crooked path, slows your progress and invites observation. Another gate is passed through into the dark bamboo forest, intended to turn the mind inward. A third gate takes you into a grassy courtyard with gingkos, maples and a carved basin where water falls from a bamboo pipe into a rock basin. Ascending the wide steps and entering the pavilion, a great body of water, symbolized by raked gravel, comes into view. It contains granite islands and is surrounded by stunted pines seen on a distant shore. A stream comes down the mountainside and graceful maples complete the peaceful scene.

This garden, installed in 1983, displays herbal plants that can be grown in Middle Tennessee.  The Herb Garden features two connecting spaces with lovely flagstone flooring and historical column artifacts from the First Tennessee Statehouse.

The Reflecting Pool is a hidden expanse of the Boxwood Gardens, and is located on the western slope of the Museum overlooking nearby hills. Guests find themselves transported to another time and place within a garden accented with water features, stonework and a breathtaking view of the museum and surrounding grounds.

One of the centerpieces of the institution’s botanical gardens and a beloved fixture in Nashville’s horticultural community, underwent a near-$1 million renovation in 2012. The Howe Garden has garnered national renowned for its horticulture, design and environmental impact. Originally the Wildings Garden, a mid-20th century private garden at the East Nashville home of self-trained horticulturalist Mrs. Harry A. (Cora) Howe—was moved to Cheekwood in 1969. This space includes a water feature, thatched cottage, extensive stone work, and the original iron gates from the Wildings Garden.

The Learning Center has a warm, rustic yet elegant appeal, combining the original stables and carriage house of the Cheek estate with a two-story, glass building opening onto a lovely brick courtyard. The former stables have been transformed into Cheekwood’s Contemporary Art Galleries, with a terrace overlooking downtown Nashville. In addition, this space offers four rooms to accommodate board meetings to seminars. The Frist Lawn is adjacent to the Frist Learning Center and has a view of the eastern slope of the museum grounds with a stone wall and lush trees.
Capacity – 250 ceremony500 reception250 dinner

With floor to ceiling picture windows, The Pineapple Room overlooks the greenery of Cheekwood’s west lawn. Chavari chairs add an elegant touch to the natural charm of the room and the wrought iron seating on the deck expands the space for larger events.
Capacity – 125 reception - 100 dinner

The Museum of Art is ideal for both elegant receptions and small, seated dinners. The Museum is a 1920’s Georgian-style mansion, the former home of Leslie and Mabel Cheek. The collections include 19th and 20th century American paintings and decorative arts, as well as outstanding traveling exhibitions. Rental of the Museum includes use of the Swan Lawn
Capacity – 100 ceremony500 reception350 dinner

The most versatile of Cheekwood’s event sites, Massey Hall is ideal for meetings, luncheons, receptions, or seated dinners. Massey Display Hall and its adjoining terraces provide a changing backdrop of art exhibits and greenery.
Capacity – 350 reception300 dinner

For additional information and to schedule a site visit, please contact the Special Events Office at 615.354.6377 or

Click here to visit our Special Events & Weddings Facebook page for photos and event information. 

1200 Forrest Park Drive Nashville Tennessee 37205 615.356.8000 | | Site Design: Delevante | Site Build: Atiba | © 2006 All Rights Reserved