Discovering the Secret

Special week benefits local museum

By Becca George

Among many events to honor 30 years of discovery and imaginative play for children that will take place all year, Secret Garden Week is one of the most anticipated of all. It’s a week that opens the doors of local, personal gardens for a peek behind the walls.

Local events preceding National Garden Week include a Secret Garden Brunch on Thursday, June 1, The Secret Garden Party on Friday, June 2, and the Secret Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4. Both the Secret Garden Brunch and the Secret Garden Party will take place at the beautiful home of Ellen and Paul Willson at 1001 East Main Street.

The outdoor brunch will be a classic tea catered by Five Senses and will feature Emily Daniel George, a gardener and flower farmer local to Middle Tennessee. Emily, owner of a local flower farm in White’s Creek and floral design company, Basil and Bergamot, will be doing a demonstration on using local flowers as you arrange your garden.

George specializes in growing beautiful flowers without harsh chemicals and fertilizers and sells to flower retailers and wholesalers throughout Middle Tennessee.  This is the second year for the Secret Garden Brunch. It allows for a bit less formal gathering than the party the following day.

The committee, led by chairs Gina and Grant DeJean and Anne Elizabeth and Rich Rucker — as well as the Discovery Center staff — works hard to plan an engaging event that pairs with the mission of the Discovery Center; engaging curious minds to fuel the future.

The museum holds a special place for many in the community, including the committee, which is comprised ofStephanie Roach, Anna Stewart, Sara Beth Clark, Katie Lane, Marida Balch, Christa Brown, Katherine Layman, Kristin Salter, Leslie Kekelis, Kelly Barger, Jenny Grubb, Laurel Parkerson and Natalie Hillis.

“It is an honor to lead this 30th anniversary event as we raise funds for Discovery Center,” says Gina, “I was raised being a member of Discovery House and have seen it evolve in every way through the decades.”

The yearly anticipated Secret Garden Party will honor Billie and Joe Little, the original founders of the Children’s Discovery House, the predecessor for the Discovery Center. The party will take place on the gorgeous grounds of the Willson home on Main Street and the corner of Cherry Lane and will feature catering from Five Senses, beverages, and an extensive silent auction.

The party has a classy color palette of green and white with touches of gold that will give it a true garden party feel. Gina and Anne Elizabeth have a beautiful vision for the ambiance of the evening.

“It is a time for reflection at one of Murfreesboro’s most beautiful homes,” says Gina. “{We chose a} sophisticated color palette that enhances the Greek Revival stetting and the personalities of the homeowners.”

Committee members for Secret Garden Week, which benefits the Discovery Center.

Committee members for Secret Garden Week, which benefits the Discovery Center.

Each year the committee works hard to make this event stand out and to offer a fun event for our community while raising money to support the Discovery Center.

The auction chairs, Anna Stewart and Stephanie Roach, along with their committee, have worked hard to secure some exciting auction items such as a signed Gibson Les Paul guitar, a custom grill table donated from Parkerson Santel complete with a Big Green Egg and a YETI cooler, a fish fry with food by Five Senses and styling by Daffodilly Design, and Kendra Scott jewelry selections from Penny’s Closet.

In addition to these, the auction will feature more than 100 items including trips, goods and services and vouchers for local businesses.

The Secret Garden Tour offers an opportunity at a peek inside some of the most beautiful gardens tucked away in local Murfreesboro homes. The tour will take place Saturday and Sunday and will feature multiple gardens throughout Murfreesboro. Copies of the tour map will be available at the Discovery Center front desk.

The Secret Garden Tour offers an opportunity at a peek inside some of the most beautiful gardens tucked away in local Murfreesboro homes.

All proceeds from Secret Garden Week benefit the Discovery Center, an educational staple in Rutherford County and surrounding communities for every parent and child who desire hands-on education.

The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a museum that offers an environmental, cultural and educational experience for its visitors. It is visited by more than 120,000 families annually and offers programs that promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education.

The center also has a protected wetlands which is a natural habitat for a variety of fish, amphibians and birds. The Discovery center offers weekly events such as Animal Antics, Creation Station Art Actives, Nature Nuts, Snack Attack, SPARK and Science a la Carte and monthly Wetland Walks. There are many camps with educations and fun components for the summer as well as school breaks such as fall and spring break.

Welcoming to all types of guests, the museum staff strives to be inclusive of the entire community. They have a Special Needs Council that works to create all access events for families with special needs as well as implementing weighted vests, noise-reducing headphones, transition timers and art supplies that help alleviate sensory challenges with free access to guests who need them.

Secret Garden Week will include an array of special activities, ranging from garden tours to a special brunch.

Secret Garden Week will include an array of special activities, ranging from garden tours to a special brunch.

For more information on Secret Garden Week’s events and how to purchase tickets, visit www.explorethedc.org/sgp or visit in person at 502 S.E. Broad Street.