Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere



The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is a wild adventure for the whole family. Located less than 10 miles south of downtown Nashville, lies an exotic wildlife sanctuary that will make you think you were anywhere but Tennessee. With over 350 animal species, there is so much to discover! The zoo is organized into three sections: The Savannah Loop, The Jungle Loop and Zoo Central.


Zoo Central is the first place you will experience once you enter the zoo. It is home to the lavish 66,000 square foot Jungle Gym that your little ones will want to swing and climb on, as well as the gift shop, café and Unseen New World exhibit. The Unseen New World exhibit is the zoo’s indoor section that showcases reptiles, an aquarium and aviary. You will not want to miss the alligator snapping turtles, red-bellied piranhas and Gila monsters.


The Jungle Loop hosts the Flamingo Lagoon, Alligator Cove and the Critter Encounters Petting Zoo. The highlight of the Jungle Loop is down the bamboo trail where you will find the zoo’s famous clouded leopards and red pandas. The Kangaroo Kickabout is one of the most exciting interactive experiences where guests can walk through a winding path in a naturalistic Australian landscape where 18 red kangaroos freely wander around you.


If you are looking for larger animals like elephants and giraffes, then the Savannah Loop is the place to go. Your kids will enjoy picking out their own animal to ride on the carousel located here. You can now see the zoo like never before! Just opened, the Soaring Eagle, is the all new zip line experience that takes you 110 ft. in the air to overlook all the zoo has to offer. The centerpiece of the zoo is located in the Savanna Loop and it is the nationally registered Grassmere Historic Farm and Home that you can tour.


The Grassmere Historic Farm and Home was completed in 1810, making it the second oldest home in Davidson County that is open to the public. The home and farm (Grassmere) was inhabited by the last two surviving daughters of the owners until 1985. Before the sister’s death’s, they entered in an agreement with the Adventure Science Center that once they passed that the science center would pay property taxes and assist with the upkeep until they died and after that, the center would become the owners. The one stipulation the sisters had was that the property be maintained as a nature study center to educate locals about animals and the environment. This lead to the creation of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.


The zoo is open everyday except for Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Adults are $16, Seniors are $14, children under 12 are $11, children under 2 are free and parking is $5 per vehicle.

Over the Decades: Decor Trends

Over the Decades: Decor Trends


Home décor trends have definitely made some interesting changes over the past half-century. Interestingly, many of the style trends seen in homes in the 1950s made a reappearance in the early 2000s. The home design style commonly referred to as ‘mid-century modern,’ actually started in the late 1940s and flourished in the 1950s in homes across America.


1950s Style

Centered primarily around ranch houses, the mid-century home décor style includes open floor-plans, room divider screens and plenty of glass doors to let in ample natural lighting. The colors most often used in the 1950s were bright. Oftentimes, walls were more neutral, while décor pieces or furniture offered pops of color. Carpeting and concrete flooring could be found throughout many homes, with kitchens and bathrooms typically floored with vinyl. 1950s home décor was overall quite minimalist, with clean lines and geometric shapes everywhere.


1960s – 1970s Style

When we talk about ‘retro’ design, we’re usually referring to the 60s and 70s. Many Americans were rebelling against older traditions, and this mentality brought with it a dynamic style, both in attire and home décor. The Beatles brought about a surge of discotheques, or nightclubs. Younger Americans brought styles from the nightclubs into their homes, utilizing mirrors and a lot of metallic surfaces. The colors found in houses were bright and often contrasting. Ethnic prints were quite popular, as was “flower power” and abstract designs.


1980s Style

In hindsight, many people now refer to the 80s as the ugliest design period in recent history. Home décor elements included: chintz, pastel colors, overstuffed furniture, floral pattern overload, track lighting, and busy wallpaper in every room. However, for some who grew up in the 1980s, these style elements bring back a warm feeling of nostalgia.


1990s Style

The early 90s saw the bright colors of the hippy era and the pastels of the 80s fade away as a more neutral palette was favored. Beige was a popular design color, as was white and brown. However, as the decade slid closer to the new millennium, everyone seemed to tire of the minimalist color schemes. Flower patterns were back in a big way in the late 90s. Textured painting became popular, along with carpet in bathrooms!


The 2000s – Present Day Style

The new millennium brought with it a much more relaxed approach to home décor and style. Homes everywhere became less formal as more and more people began to spend more time at home. Many people also started working from home, leading to the concept of the home office. Formal living rooms have gone out of style and haven’t made a comeback in middle-class America. As the technology age continues to influence our lives, it also has brought computerized elements into virtually every room of the home.


Comfort remains a key element in today’s overall home design. Luxurious bathrooms and kitchens with all of the bells and whistles are increasingly popular, as is a high tech outdoor living space. As Americans continue to do most of their entertaining at home, home design has become more about comfort and convenience rather than a specific look.

Best Hiking Trails in Nashville

Best Hiking Trails in Nashville


Middle Tennessee has an abundance of outdoor activities that many people do not even know exist that are no more than 30 minutes outside city limits. The key is knowing where these hidden gems are located.


Most of these trails have natural lakes, rivers and hills that make you forget that you are so close to a city when you are in them. There is a little something for everyone, whether it is a paved walking trail or rugged, thick woods with rocky inclines, Middle Tennessee has so much to offer for the adventurous spirit.

Radnor Lake State Park

Located at 1160 Otter Creek Rd, Nashville, TN 37220 just 10 minutes South of Nashville in Brentwood, TN., Radnor Lake State Park offers 6 hiking trails that showcase the beautiful surrounding nature. The South Cove trail, which is 1.2 miles, or Garner Ridge trail, which is 1.5 miles, are two trails that are rugged and strenuous for the adventure seekers. For the people who want to take it easy can take the beginners trail that goes around Radnor Lake that is a 1.4 mile hike. This park takes you to a calm and serene state of mind by being surrounded by all of the natural beauty Tennessee has to offer.


Volunteer Trail

Located at Granny Wright Ln, Hermitage, TN 37076, in Long Hunter State Park in Hermitage just around 30 miles outside of Nashville. This trail is along the Percy Priest Lake shoreline and is a 5.6 mile long trail. Although long, the trail has wooden benches that you can take advantage of. The trail is moderately easy regardless of the length but is worth it for the marvelous lakeside views.


Warner Parks Hiking Trails

Located at 7311 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221 just 15 minutes outside of Nashville. The Edwin and Percy Warner Park has 10 different trails! Ranging from trails 150 yards to 4.5 miles, there truly is something for everyone. In Percy Warner Parks, the Mossy Ridge Trail, otherwise known as the Red Trail to locals, happens to be the longest and busiest trails. At 4.4 miles long, there is plenty of sights to keep you occupied such as a chimney, a water feature, hills and several road and bridle path crossings.

Create an Outdoor Oasis in Your Backyard this Spring

Create an Outdoor Oasis in Your Backyard this Spring



Spring has definitely sprung, and what better time than now to take action on transforming your backyard into your own personal oasis? If you have recently purchased a new home, you may be working with a blank slate that is ready for your unique style stamp. If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you may be ready to make some real changes to your outdoor space.
When you imagine your dream outdoor getaway, what comes to mind? Naturally, the heat of intense Texas summers dictates that you have some form of refuge from the sun. Do you like to entertain? If so, remodel your outdoor space into a luxurious extension of your indoor space, giving you room for bigger and better parties.
Some possible features that will undoubtedly inject a breath of fresh air into your backyard include:
    • Custom built swimming pool – If you’re shooting for the stars (and your budget can handle it), a custom-built free-form backyard pool is without a doubt a showstopper that will be a hit with guests of all ages.


  • Gourmet kitchen –  Every pool party needs scrumptious snacks to accompany it, but the host always ends up missing out due to running inside to the kitchen and back again. You can go for a full kitchen complete with granite counters, full size appliances, a refrigerator, dishwasher and pizza oven. Even a partial kitchen with a cooktop stove, mini-fridge and sink can significantly spice up get-togethers without tiring out the host.


    • Lush landscaping  – Turn your outdoor space from a yard into an extension of nature itself. Plant layers of plant life from ground cover to shrubs, bushes, flowers and different-sized trees. By going for a layered feel, you’ll best recreate how plants grow in the wild, bringing a private sanctuary type feeling to your property.


  • Water features – With or without a swimming pool, features with running water have been shown by studies to produce a sense of clarity and serenity. Most Americans vacation near bodies of water; why not bring your ‘vacation’ home with you and enjoy it daily? Being near the sight and sound of running water can improve your level of creativity and can even heal what ails you! Ponds, water walls, waterfalls, hot tubs, wishing wells, small man-made creeks, birdbaths, hanging fountains, and reflecting pools will all add the tranquil ambience you’re looking for.


    • Stone pathway – To add to the sanctuary feeling of your backyard retreat, create a natural, winding pathway made from local Texas stone. As you stroll down the path through the colorful blooms while listening to the gentle rippling of your water feature, take a deep breath and you’ll instantly unwind from even the toughest day.


  • Arbor/Pergola – By including a pergola into your backyard design, you’ll have a nice spot to sit amidst your landscaping that is protected from the sun. Alternatively, encouraging some climbing vine plants to grow over top of an arbor that sits above your natural stone walkway will add to the hideaway feeling of your new backyard oasis.

Listing of the Week

Listing of the Week



Our Listing of the Week comes from the Governors Club! It is located at 27 Tradition Ln Brentwood, TN 37027, listed for $2,099,500. This 8,737 square foot 5BR/6.5BA home features an open floor plan, soaring ceilings, gourmet kitchen, fully finished walk-out basement, resort style pool and grill master kitchen, and

gym. No expense has been spared in this custom built home. This home is listed by Heather Gipson from Parks in Brentwood and you can view this listing here.

Cheekwood In Bloom

Cheekwood In Bloom



You do not want to miss out on one of the most beautiful places to visit in spring in Nashville. Cheekwood in Bloom takes place every spring from March 19th-April 24th. With 100,000 of colorful tulips covering the majestic grounds of Cheekwood, there is no better way to celebrate the change of the season.


The eruption of color combined with the magical landscape of Cheekwood is something that someone of any age can appreciate. New this year, Cheekwood will have special themed weekends as well as continue to have family activities, entertainment and plenty of options to enjoy nature. Here are some events coming up:


Saturday April 16th

East Side Storytellin’

At 11am and 1pm join Nashville’s local bookstore, East Side Story, for a show that combines music and books to tell a story.

Plant A Story Demonstration
From 10am-2pm write your own story on wildflower seed paper then learn how to plant your story at home and watch it grow!

Saturday April 23rd

Canopy Climb

From 10am-2pm learn how to climb Cheekwood’s trees from a tree-climbing specialist. It will be first-come first-serve and is open to anyone over 8 years old.


Take Home Tree Seedlings and Planting Demonstration

From 10am-2pm learns how to plant your own trees and even take home your own tree seedling.

Every Saturday & Sunday

Featured Garden Tours: 11:30am
House & History Tour: 12:30pm
Collection & Exhibition Tour: 1:30pm

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Cheekwood is open from 9am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, $12 for college students, $9 for youth (3-7), and free for children 2 and under. Parking is $5 per car. Stop by and experience what everyone is talking about and to really appreciate all that spring has to offer.

DIY: Floral Arrangements for Your Home

DIY: Floral Arrangements for Your Home


Whether you’ve just moved house or simply want to add some flair to your current home, floral arrangements are a visually interesting way to add color to almost any room.


Purchasing pre-designed arrangements will cost you a pretty penny. A great way to save money while still enjoying the beauty of flowers is to create your own floral arrangements!


Working with fresh cut flowers versus faux (silk) flowers

There are some differences to be aware of when deciding whether to create your floral arrangements with fresh flowers and plants or the artificial variety:
  • Artificial flowers will last virtually forever.
  • Fresh flowers have a pleasant aroma.
  • Silk or faux arrangements don’t require watering or care.Real flower arrangements can be created in a pot with soil, bringing new blooms each year.
  • Artificial flowers will not irritate anyone’s allergies.
  • Fresh flower arrangements (if cut) will wilt rather quickly.
  • Since faux flowers don’t have a shelf-life, you can create your arrangements at your leisure.


In recent years, the quality and variety of faux silk flowers and plants has improved significantly. Should you choose to create your floral arrangements with artificial flowers, you will find that it is nearly impossible to tell them apart from fresh flowers – even at close range.


DIY floral arrangement essentials

After you’ve decided on real or artificial flowers, choose a color palette for your floral arrangement based on the room it will occupy. Select several larger floral pieces as the focal point of your arrangement in the main color in your palette.


Next, choose several smaller flower varieties in different textures and coordinating colors from the focal point pieces. Adding contrasting colors makes a striking visual impact. Another option that produces surprisingly dramatic results is to use a number of different floral varieties in the same color or color family. Add some greenery around the edges of your arrangement if that appeals to you. Fronds, ferns and hosta leaves are all good options to fill in any gaps in your design.


Once you’ve selected all of your floral elements you’ll need to start putting your arrangement together. The basic steps include:


  • Create a base. Some DIY base ideas: a vase, planter box or flower pot. Inside the base you’ll need to use something solid like floral design foam (if using artificial flowers) or soil (if using real flowers).

  • Prepare your pieces for the base. Silk flowers will need to be trimmed so that they are all at the perfect length. Remember that they won’t all be the exact same length, as some will need to stand higher than others in order to become focal pieces.

  • Build your arrangement.  By adding your greenery first, your arrangement will look more life-like. Once the ferns, fronds or branches are inserted, arrange your focal flowers next because they are the most important element. Remember that your arrangement doesn’t have to be perfect; in fact, asymmetrical floral designs are more visually appealing than those that are exactly symmetrical. Add your contrasting flowers and plants around your focal flowers, rearranging and trimming stems as necessary. Be sure to take a look at your creation from all sides to ensure that it looks great from every angle.

Listing of the Week

Listing of the Week



This week’s listing of the week is located at 1200 Talon Way Franklin, TN 37069 in Williamson County and is listed for $2,200,000. This elegant 5BR/6.5BA 9,000 square foot luxury residence sits in the premier gated community of Laurelbrooke and has a dramatic open design and first-class amenities throughout. The amenities include a library, office, home theatre, game room, exercise room, home wine cellar, screened-in porch with fireplace, elevator, 5-car garage, and outdoor kitchen. This home is beautifully decorated and detailed from top to bottom. The kitchen includes a breakfast bar, butlers pantry, custom cabinets and countertops as well as a wine refrigerator. You cannot have a more perfect home for entertaining groups small or large. This home is listed by Christie Mullins with the Parks on Main office and you can visit her website here.

Nashville Fashion Week

Nashville Fashion Week



This week has kicked off the 6th Annual Nashville Fashion Week. This 5 day, one-of-a-kind unique event showcases Nashville’s thriving fashion and design community. With local designers as well as regional and national designers, they all come together to host a week filled with creativity and talent.
On Tuesday, NFW held the ‘East Meets West: Designer Runway Show’ at Studio 615 featuring regional and international designers; Francesca Marotta, Brooke Atwood, Michael Drummond and Kallmeyer New York.
The Nashville Designer Runway Showcase was held on Wednesday night at Track One featuring local designers; Roxenstone, Sisters of Nature, Any Old Iron, Truly Alvarenga, Ona Rex and Amanda Valentine. Showcasing ready-to-wear collections, musician inspired collections, and adventurous and free collections that appeal to all.
Thursday night was the Accessory Installation Gallery hosted at WELD Nashville. This event featured local accessory artists Mary Mooney, Debe Dohrer and Emil Erwin.

Tonight will be the ‘City Lights: Ready-to-Wear Runway Show’ at the Legislative Plaza from 6:30-10:30pm. Tickets will be $75 and there will be light bites at the Davis City Center provided by Chauhan Ale & Masala House from 6:30-7:30pm before the show starts at 8pm.
All week during the day, all of these artists have been holding trunk shows, special events and deals at local boutiques and shops around Nashville. Today there will be trunk shows and deals at Stacey Rhodes Boutique, SOCA, Margaret Ellis Jewelry and Two Old Hippies all from 10am to 6pm.
Saturday will be the Educational Panels at City Winery from 10am-2:45pm and for $25 you can ask the designers questions and hear their stories and inspirations. (add more later). And from 10am-6pm will be the final day for trunk shows and deals at Levy’s, Stacey Rhodes Boutique, and Two Old Hippies.
Ticket proceeds will be benefiting the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund gives an annual award to advance the career of select local talent with demonstrated experience in a fashion-related field. The Nashville Fashion Forward Fund ensures that Nashville Fashion Week will impact the Nashville fashion community for many years to come,” stated
Check out what Nashville Fashion week has to offer and find out more about the local designer’s here.

What to Plant in Your Yard for Curb Appeal this Spring

What to Plant in Your Yard for Curb Appeal this Spring

One of your first chances to impress potential buyers is when they first pull up to the exterior of your property. Typically, buyers are brought in through the front of the home, which gives them a chance to have a brief look around the front yard (if applicable), as they make their way to the front door. This period of time, although brief, is extremely important. Your home is making its first impression. Everyone knows you never have a second chance to make a good first impression!
With that being said, wowing your potential home buyers with attractive curb appeal really doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Make sure your front lawn is manicured and that there is fresh mulch in all plant beds. If you have any bushes or shrub-like perennials, trim them back so that all walkways are accessible. Get rid of any weeds in all flower beds, and consider some of the following colorful design techniques:

    • Create a visually appealing rear border in flower beds. Tall border plants are usually placed in the back of a flower bed to give a sense of the bed’s boundaries. Tall border plants include: tulips, lilies (oriental lilies, giant lilies and day lilies), delphinium, black eyes Susan, Hollyhock, tall phlox, sage, and switchgrass.


    • Plant bright and affordable annuals front and center where they’ll be seen. Even if you don’t have the time (and/or money) to invest in adding numerous layers to your flower beds, swing by your local garden center and pick up an assortment of brilliantly colored annuals. The type of annuals you plant should depend on how much sunlight your flower beds get. Some colorful full sun annuals include impatiens, begonias, pansies, morning glories, petunias, marigolds, geraniums and zinnias. Ideas for partial sun annuals include geraniums, salvia, coleus, African violets, wax begonias, violas, African daisies and flowering kale plants. Full shade annuals are less common, but they do exist! Try Swedish ivy, wishbone flowers, baby blue eyes, calendula, alyssum, lobelia and snapdragons.


    • Mix and match colors and textures. Whether you’re working with flower beds or floral walkway borders, plant annuals in a variety of sizes, colors, textures and shapes. This will create visual interest for everyone who tours your home.


    • Mix and match blooming schedules. Do a little research into the blooming schedule(s) and length of blooms before planting anything. Since your house may be on the market throughout the spring and into the summer, you’ll want to plant flowers that bloom at different parts of the growing season. This will mean that there will always be some flowers in bloom during the warm months that your home is on the market.


If you have some outdoor plants in pots, be sure to give the containers a good cleaning. Consider replacing pots that have become damaged and/or are no longer attractive. Another fun way to bring interest to all of your outdoor plants is to make decorative labels for each type of flower/plant/bush. Stake the labels into the plant’s pot or in the ground beside each plant so potential buyers know what they’re looking at. Without realizing it, they may start picturing themselves working in their brand new garden that has been so lovingly started for them.