365 Things to Do in Memphis #128: Visit Germantown’s Secret Garden
Grab your camera and go exploring at Oaklawn Gardens, Germantown's secret garden / history museum / most impressive front yard.
Oaklawn Garden walks a strange line between history museum, public park and front yard. The garden sits on property that’s been owned by the Cloyes family since 1854. Currently, the garden is maintained by 83 year-old Harry Cloyes and his wife Becky. He was born in the house that sits on the property and has spent his life gardening and collecting and preserving historical artifacts.
Over the years, Mr. Cloyes has amassed an impressive collection of local artifacts – a train caboose, farming implements, birdbaths, lawn ornaments, signage, street lights and a sad little metal shack that was the first Germantown jail. All of the artifacts live outside in a lush garden of azaleas and irises and honeysuckle.
Oaklawn Garden is free and open to the public every day from dawn until dusk. Donations are appreciated, but not required. Be sure to say hi to Mr. and Mrs. Cloyes if they're outside – they're very nice and can give you tons of local history.
7831 Old Poplar Pike
Germantown, TN 38138