PHOTO: Macey McCullough gazes at a peony bloom during a tour of Iris City Gardens on Thursday, May 10, 2018 / Brooke Wanser


Approximately 20 miles from downtown Franklin lies your best bet at pleasing mom this Mother’s Day.

Hundreds of flowers are currently in bloom at Iris City Gardens, located in Primm Springs.

Macey McCullough and her husband, Greg, bought the nearly 200-acre parcel of land in an unincorporated area of west Williamson County in 1993.

The Red Charm peony bloom is a bestseller at Iris City Gardens / Brooke Wanser.

Though both McCulloughs are certified public accountants by trade, Macey’s grandfather, Thomas A. Williams, was among a group of men who cultivated Nashville’s reputation as the “Iris City” by creating the Nashville Iris Association in 1931.

Subsequently, the Tennessee legislature named the iris as the state flower in 1933.

Williams hosted a long-running radio show on gardening for CBS, and was known as the “old dirt dobber.”

When the McCulloughs bought the property, Macey said they decided to name the center Iris City Gardens after the garden Williams operated in Brentwood. They also transported 4,000 of his blooms to the new property.

The property is nestled within a forest, and the McCulloughs live at the edge of the property.

A mother and son gaze out over the fishing pond. / Brooke Wanser

This weekend and into the middle of summer, you can partake in a short trail walk in the forest, a picnic at one of several tables, or fishing from the dock of their pond.

Water and lemonade from coolers is free for those perusing the gardens.

The McCulloughs sell a wide variety of both irises and peonies, available potted in the spring, as well as other perennials and shade plants.

Guests can stroll across the property or ask for a ride in a golf cart to peruse the flowers.

Address: 7675 Younger Creek Road, Primm Springs, TN 38476
Dates: Open April 18 through July 1, Wednesday through Sunday. Open by appointment throughout the year.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: 800-934-4747

Workers fill orders under a canopy outside the garden center. / Brooke Wanser

Several varieties of iris are available, including the Louisiana iris. / Brooke Wanser

Other flowers and plants are available inside a greenhouse. / Brooke Wanser

Peonies bloom in a row. / Brooke Wanser