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A Lookout Mountain Garden Seeks Its Tennessee Identity


January 19, 2021

“Survival of the Fittest” Plants Get the Nod

When created, Jane’s Garden, a pocket park in Tennessee, had lofty goals  to include the botanical favorites of its namesake, the late Jane Davenport Jensen, a Lookout Mountain native who had established an Asian garden in California.

But as the Garden Club of Lookout Mountain (GCLM) members found after taking the reins of garden maintenance last year, plants that thrive in California don’t necessarily survive in Tennessee.

Jane Davenport Jansen (1940-2000) was an honorary member of The Garden Club of America and received many honors and awards for her botanical and horticultural work. She was honored in death by her brother Rodolph Davenport when he donated his 200 x 50 foot corner garden to the City of Lookout Mountain in 2003. A public strolling park with concrete path, water fountain, rockwork, and shade gazebo, Jane’s Garden was filled with many of her favorites, including specimen Japanese maple trees and Chinese fringe trees, flowering and woody shrubs, perennial flowers, and ground covers, to emulate the twenty five acre Quarryhill Botanical Garden, begun in 1987 by Jansen on her California estate.

But nearly two decades later, the garden had seen better times. GCLM was especially delighted to take over maintenance of Jane’s Garden, as they had previously documented the garden for the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens in 2011. Archives of American Gardens.

Under the leadership of Jansen’s niece and GCLM member, the club cleared, weeded, pruned, and reworked the garden in 2020. They collected and dispersed the seeds of plants that had survived over the years, and added a variety of native plants. 

In addition to Jane’s Garden, GCLM maintains three other public parks and a fountain for the city. Temple Park Gets a Makeover to Restore Biodiversity


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