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Backyard Bash

Memphis Botanic Garden

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  | Photos by Don Perry

Following a daytime family friendly birthday party in the My Big Backyard Garden, the Memphis Botanic Garden held an adult-only fundraiser. More than 400 people turned out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the beloved children’s discovery garden. The evening had the definite feel of fall as wire lanterns reminiscent of pumpkins cast their spell suspended from shepherds’ crooks. Strings of Edison lights overhead gave a golden glow to the unfolding scene and floral centerpieces overflowed with colorful sunflowers, zinnias, and other autumnal-hued varieties on the cocktail tables dotting the lawn.

Setting the mood for a fun outdoor birthday party, entertainment included backyard games such as a giant Connect 4, mazes, corn hole and ladder golf. In addition to playing games, spectator sports had their place, too, as live streaming of the Georgia versus Notre Dame football game was featured in a tented area on the lawn. Food and beverage stations were set up and served nachos, hot dogs, sausages and Mempops, along with Wiseacre beer and Old Dominick cocktails. Heart & Soul Catering provided additional fare with chick-on-a-stick, turkey sliders, kale salad with apples and brie cheese, candied bacon and three-bean salad. Flours in Bloom and Small Cakes Collierville served mini cupcakes.

A silent auction, which took place on the stage of the Live Garden offered partygoers choices of artwork, restaurant gift certificates, workout certificates, spa treatments and more. Alston Meeks Band provided the evening’s entertainment and a photo booth from Captured by Carren was on site offering photographic keepsakes from the event.

“Funds raised at this event will help support ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the current My Big Backyard spaces, as well as construction of future projects and educational activities and exhibits,” said Mary Helen Butler, Assistant Director of Memphis Botanic Garden. “My Big Backyard is enjoyed by more than 77,000 guests each year. It is an enchanting garden that is enjoyed by a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds. We look forward to the next 10 years of connecting families with the outdoors and growing the next generation of gardeners. Our goal is to keep My Big Backyard fun, safe, nurturing, creative, and refreshed, ensuring families can enjoy it for years to come.” 

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