Twenty-four members of the Cherokee Rose Garden Club and three guests enjoyed touring the home and gardens of Fiddler’s Green in Jacksonville on May 17. The outing was arranged by Adet Stephens, first vice-president of the Cherokee Rose Garden Club. Fiddler’s Green is the home of Chris and Heather Dempsey and their two daughters. It is the site of a Civil War Re-enactment, “Skirmish at Fiddler’s Green” on the first full week-end in May.
The recently-built home is patterned after mid-18th century antebellum structures and furnished with period antiques and family heirlooms. Many of the architectural features were salvaged from the home of Confederate Colonel Samuel H. Lockett which was located in Jacksonville. The tour was conducted by family members dressed in period costumes. Chris Dempsey and his father did much of the construction inside the home and the entire family was involved with salvaging and refinishing items for the home.
Following the tour of the home, the group toured the gardens and several buildings located on the property. A small garden at the front of the house contains rose bushes and other shrubs inside a white picket fence.
A pergola located in the garden supports an heirloom wisteria which was grown from a cutting from the home of Thomas Jefferson in Williamsburg, Va. A rose garden located near the pergola contains a rose that has been in the Dempsey family for seven generations. It is named the Nancy Holder Couch rose, for the Dempsey ancestor who originally owned it.
The Fiddler’s Green gardens also contain a greenhouse featuring reclaimed windows and several water features. The gardens and landscape have recently been awarded the Calhoun County Beautification Award.
The Cherokee Rose Garden Club meets on the third Thursday of each month, except July, at 6 p.m. in the Community Center in Cedar Bluff. The club invites anyone with a love of gardening or floral design to attend.