It was more than the usual garden center "welcome spring." The folks at Popes were marking their 30th anniversary. Sara Pope Berry, founder of Popes Garden Center, was on hand to cut the cake and talk to customers. She had able help, as well, with granddaughter Maggie Stiles and husband John Berry assisting.
Owners Jason and Marianne Spence had a duo of help as well, with children Miller and Ellie on hand to enjoy the day. Miller was a testament, both in intensity and decoration, to the appeal of the cake.
Staff was available, as they always are, to talk customers through any potential gardening traumas, challenges or wild ideas. Many of the staff have a long legacy with Popes, and with Popes customers. Sher Kelly, for example, was counting up to 24 years with the organization.
Popes, which began in 1977, has more than six acres of plants, greenhouses, nursery and garden center selections. The Blount County store is located at 3308 Old Knoxville Highway. There is also a store in Knoxville. Store information is available on their website at
www.popesgardencenter.com, or call 865-982-9217.