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Stunning Tennessee scenery

An acreage with a breathtaking view becomes Frances Jones' garden haven.
Frances appreciates the beauty of her property's Tennessee River view. "It's astounding," she says.
Sandstone formations are part of the mountain scenery on Frances' property. Frances has to choose plants that will grow well in the soil, which is acidic and rocky in places.

The view

Frances Jones has spent years working on her gardens, but she can't compete with the natural beauty that made her fall in love with her Tennessee acreage in the first place. The view from her land, which overlooks the Tennessee River and the city of Chattanooga from Signal Mountain, still amazes Frances.

"My favorite thing, of course, is the view," she says. "It's a fantastic sight."

When Frances and her husband purchased the property, it was just one woodland lot on Signal Mountain. They raised their two children, Leslie and Thomas, in the house they built among the trees. Now, the single wooded lot has grown into an acreage full of impressive gardens and large pieces of art for Frances and visitors to enjoy.

Back to her roots

When Frances' husband passed away in 1984, she needed a way to relax. Frances' mother and grandmother were in the plant business, operating their own greenhouse and a small nursery. Frances says she thinks she inherited her gift for gardening and landscaping from them. She soon found that gardening projects in her yard were a way to cope with a difficult time in her life. "I guess my therapy was to come out and dig in the yard," she says.

Before long, Frances was cultivating several garden areas on her mountain property. The going wasn't easy, however. She discovered that the soil doesn't go very deep, which made gardening a difficult task. "You dig 6 inches and you hit rock," she says. Frances compensated for the shallow soil by gradually building it up with compost.

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