Sunday park retreat

Sunday park retreat

Warner parks in Nashville are a retreat 365 days a year, depending on the weather.  But this natural sanctuary in the city became a stylish retreat over the weekend when a tent sprang up and friends of the parks congregated to celebrate this gorgeous gift that keeps on giving.


This extremely popular fall luncheon known as “Sunday in the Park” has been a tradition for 27 years as a celebration of  the more than 3000 acres of unspoiled land given to Nashville by the Warner family more than a century ago.





This is just a snapshot of the beauty that awaits anyone walking their dog, running or just meditating in Percy Warner Park.  “Sunday in the Park” celebrates this Nashville treasure that brings so much joy and peace to many.


These magestic magnolia trees in large stunning planters were like a huge centerpiece in the tent and how about the Hermes Orange lacquer paint used on the hand crafted planter boxes?!?   The boxes were made by the talented people at Vintage Millworks in Nashville.


The flowers on each table were also exquisite, done by the Tulip Tree in Nashville.


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And then there was a new addition this year.  An entirely separate tented room complete with a couch and plaid pillows. I loved the pop of color used in this temporary setting.


Even an antler chandeleir was used, designed by Terry Wilson.  So many clever touches throughout, thanks to the uber talented Lorie Duke and Jay Joyner.



It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that this crowd dresses for the event. And several publications always cover it, including Sophisticated Living.  No surprise that  Teddy Clayton and photographer Ryan Flynn were among those fashionably dressed!


Co-chair of Sunday in the Park, Julie Fleming with her husband, Skeet, welcomed guests on this perfect morning in October.

But aside from the fashion and socializing with friends, was the beauty surrounding the tent; nature delivering color and a backdrop that never disappoints.

One of the most poignant moments of the luncheon each year is a poem that’s written and read as only Reverend Becca Stevens can deliver with her husband, Marcus Hummon playing guitar in the background.

I’ll share just a few lines from, “My Country.”

“Tennessee oaks, poplars and shag bark hickories call us home when we are lost. On long hikes rubbing limbs in thoughtful breezes, slow and easy they sing to anxious hearts.”



“These woods know our secrets and longings, and wait for us to come home.  They know despair and welcome us through it.  They hold us close with wide-spread roots, cover us with early morning blankets and late afternoon pink kisses.”


Whether you go to Warner Parks for a slow steady walk or to just sit and reflect, it is a healing place.



The Warner family gave Nashville an enormous gift that continues to give each season and will always be a retreat for those who know its magic.

Sources:  Warner Parks,  Vintage Millworks, Page Duke Landscape Architects ,  Music City Tents & Events, The Tulip Tree, Terry Wilson Antler Designs, Treeology,  Jerry Verner(boxwoods).

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