Planned Giving

A Gift That Keeps Growing
Cornelia Holland

Photo of Cornelia Holland
Cornelia Holland

Cornelia Holland was not looking for a charity to support. She was looking for a home for her hosta collection of nearly 800 varieties where it could be adequately cared for and enjoyed.

The UT Gardens, Knoxville, became that home.

Holland says the story of her hosta collection, which is one of the largest in the Southeast, dates back twenty years to the day she noticed a page devoted to fragrant hosta in a Wayside Garden catalog. She ordered. She planted. And she was hooked. Her collection grew steadily over the years through catalog order and plant exchanges and hosta society memberships and convention auctions—and, throughout it all, meticulous research—the hallmark of a serious collector.

Tom Looney, director of advancement for the UT Institute of Agriculture, assisted Holland on designating the gift that established Tranquility—The Cornelia B. Holland Hosta Garden. Nearly 500 hosta varieties taken from her personal collection were transplanted and are now thriving in Knoxville and have the distinction of an American Hosta Society official hosta display garden. An endowment through Holland's estate will help sustain the garden.

"The UT Gardens provided a venue for the public to enjoy and learn about hosta and also a living laboratory for UT faculty and students," said Holland.

"Cornelia wanted to establish the garden during her lifetime, to see it take place," Looney said.

An additional 300 varieties of hosta are still thriving at Holland's home in Franklin. Nearly all of the plants will eventually make their way eastward; but for now, Holland can enjoy the collection both at the comfort of home as well as at the UT Gardens among the company of others who share her appreciation for the shade perennial.

Gifts to the UT Foundation that have truly impactful outcomes are not always monetary. Find out more about how gifts of real estate or other property can make a difference at the UT Institute of Agriculture by downloading this brochure. For more information, contact Angelia M. Nystrom, JD, LLM, at 865-974-7423 or


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Together We Grow is a historic campaign for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. It will take all of us to grow. Together, we can impact tomorrow.