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Inside an oasis: A look at a Dogwood Arts feature garden

One of these properties is the GATOP Estate, which stands for God's answers to our prayer.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — East Tennessee is known for its scenery, and for some people, the beauty is in their backyards.

Over the weekend the Dogwood Arts' Spring Featured Garden event opened two of these privately-owned estates up for tours.

One of these properties is the GATOP Estate, which stands for God's answers to our prayer.

"The name was given to this property by the former owners who prayed when they moved to Knoxville. One would see the mountains and one would see water. At the top of the property, you see the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River," said owner Dr. Alan Solomon.

Solomon said that while he hears plenty of remarks about the estate's beauty, many visitors tell him it was a spiritual experience. 

"It's a great deal of work but it's very very satisfying because, at the end of the day, you can really see what you have accomplished. Gardening is really, at this point, a live saver because to be one on one with nature is a very healing experience," Solomon said.