If you proceed down Reflection Lane past Wildflower Cove there is another spot where visitors can become enraptured by the abundant display of spring wildflowers and that place is Oliver Freeman’s Hollow. The looped pathway in Oliver Freeman’s Hollow ends with a view of several lovely species of ferns, which are native to Lookout Mountain.
The reason for the variety and profusion of flora in this area and along Reflection Lane is because of a series of north-facing coves. What makes a north-facing cove so valuable to the spring ephemerals is the abundance of rich, acidic soil; plenty of rainfall and indirect sunlight. The last ingredient is the high canopy of a hardwood forest. In combination these factors give rise to the beauty and variety we enjoy each Spring.
Oliver Freeman’s Hollow was named after a curator at the National Arboretum whom Reflection Riding founder, John Chambliss, coincidentally met there. A relationship developed after it was learned that Freeman had once lived in Chattanooga and had known Robert Sparks Walker. Freeman and Chambliss enjoyed their “chance” meeting in Washington, and many afterward, as Mr. Freeman and his wife loved to come to Chattanooga to “botanize.” To the delight of Mr. and Mrs. Chambliss, the Freemans were able to bring a heightened awareness of the variety of wildflowers growing in the Riding.