Restored to its mid-nineteenth century layout and appearance, this nearly one acre garden was an important feature for the residents of Carnton. An earlier garden was located on the southeastern side of the home, but was removed and relocated to this, the west side of the residence, in 1847. Archeological remnants, along with yuccas, a cedar and an Osage orange tree are all evidence of this new kitchen and ornamental garden. Created during the alterations of the property by John McGavock, this simple layout is a variation pf one of Andrew Jackson Downing's designs for American gardens.
The cultivation of the garden must have been especially important to John and Carrie McGavock. This is evident in his will in which he state, "I also will and bequeath to my wife the exclusive possession and control of my residence, yard and garden..."
Under the guidance of leading historians of mid-nineteenth century gardening, the McGavock garden was reconstructed in the mid-1900s using plant material available in Middle Tennessee prior to 1869.