Denyse Cummins, Coolman, Denise | 4/22/2005 8:13:35 PM
SHREVEPORT – The LSU AgCenter’s Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners will host their annual garden tour May 1-2 in Shreveport.
Denyse Cummins, an LSU AgCenter area horticulturist for Northwest Louisiana, said this year’s tour will include gardens of different styles that will give participants ideas for planting their own spectacular gardens.
"Gardens chosen for the tour are selected based on specific criteria," Cummins said. "There’s usually a very practical one, a whimsical one and a creative one.
"There are even a couple which are outrageous in that they obviously involved a lot of expense and labor to create," Cummins continued, adding, "The idea behind the tour is that gardeners can get a sneak peek into exceptional gardens and hopefully go home and apply what they saw in their own gardens."
One garden on the tour will be that of Connie and David Harmon. This garden features plants such as azaleas, banana trees, begonias, crepe myrtles and gardenias. A mailbox covered with yellow jasmine greets visitors. The garden is designed in such a way that it exhibits a lovely, typical, old Southern garden, Cummins said.
Another garden on the tour is that of Vicki Prothro. This garden encompasses the entire backyard of Prothro’s patio home. A large koi pond with an intricate cascading waterfall is the centerpiece. The garden also features stone walkways, beds of sweet olives, a Japanese red maple, miniature gardenias, angel trumpets, star hibiscus, ferns and palms.
The tour also features the garden of Maxine and Jimmy Isgitt. This garden features an above-ground pool, a goldfish and koi pond with a waterfall, walkways and a gardening shed. Plants in the garden include a Japanese maple with spirea, tulips and snapdragons. Participants will even get to see the Isgitt’s erythrina. There are many species of this tree, which is called the "crybaby tree," or the "fireman’s hat."
The garden of Donna and Scotty Rogers, which has received a National Wildlife Habitat Citation, also is on the tour. Each area of the garden has a special interest, according to Cummins, who says there is the Courtyard Rose Garden and Kitchen Container Garden, the Woodland Path Garden, the Cottage and Cut Flower Garden, the Xeriscape Garden, the Water Garden, the Era Garden, the Grass Garden and the Fall Season Garden. The xeriscape garden features plants that are drought tolerant, and the Era Garden contains roses and daylilies from the 1930s – the time when the home was built. External speakers play 1930s music in the Era Garden.
Participants will be transported into a "floral and foliage fantasy" when they visit the garden of Cynthia Hightower Jenkins and Sam Jenkins, Cummins said. This garden features a freestyle interpretation of container gardening. It is a collage of multi-planted containers that burst with colors and textures. Its primary theme is Southwestern, however, and it has a variety of artifacts, statues, plant materials, nontraditional containers, "smidgens of whimsy and lots of fanciful lightheartedness," Cummins said.
The Jenkins’ garden features four areas – the garden of imperfection, where all artifacts and containers share some degree of brokenness; the chair garden, with seven rugged chairs with plantings of bold colors; the prayer garden, which has a spiritual ambiance of angelic figurines and statues and more subdued plant materials; and the country garden, with salvaged doors, screens, rusted artifacts, cowboy boots and cups and saucers used as planters and loaded with coleus, potato vines, cacti, petunias and so much more.
The cost of participating in the garden tour is $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the tour. In addition to the tour, there also will be a Plant and Garden Bazaar and Master Gardener Heirloom Plant Sale located at the gardens of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum at 3015 Greenwood Road in Shreveport.
For more information, contact the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners at (318) 741-7435 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tour tickets also may be purchased at all Citizens National Bank branches. And more information can be found at www.nwlamg.org/projectsw/letour02.htm.