Denyse Cummins, Coolman, Denise | 3/28/2005 11:30:41 PM
SHREVEPORT – The LSU AgCenter’s Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners have set April 9-10 for their annual tour of gardens.
Known as Le Tour des Jardins, the 2005 event will take place on from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on April 9 and from noon to 5 p.m. on April 10.
The tour will feature five gardens in the Shreveport-Bossier area, according to LSU AgCenter horticulturist Denyse Cummins, who said this year’s tour is being held about a month earlier than past tours.
"In previous years, the tour has been around the beginning of May," Cummins said. "We changed this year because the first of May actually is a ‘between’ time for gardens. There’s not much blooming between the spring trees and flowers, such as azaleas, and the summer flowers, such as daylilies and hydrangeas."
Cummins said this year’s tour will be "just gorgeous."
Gardens on the tour include the one designed by Mr. and Mrs Willie Ray Bierden. The Bierdens’ garden is located in one of the busiest corridors of Shreveport and includes a mixed setting of city, country and tropical gardens.
The Bierdens’ front garden is banked with hydrangeas, ground covers, azaleas and large trees. The back courtyard contains an established garden with a woodland country feel that includes cockscomb, Confederate roses, salvias, crape myrtles, roses, azaleas and ferns – all which make visitors feel they’ve been transported back to "grandma’s garden," Cummins said.
In addition, the Bierdens have a pool area that reflects a Southern Louisiana feeling with its tall palms, hibiscus, ferns, sago palms and bedding plants.
Another garden on the tour is that of Penny Brenner, an LSU AgCenter Master Gardener. Brenner's garden consists of such plants as hummingbird plants, lion's ear, crested leopard plants, snapdragon vines, toad lilies, English dogwoods, butterfly vines, Mexican birds of paradise and many more.
A third garden on the tour is that of Dr. and Mrs. W.T. Hall. The Halls’ garden is located on the shores of Cross Lake, and its grounds are home to a four-tiered fountain sparkling in the sun surrounded by daylilies and colorful annuals. The back garden also contains a waterfall where the Halls have numerous water plants.
The fourth garden included in this year’s tour belongs to Mr. and Mrs. James McClure. Their garden is a well-established woodland garden, which includes azaleas, roses, ferns, hibiscus, grasses, lilies, irises, spring bulbs, spirea and forsythia. The garden is divided by paths that lead to open garden venues that hold even more surprises.
Tour travelers also will get to see Charles Rascoe’s garden – a garden that Cummins says is the home of many unusual plants. Among those plants are peonies, and Cummins says Rascoe has proven that these plants will grow in Northwest Louisiana with little fuss. A number of specialty irises also have found a home in Rascoe’s garden, and a multitude of annuals, biennials and perennials are tucked away in this compact but carefully designed garden.
Tickets for Le Tour des Jardins are $10 in advance and $12 the days of the tour. Organizers say the tour will be held "rain or shine."
A plant and garden bazaar, as well as container gardening demonstrations by Master Gardeners, will be held on tour days at the gardens of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, located at 3015 Greenwood Road in Shreveport. Tickets are not required for the bazaar and demonstrations.
Tour tickets may be purchased in advance at any Citizens Bank in the area. They also will be available at all of the gardens or through the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners. For more details on how to purchase tickets, contact the Master Gardeners at (318) 741-7435 or visit www.nwlamg.org/projectsw/LeTourdesJardins
The Louisiana Master Gardener program is an educational effort conducted by the LSU AgCenter in communities across the state. It is designed to provide gardeners with information and education to help them hone their skills. In turn, they agree to volunteer their time in a variety of efforts designed to share their knowledge with others.