Le Tour des Jardins
The annual 2016 Le Tour des Jardins will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 7 and from 1-5 p.m. May 8.
Michele Wiener, publicity chairwoman for the event, loves her job. “We have some spectacular gardens this year,” Wiener said. “There are eight on the tour, plus we always include the Pioneer Heritage Center out at LSUS because we do all the landscaping out there. That particular garden is free to the public and will have vendors set up selling their garden-related wares.”
The most difficult part of Wiener’s job might be choosing a favorite garden. “I can’t say I have a favorite because they’re all unique in their own way,” Wiener said. “Some are small, courtyard-type gardens, and some are spread out on 13 acres. We definitely have something for everybody.”
The particular timing of this year’s tour is also convenient. “With the tour being on Mother’s Day weekend, it will be a fun thing to do with your mom,” Wiener said.
Gardens on the tour include: The Hoogland Garden In North Shreveport – Enter through a live oak alley from the front gate to the circle in front of the plantation-style home. There are native trees, sago palms, Sasanqua camellias, sweet bay magnolia, hostas, ferns, Cleyera japonica, cast iron plant, azaleas, liriope, lots of colorful annual flowers, silver maple and huge oak trees. There are stone walkways leading to the back of the property, where the family enjoys a large, covered deck and an outdoor kitchen, along with a pond backed by canna lilies and banana trees. Don’t miss the red barn, a sunny vegetable garden and a sunflower field all in view from the house.
The Anzalone Garden In Broadmoor – This garden opens from the palms at the front door and back door and down the driveway past azaleas, nandina and ferns through the back gate. Centered in the backyard is a free-form pool with a waterfall at the back and beautiful palms on both sides. Back there you will see blue plumbago, banana trees, elephant ears, variegated ginger lily, philodendron, cast iron plant, caladiums, lantana and a rustic swing in the seating area. There are huge weeping willows along the back fence, an owner-built greenhouse and a surprise koi pond under a tent.
Pioneer Heritage Center at LSUS, One University Place, Shreveport – Look into the past in this “Community Garden” at the Pioneer Heritage Center. The plan tings are lovingly recreated by Master Gardeners and faithfully recreate this garden of the past. Within the confines of the home and its outbuildings, you will find wonderful bargains from vendors selling original paintings, garden art and many of the plants you found in the tour gardens all for sale.
The Crawford Garden In Apple Tree – This brick patio garden opens from the wrought-iron gate at the side of the property and is filled with bright, marine blue planters, which match the front door. The strong blue color makes a great partner with the strong colors of the plant choices: magenta, red, white and blue. There are red peppers, white diamond dust, blue Clematis jackmanii, red angel wing begonia, rosemary and other herbs in pots, camellia, magenta vinca and pansies. There is a covered seating area, a trellis with a blue glass accent and even a blue gazing ball.
The Davis Garden In Apple Tree – Enter the side wrought-iron gate to this colorful garden. The colors of plants and sunbrella upholstered chairs and draperies under the covered patio are so beautifully coordinated. It’s an outdoor room with ferns, caladiums and bright annuals. Yellow hibiscus and yellow sunflower pillow designs blend with lime-green cushions and sweet potato vine, and a wonderful shade of purple from hanging baskets on a metal screen joins in on the chaise lounge and drapery lining. There are pots of topiary, an olive jar fountain, a great sunburst mirror to reflect it all, and not to be missed is a gorgeous palm tree providing shade.
The Fultz Garden on Railsback – “Professional Design Series Garden” by Garden Professionals Hooglands Landscape LLC, Designer Mike Hoogland. The beautiful 12-acre garden welcomes you through the driveway with formal boxwood hedges and topiary, fountains, birdbaths, live oaks and Southern magnolia. The outdoor kitchen with brick floors also includes a stone fireplace and seating area, which overlooks the lake with a bridge and dock. The lake is surrounded by native trees, oaks and cypress trees. There is a lovely pool with planters of American holly trees and annual flowers and a pergola topped with blooming vines. Along the pathways are ginger lily, boxwood topiary, elephant ears, ferns, camellias, rainbow Swiss chard, pansies and cyclamen. A highlight is a bronze statue of three children walking on a log bridge over the water feature.
The Hall Garden In Provenance – The front of this New Orleans-style home is planted with an American holly tree and bright annuals of pansies, Swiss chard and dianthus. Enter the wrought-iron gate into the courtyard garden planted with Indian Hawthorn, pansies, dusty miller, agapanthus, Mondo grass and Little Gem magnolias. There are plenty of pots of palms, ferns and bird of paradise, and a fountain is surrounded by variegated ginger lily and autumn fern. The new outdoor kitchen and pergola provide a shady place to entertain. Exit through the back gate, where you will see river birches, muhly grass, camellias, large pots of rosemary and a fringe tree surrounded by kale.
The Yates Garden In Provenance – At the entrance to the garden, an American holly tree surrounded by Lamb’s Ear and Sasanqua camellias greets you. Bright begonias, petunias and agapanthus lead you from the front porch around to the garden gate. You will see vitex, Cleyera japonica, shiny green Ligularia, Japanese red maple, astillbe, roses, oakleaf hydrangeas and hosta around the fountain and outdoor kitchen area just perfect for family entertaining. There is a small, raised vegetable garden and a vibrant purple Mexican Bush Sage. Through the back gate is a sunny area with white butterfly ginger lily, crepe myrtle and three Parasol trees.
The Poynter Garden In Fox Crossing – The owner’s woodcraft talents begin at the driveway with the house numbers and extend throughout the garden. Pass the huge oak tree under-planted with ferns in the front yard and enter the gate to see soothing colors and lots of greenery. A basket along the stone walkway holds one of the prettiest bougainvilleas ever seen with pink and white variegated flowers. Each arbor or turn along the path leads to outdoor rooms with seating and birdhouses made by the owner. There are azaleas, begonias, ferns, kalanchoe, Persian Shield, acuba, variegated Chinese Privet, Setcreasea “Purple Heart,” a beautiful red-stemmed Philodendron “Rojo Congo,” a pond water feature and plenty of container plants.
The Le Tour des Jardins is just one of the major fund-raisers put on by the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners, a 501(c)3 organization that serves Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto and Red River parishes. The Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners are a division of the LSU Agcenter and provide more than 10,000 hours of service each year. The mission of the Master Gardeners is to educate the public about gardening and engage the community in horticultural pursuits.
The Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners’ main fund-raisers include the Le Tour des Jardins, the Spring Plant Sale and the Fall Bulb Sale. “We’ve awarded a total of $105,000 in grants this year,” Wiener said. “We launched this program in 2010 as a way to give back to the community.”
Just in the past year, the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners funded multiple projects that assisted DSDC Inc., Holy Angels, Shreveport Little Theatre, Loyola College Prep, Oakland Cemetery and more.
To tour the other gardens, it costs $10 prior to the tour, and $15 the day of. Tickets can be purchased at any of the gardens, at any Citizens National Bank or by calling the Master Gardener office at 698-0010.