Saturday, May 3, 2014

Inspiration From the St Francisville Garden Tour

What a beautiful day for the St. Francisville Garden Tour.  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  mid 70's, not a cloud in the sky.

St. Francisville, LA is an awesome little Louisiana town.  tiny rolling hills, lots of virgin pine forests, and really quaint shops and houses.  It is the second oldest incorporated town in the State of Louisiana and it began as a graveyard where the Spanish would cross the river to bury their dead.  This awesome graveyard in the center of town is near the old Grace Episcopal Church that was built in the early 1800's.  The cornerstone was set by the Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy Leonidas Polk in 1828.  It is part of the historical area now.  That fence totally intrigued me.

This area was part of the Spanish West Florida.  In the late 1700's the King of Spain offered land grants to Americans who would come west and  settle.  The town sits on bluffs over looking the Mississippi River.  St. Francisville and Bayou Sara just below, flourished until the Union troops in the Civil War burned land and buildings.  A major fortification was taken over by the Union to protect the bend in the Mississippi River and that changed hands several times as the Rebels won back pieces of it.  

The first garden was a bit outside of town.  It was built around a huge lake, with the house overlooking the pines in the back and the lake in the front.  Several outbuildings held rooms with overstuffed chairs and nooks to read or nap in.

Plants sprouted from everywhere you looked.  Statues peeked from among flowers. 
You just felt calm and relaxed in a place like that.  The Louisiana Iris is that deep purple color that is so beautiful in the spring.
Beautiful and amazing.  Two little dogs had the run of the place.  And they were happy to greet people.  I imagine that the Basset Boyz would be overjoyed to live there and entertain!

The second place was just as nice but more spread out.  And with a sense of humor!

She had signs all over the place with things like Garden of Weedin' or Garden of Eatin'.  Or Don't Feed the Gargoyles!

 As you walked along the circular main path, various other paths sprouted off the side and led to benches and chairs just begging for someone to sit and stay.


And chickens and guinea fowl followed a safe distance.

The lupines grew chest high.  Bottle trees were popular in all the gardens.

 The gardeners seemed to use every bit of space to catch your eye with something special.  You wanted to keep looking everywhere so as to not miss one single wonder.

The next two gardens were in town.  Both were Historical Registers who had opened their gardens to the tour.

They were smaller and more compact in the arrangements.

The Levert house garden was divided into two sections - the New Orleans and the Plantation Gardens.  There was a huge sugar kettle in the Plantation garden that held water hyacinths and koi.

The view across the street was a magnificent old cemetery. 

The final garden was around this Dog Trot style house.  The landscaping made heavy use of water features and the sides of the house as backdrops.  See the magnificent Angel's trumpet blooming.  It was larger than my forearm in length!  These are not basements!  No!  The houses are raised off the ground and those are the vents for the open space between the house and the ground. 

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of St Francisville as much as I have.  It is a wonderful place to live, although a bit far at about 45 minutes north and west of Baton Rouge.  Just the wrong side of town for us.

1 comment:

  1. Dog greeters! How perfect. What a lovely place -- lush and green and oozing history. I love walking through old cemeteries. I remember visiting New Orleans for the first time and being fascinated that the graves were above ground due to the water table. Thank you for the tour.


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