Le Tour des Jardins: Williams garden

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Stroll through Louise Williams’ back yard and you’ll find roses, foxgloves, phlox, terrestrial orchids, coral honeysuckle, azaleas and a lovely Japanese maple.

What you won’t find is any grass.

When Mrs. Williams and her late husband moved from their former home with an acre lot to Southern Trace, they installed planting areas and pathways instead of lawn in the back yard.

She describes it as a variation of a cottage garden. You can see for yourself May 3-4 when it is one of six gardens features on Le Tour des Jardins, the annual garden tour sponsored by the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners.

“It’s passalong plants, perennials, things that repeat because it cuts your work down,” Mrs. Williams said.

The half-sun, half-shade exposure makes it possible for Mrs. Williams to grow just about anything. “I have leeway to play with plants,” she said.

She’s also nurtured the soil through additions of homemade compost.

“Things don’t grow unless they have good soil,” she said. “I believe in compost. I don’t put any meat in it, but I do put fresh eggs, old coffee grounds and clean out the vegetable drawer.”

And although she has a sprinkler system, she enjoys hand watering. “I like to see what’s coming on and what’s going out.”

While there’s plenty to see in Mrs. Williams’ yard, be sure to take note of three plants that are extra special to her.

One is the dwarf Japanese maple in a featured spot.

Others are the terrestrial orchids, given to her by friend Fran McRa, that are in full bloom right now.

And the last is a super sentimental favorite – a rose rooted for her by well-known local rose lover Ida Hayden.

“It came from my parents’ rose. Daddy gave that to Mother in 1942 for Valentine’s Day.”

Now that’s a sentimental plant.

Le Tour des Jardins

  • What: annual garden tour sponsored by the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners.
  • When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3 and 1 to 5 p.m. May 4.
  • The gardens: Jackie and Nancy Adcock, 5000 Highway 71, Shreveport; Stan and Boots Swens, 138 Woodvale Creek Circle, Bossier City; Louise P. Williams, 10886 Sunrise Pointe, Shreveport; Joyce Hooper, 9211 Oakley Drive, Shreveport; Brad and Michelle Everson, 856 Oneonta, Shreveport Steve and Renee Schoonover, 1311 Leonard Road, Shreveport.
  • Admission: $10 in advance at Citizens National Banks or by calling 318-698-0010; $12 the day of the tour at any garden.
  • Special feature: Garden Bazaar and plant sale at Pioneer Heritage Center, LSU-Shreveport.
  • Info: 318-698-0010 or www.lsuagcenter.com/nwlamg.

 

 

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