Le Tour des Jardins — the Hooper garden

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Joyce Hooper always thought she had a brown thumb.

Turns out she was wrong.

Joyce’s garden will be one of six showcased May 3-4 on Le Tour des Jardins, the annual garden tour of the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners.

The patio home in Shreveport’s Twelve Oaks development features a fenced front entry garden with a fountain and colorful flowers, and a back yard with a large koi pond, waterfall and cozy covered patio/outdoor kitchen.

The hardscape was in place when Joyce moved in three years ago, so she’s been able to focus on the fun part.

“I eased into it, adding a little color here and there,” she said. “The next spring, I was just delighted. That’s when it got exciting. Things started popping out of the ground. I didn’t know they were there and it was just a new surprise every day. Something new would pop up.”

Her favorite plants have family history.

“I planted a lot of irises that belonged to my mother and grandmother and I love to see them bloom. I know I’ll always have their memories.”

Her favorite spot is the covered back patio that faces a large waterfall cascading into a koi pond. “I can sit out here and drink my coffee, read a book, just waste a lot of time.”

Why does she think she’s become a gardener?

“I think it’s my age. I divorced and got a dog and started gardening. I think that’s the stage of my life I’m in that gives me something to do and enjoy. I enjoy seeing new life. Things pop up that I didn’t plant. I like to say God planted them.”

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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