Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune

The Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners will hold their annual spring garden tour this weekend.

Le Tour des Jardins will take ticket holders through eight private gardens in Shreveport-Bossier on May 12 and 13. This annual event raises funds for future Master Gardener projects and helps promote the Master Gardeners’ mission to enhance the quality of knowledge for gardeners in the community.

Photo by Amanda Simmons/Press-Tribune

On the tour this year are four stops in Bossier Parish. Sue and Al Wyche are excited to welcome guests to their home. They purchased their home in River Bluff in 2009.

In front of the house, there’s a large stand of lavender muhly grass blowing gently in the breeze, elephant ears and a pretty stone patio with a beautiful fountain, Eagleston holly and seasonal plantings leading to the front door. On the south side, guests can follow the stone path, lined with various planted blooms and ornamental grasses, to the backyard.
Once there, the view takes over as the yard overlooks the bend of the Red River. There are roses, Shi Shi Gashira sasanquas, and crape myrtles lining the fence down to the river.

“The view is fantastic,” Al said. “There’s nothing prettier than seeing the sunset.”

From the outdoor kitchen with a huge potted philodendron and pink bubble gum petunia beds. There is also a small vegetable and herb garden at the exit gate.

The Wyche’s hope guests will enjoy the view of the Red River as they do every day.

“We want them to enjoy the peace and serenity of the river,” Sue said.

Down the road from the Wyche home is Mimi and Lee Harvill. Their front garden in River Bluff on Red River is filled with Little Gem magnolia, Eagleston holly, foxtail fern, pink hidden ginger, hibiscus, lantana, roses, canna lily, muhly grass, begonias, bottle brush, palms, guara and lamb’s ear.

There is a secret patio tucked into a shady cove with a special Queen Centaur bench. Around the corner in back is a great river view with a climbing rose, two loquat trees, vinca, crepe myrtle, hibiscus, butterfly bush, caladiums, basil and peppers planted in the herb garden, a beautiful pool and outdoor kitchen with a metal sculpture powered by the breeze.

Ticket holders can head north on Highway 3 and stop by the home of Susie and Ford Stinson III. Ford is an expert daylily hybridizer, raising 2,550 daylily plants for his own enjoyment and a few hundred of these for other hybridizer friends in raised beds. He has used old windows and mirrors to construct an artistic fence between the fruit tree pasture and the lily beds with ornamental grasses and roses.

Walk up the alee of cedar trees and Indian hawthorns to 4+ acres planted with cypress trees, Meyer lemon, apple trees, plum trees, pecan trees, pear trees and mulberry. Through the arbor, enter a butterfly garden surrounding the pool containing primroses, bananas, lantana, butterfly bush, roses, redbud and birdhouses.

Ticket holders can, again, head north on Highway 3 to visit Benton’s historic Heritage Village. The Cypress Area Garden Club, a former Master Gardeners’ grant recipient, is being featured for maintaining landscaped grounds in the gardens surrounding Heritage Village, located at 414 Sibley St. in Benton.

History runs deep in the buildings on the square. The Hughes House built in 1845 was moved from Rocky Mount and was restored here to its original condition. There is an 1884 Heath log cabin, a log rolling kitchen from Scanlan Plantation on Sligo Road, a one-room schoolhouse owned by Bossier PTA with a school bell, a blacksmith shop, corncrib, and Studebaker buckboard from Magenta Plantation in Elm Grove.

The garden includes a Savannah Girl statue, butterfly bushes by the school, a gorgeous pink Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) attracting bumblebees, Peggy Martin roses, cannas, vitex, Grancy Greybeard, hibiscus, Mexican petunias, hybrid daylilies, redbud and cypress trees.

Shreveport tour locations include the Pioneer Heritage Center on the LSU-S Campus, Patty & David Leeth’s garden, Judy & Danny Roemer’s garden, Ann and Ron Stokes’ garden, and Sarah and Howard Scott’s garden.

Tour hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 12, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on May 13. Advance tickets are $10 and can be purchased at any Citizens National Bank, or by calling the Master Gardener office at (318) 698-0010. Tickets may also be purchased at any garden on the days of the tour for $15.

For more information contact the Master Gardener office at (318) 698-0010 or www.nwlamg.weebly.com.