Local Treasures In The Great Outdoors WRITTEN BY SNOANN WILLETT, LOUISIANA MASTER GARDENER
LONGER HOURS OF sunlight beckon unhurried strolls through many of the most spectacular landscapes our region has to offer. Bring your mask and consider visiting one or all of the following venues in April. Enjoying the outdoors is a treasure not to be missed. Covington Garden Club’s Annual Flower Show, “Happiness is Homemade,” Apr 8, 1-3 pm at Bogue Falaya Hall, 317 N. Jefferson Avenue in Covington. Be inspired by the creative competition of horticultural exhibitions emphasizing flowers and other plant material. Always a beautiful show, it is truly an opportunity to learn more about plants and art! Free and open to the public.
Longue Vue House and Gardens, located at 7 Bamboo Road in New Orleans, has several events sure to delight: April 1 – Louisiana Iris Day. Co-hosting with the Greater New Orleans Iris Society, Free! April 4 – Easter Sunday. 1-5 pm, gardens will be open and picnics are highly encouraged, Free! April 24 – Kentucky Derby Fascinator Workshop, Saturday 10-11:30 am. Nothing is too extravagant when fashioning the perfect headpiece with live plant material.
Northlake Nature Center, located on Highway 190, is east of Mandeville on beautiful Bayou Castine. This non-profit corporation has 400 acres and 8 miles of biking and hiking trails, including a canoe launch. Maintenance and program development is conducted mostly by volunteers with some costs defrayed by membership fees. View native plants, including several varieties of Louisiana irises, in their natural habitat. Spot several bird species during their migration north from Mexico and South America is possible. Free!
Fontainebleau State Park, located on Hwy 190 in Mandeville includes 2,800 acres bordered by Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou Cane, and Bayou Castine. See how many native plants and wildlife you can spot on a 1.25 mile nature trail. Or for a longer walk, try the 4.8 mile hiking trail. Picnic under moss-covered oaks and cypress or on a sandy beach. Gates open daily 6 am-9 pm. Admission is $3; free for seniors age 62 and older, and children age 3 and under.
LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and Trails, located at 4560 Essen Lane (I-10 at Essen Lane) in Baton Rouge comprising 440 acres of fauna and flora, is open and free to the public. View an online event April 5 at 12 pm, “Reflections in the Garden: Legacy of Walter and Bessie Belingrath.” Open 8 am-5 pm daily, closed most holidays. Know before you go! Contact facilities for up-to-date information on modifications and restrictions. Sophisticated Woman | April 2021