Enjoy free tours, workshops, guest speakers, refreshments, and floral displays at the 10th Annual Bayou Gardens Open House on Saturday, February 1. The event will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges’ Bayou Lacombe Center, at 61389 Highway 434, Lacombe, LA 70445.
All tours begin at the Visitor Center entrance.
History Tours at 11 am and 2 pm. Camellia Tours at 10 am,12:30pm and 3 pm.
Join garden experts, refuge staff, and volunteer guides on a one-hour stroll of Bayou Lacombe Center’s grounds and gardens to explore the site’s history or identify some of the camellias on the property.
TALKS, WORKSHOPS & CAMELLIA DISPLAYS
These will be at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges’ Conservation Room.
10:30 - 11:30 “NatureScaping for Wildlife” Join Dr. Sue Wilder, retired USFWS ecologist to discover what native plants will provide both beauty for your garden, and backyard habitat for wildlife and pollinators.
1 p.m. “How to Be Bee and Pollinator Friendly in Your Garden and Yard” Join beekeeper and Master Gardener Jim Bates for a talk on pollinators, their important role, and how we can help them. Question and answer session to follow talk.
Flower Arts and Crafts: Make a waxed camellia (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Create a crafty "upcycled" butterfly or pollinator (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.). At the Visitor Center.
View Camellia Displays and Ask an Expert: Bring your gardening or camellia questions to the St. Tammany Parish LSU/Ag Agent and camellia growing experts from the Northshore and the New Orleans Camellia Clubs. In the Conservation Room, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Butterfly Demonstration Garden: The flowers may be “sleeping” but the St. Tammany Master Gardeners will be at the garden to share information about how you can garden for pollinators. Gardeners present from 11:30 – 3.
Bayou Lacombe Visitor Center: Explore wildlife displays and discover the eight refuges that make up the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
This event is hosted in collaboration by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges Inc., the LSU Ag Center office of St. Tammany Parish, the St. Tammany Master Gardeners, the Camellia Club of New Orleans, and the Northshore Camellia Clubs.
From 1935-1956, Bayou Gardens was a must-see horticultural attraction on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, containing over 400 varieties of camellias and many other exotic plants on the 110-acre property. Now the headquarters of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges, the gardens are maintained by volunteers and showcase an impressive variety of camellias and azaleas.
The Bayou Lacombe Center is the administrative headquarters for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Eight National Wildlife Refuges are administered from this location, including Big Branch Marsh and Bayou Sauvage. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Photos provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and LouisianaNorthshore.com. Photo: Camellias and Spanish moss by the Bayou Lacombe Center Gardens.