Bayou Gardens Open House

Enjoy free tours, workshops, guest speakers, refreshments, and floral displays at the 10th Annual Bayou Gardens Open House on Saturday, February 29, 2020. The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges’ Bayou Lacombe Center, at 61389 Highway 434, Lacombe, LA 70445.

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.

All tours begin at the Visitor Center entrance.
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. The center is situated two miles south of I-12 (Exit 74) and just north of the traffic circle at the junction of Highways 434 and 190, GPS address 61389 LA-434, Lacombe.

Locations and times for the following events will be announced as the event nears.

“How to Be Bee and Pollinator Friendly in Your Garden and Yard” Workshop: 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 the talk.

Flower Arts and Crafts: Make a waxed camellia. Create a crafty "upcycled" butterfly or pollinator (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.). At the Visitor Center.

View Camellia Displays: Camellia growing experts from the Northshore and the New Orleans Camellia Clubs.

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.

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.


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 in St. Tammany Parish and Bayou Sauvage in Orleans Parish, the largest urban wildlife refuge in the United States.
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.

  • The administrative complex located at the Bayou Lacombe Center is regularly open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The office is closed on weekends and all federal holidays. For more information, contact refuge staff at (985) 882-2000.
  • The visitor center gift shop is regularly open Thursday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For information, call (985) 882-0093.
  • Follow day-to-day activities at the center on Facebook at

Enjoy two miles of walkways and trails that wind through a historic camellia and azalea garden and along scenic Bayou Lacombe. Grounds and trails of the Bayou Lacombe Center are open to the public Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Explore plants that add beauty to a garden and support our important pollinators. This interpretive garden maintained by the St. Tammany Master Gardeners Association is located on the grounds behind the historic Borah house.

Check out the Junior Ranger Discovery Pack at the Visitor Center! These packs contain adventure materials that will help you explore the exhibits, trails and bayou at the Visitor Center and grounds.

The refuge headquarters and visitor center are located in Lacombe, Louisiana, between Mandeville and Slidell. The center is situated at 61389 Highway 434 two miles south of I-12 (Exit 74) and just north of the traffic circle at the junction of Highways 434 and 190.

Photos provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
Photo: Camellias and Spanish moss by the Bayou Lacombe Center Gardens.

61389 Hwy. 434
Tel: (985) 882-2000
Federal wildlife refuge on 15,000 acres of pine flatwoods and coastal marsh. This diverse habitat is a wonderful example of… Read More
Bayou Gardens Open House