Monday, March 8, 2010
This past weekend was the Jonquil Jubilee, a festival to celebrate the beautiful jonquils (daffodils) that grow in the area of Gibsland, LA. Gibsland is a very small town in north Louisiana made famous by the fact that it was where Bonnie and Clyde met their end. I prefer to think of the lovely daffodils instead.
A couple of friends and I went specifically to purchase some plants from Willis Farm, a native and heirloom plant nursery that was selling there. I snagged an anthracnose and powdery mildew resistant dogwood, Cornus florida 'Appalachian Spring'. It's a tiny thing but I have big hopes for it. We also purchased tickets for the self guided driving tour of historical places, many with thousands of daffodils surrounding them. So take a drive with me, won't you?
The area has rolling hills, pine trees, and hardwoods. Logging used to be one of the major industries there. You can get a sense of the trees in this pretty stop on the tour.
Above are some very special young pine trees we found at this stop - Longleaf Pines (Pinus palustris). These pines once covered vast areas of the southeast before European settlement and they have a very interesting ecosystem, supporting the Red Cockaded Woodpecker, Gopher tortoises, wire grass, etc. I read a fascinating memoir that enlightened me to all of that: Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray. It's great reading and I highly recommend it.
This wasn't really a stop on the tour but we all thought it was very interesting. An old house set in the middle of some old pecan trees with thousands of blooming daffodils in front (you may have to click on the photo to see them).
After a quick stop at a blacksmith demonstration, we moseyed on into the town of Mount Lebanon. Here you can see one of the largest and fanciest dogtrot houses I've ever seen. A dogtrot house has a breezeway running through the middle of the house with rooms opening to the breezeway. This one was built in the 19th century and is occupied today (very cool).
This house was also built in the mid 19th century but originally it was an inn on the stagecoach route. It was very impressive but most impressive were the massive crapemyrtles in front of it, seen below.
Have you ever seen crapemyrtles so huge? I certainly haven't. Mary Louise couldn't even get her arms all the way around it. It was so interesting to see how they twist as they get old.
All in all the jubilee was fun and the weather couldn't be beat. And yours truly won a raffle prize but you'll have to wait until October to find out what it is - it will make a gardener's heart skip a beat!
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2009. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.