Monday, March 8, 2010

Jonquil Jubilee!

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.


  1. What a fantastic place to have been, and lovely pictures...Thank You!
    The old house with the daffodils is definitely the place for me.
    Our daffodils here in the UK are only just showing some green growth.

  2. You can ALWAYS tell where old homeplaces were by the huge patches of Daffodils! I just love them!--Randy

  3. Thanks for the tour, Jean--what a great way to spend the day! Fields of daffodils--now that's my idea of paradise. I think I've heard of a dogtrot house before, but never knew what it was. I suppose the idea was to keep it cool in the summer?

    Now you have me curious about your raffle prize--I'm guessing it's a Japanese maple, but maybe that's only because I want one so badly:)

  4. Wow on the crape's so impressive. I did think she was kissing it at first! gail

  5. Gary - a little sunshine and your daffs will be blooming in no time.

    Randy - yes, I think that's a southern thing.

    Rose - yes, the breezeway combined with windows pulled the air through the house. Typically the kitchen and dining room were on one side and the bedroom(s) were on the other side. The sitting area was the breezeway. No, I didn't win a Japanese Maple. :-)

    Gail - yes, a super-size crapemyrtle!

  6. Luv the name....Jonquil Jubilee.

    This is the second time in a week that I've heard mention of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker. Had never heard of them before, probably because they don't come this far north.

    Dogtrot houses, that's new to me also. When I finish this comment, I'll go check out the link.

    Your friend, Mary Louise, truly is a tree hugger:)


  7. LOL at the tree hugging. What a magnificent specimen.

  8. thank you for the tour Jean. There is always a feeling of nostalgia when I see an abandoned old house and flowers continuing to bloom around... still a presence.

  9. What fun to tag along with you and ML. I rarely see any crape myrtles so that one does look big and beautiful. You shouldn't tease us so with that raffle prize taunt.

  10. Nice photos - My mother and I also enjoyed the jonquil jubilee. The weather was great. We also entered the raffle - we both bought tickets for both of the prizes. We did not win the quilt but now we know who won the other prize. Hope you enjoy it.


  11. My gosh, that crape myrtle is unreal!

  12. LOL, I've only ever seen crepe myrtles once, but, no, they were not anywhere near that big. Love the photo. Also love the idea of a Jonquil Jubilee. We have a Daffodil Line in Ann Arbor, but it's not quite as fun!

  13. I have never seen such large crepe myrtles. They never get very big here. Our winters are too severe. I love to see their mottled bark. Your area is way ahead of our area bloom-wise. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good to hear from you.

  14. I really love your house and garden with those beautiful flowers.

    Just lovely!

    Aanee xxx
    flower delivery


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