Louisiana’s subtropical climate and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico gives the state extended periods of warm weather and mild winters, creating an ideal environment for gardens. Spring is the best window for experiencing the sights and smells of the state’s flora.
Where better to experience Louisiana’s natural beauty than numerous botanical parks statewide? Visitors can see indigenous blooms such as magnolias (Louisiana’s state flower), irises, orchids, violets, Southern azaleas and wildflower species in a seemingly endless variety of colors.
Travelers will also find Louisiana gardens in both visually striking and organic settings such as formal gardens, Louisiana State Parks and antebellum plantation homes on the Mississippi River.
Stop and smell the flowers in Louisiana's Botanical Gardens:
- Afton Villa Gardens in St. Francisville has more than 250 live oak trees spread across the estate including 20 acres of formal gardens packed with a variety of flowers including a large variety of azaleas.
- The American Rose Center in Shreveport, the official home of the American Rose Society, has 118 acres of beautiful rose gardens with America’s national floral emblem.
- Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, a must-visit in Monroe is one of the most interesting Coca Cola museums and finest gardens in north Louisiana. Stroll through the gardens and stop by for a $.05 Coke in the museum.
- Jungle Gardens on Avery Island is a 170-acre botanical park and bird sanctuary that includes a 900 year-old Buddha statue.
- Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans offers garden areas featuring native and adaptable plant and tree varieties.
- The Louisiana State Arboretum State Preservation Area near Ville Platte has 300 acres of trees, plants and occasional wildlife that are indigenous to the state. Visitors can also hike one of five short trails.
- The New Orleans Botanical Garden at City Park features more than 2,000 plant varieties from around the world. The garden is also home to 20 statues at the Helis Foundation Enrique Alferez Sculpture Garden.
- R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport has a 15,000-plant garden, including 100 native and hybrid varieties of azaleas.
- Rip Van Winkle Gardens in New Iberia, on Avery Island, is 15 acres of semi-tropical gardens meandering through the 350-year-old oak trees.
- Two antebellum plantations with extensive on-site gardens include Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site in St. Francisville and Houmas House Plantation in Darrow. Rosedown has a 28-acre maze-style garden that requires a map to successfully navigate. Houmas House has 38 acres of both native and exotic blooms, with numerous sitting areas for a more relaxed approach to enjoying the sights and aromas.
- Windrush Gardens at the Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge offers sculptures, as well as a variety of native trees and plants.