Steele Burden’s Legacy Continues at Burden Museum and Gardens
Ollie Brice Steele Burden, well known and respected landscape expert in Baton Rouge and at LSU, planted more than botanical gardens in his hometown.
Steele Burden, shown here in front of his study in the middle of his beloved gardens, worked tirelessly to build and maintain the gardens that are now part of the Burden Museum and Gardens.
He sowed the seeds of inspiration through the gardens and landscapes he created. His legacy lives on in the many landscapes he designed that continue to be maintained as he originally created them. Among these are the Rural Life Museum and the gardens of Windrush, which are part of the Burden Museum and Gardens.
Burden and his siblings, Ione, Pike, and Jeanette Burden, grew up on the farm on which the gardens and museum are built. In 1964, they donated the entire property to LSU. Steele Burden, who admired the European classical gardens he visited as a young man, designed the gardens of Windrush with winding paths through live oaks, camellias, azaleas, and crape myrtle, plants that have thrived in Louisiana for generations. Named one of the Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World by the British Museum, the Rural Life Museum features more than 30 historic buildings that include artifacts from 19th-century Louisiana farms, plantations, and homes.
As the new year will soon begin to give way to warmer weather in Baton Rouge, plants in bloom beckon us outdoors. What better way to enjoy the beauty of the landscape than a trip to Burden’s beloved gardens? Through this gallery of photos taken by LSU Office of Communications & University Relations photographers Jim Zietz and Eddy Perez, we welcome you to take a virtual stroll through the gardens.
And when spring finally does arrive, plan your own trip to Burden Museum and Gardens, one of LSU’s most delightful facilities right here in Baton Rouge. Open daily from 8 am until 5 pm, the museum and gardens are the perfect places to enjoy the beauty of nature. While the adjacent nature trails require no admission, a fee is charged for both the Rural Life Museum and Windrush. Visit discoverburden.com or call 225-765-2437 for more information.