Front of home filled with plantsSpring Garden Tour

Tiny Gardens of Downtown Baton Rouge
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Featuring seven gardens on tour from 1:00-4:00pm

The tour will feature seven eclectic “tiny” gardens in the historic neighborhoods of Beauregard Town and Spanish Town in downtown Baton Rouge, all designed by their talented creators. Featured gardeners are Chuck Booksh and Van Landry (222 Napoleon Street, 70802) in Beauregard Town, Nanci and Scott Gaddy (218 Napoleon Street, 70802) in Beauregard Town, Susan Turner and Scott Purdin (630 Louisiana Avenue, 70802) in Beauregard Town, Mark Culotta (818 America Street, 70802) in Beauregard Town, Lloyd Wardrip and Archie Obregon (645 North 9th Street, 70802) in Spanish Town, June Peay (631 Lucilla Lane, 70802) in Spanish Town, and Patrick Ford and Greg Myers (655 Bungalow Lane, 70802) in Spanish Town. The beautiful spaces featured all share a spirit by that is common amongst passionate gardeners – a love for creating, planting, growing, discovering, nurturing, and sharing. With so much knowledge and experience to share, the tour will be a wonderful opportunity to “talk all things gardening” with our hosts. 

Tickets for this event are $20.00 and include the garden tour and light refreshments at The Origin Hotel.  You may purchase tickets online by clicking on Tickets in the right-sidebar, by phone 225-767-6916, or the afternoon of the tour at any of the seven gardens. On the afternoon of the tour, only cash and checks will be accepted, no credit cards.

Garden Descriptions

Chuck Booksh and Van Landry
222 Napoleon Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802 

This 5-year-old garden, created from scratch by Booksh and Landry, is a gathering of a collection of favorites from around the world. The lush planting encases their home in the front, the side, and the back. As a gardener, Booksh focuses on flowers, flowers, and more flowers, with the intent to have as many blooms for as long as possible.  Blooming gerber daisies, roses, irises, and confederate jasmine dot the landscape along with an array of beautifully arranged potted plants on the back deck. The intricacies, the beauty, and the variations are limitless in this lush and fragrant garden. The garden is filled with singing birds and scampering squirrels, and there are places to take in the wonder in both the shade and sun. Booksh and Landry believe that gardening can truly be a joyful endeavor, every day, for the person who finds great joy and satisfaction in nurturing and caring for beautiful plants. 

Nanci and Scott Gaddy
218 Napoleon Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Scott and Nanci Gaddy have transformed their lovely shotgun-style early 20th century historic home into a warm and inviting retreat.  Inside and out, their home is accentuated by an environment of unique plant life and artwork collected throughout their lives. It’s a favored place for fellow gardeners and neighbors out for a walk. 

The Gaddy’s agree that plants are in many ways like people. They need attention, individualized nurturing, and most likely benefit from a little up-close talking to.  After all, if they’re not your “babies”, why bother? Many times, Scott has heard Nanci saying, “how are you guys doing?” when she goes out into the yard to prune, weed, water or feed.

They bring a collective knowledge of potted plants, vegetables, shrubs, trees, and pesky insects to the topic at hand; however, Scott admits that the “lions share” of keeping their garden going from season to season stems from the attention, commitment, and care on Nanci’s part over the years of trial and error- the real school get your hands in the dirt learning.  As noted by their close friends, there is “a history” Nancy shares with many of the things growing outside their windows.  Some “guys” such as bamboo palms, ponytail palms, and sansevieria have been with her for over 50 years. No small feat!!

Yes, plants really are like people. All are welcome members of their family, and for the Gaddi’s, an artistic expression from a blank canvas to an ever-changing work of art.

630-634 and 635 Louisiana Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

The 600 block of Louisiana Avenue includes a wide range of architectural styles that characterize historic Beauregard Town.

In the 1930s, Susan’s grandmother ran a boarding house at 602 La. to put her son through LSU. While in grad school Susan developed a master plan that would increase the residential appeal of these historic houses. To provide a sense of community, each residence has a private outdoor living space, shaded parking, and access to several green spaces, including a rose garden, for use by all residents of “Beauregard Block.”

Many of the gardens include traditional 19th century plants along with more recent introductions. Thanks to Hilltop colleagues, the project was the beneficiary of lots of passalong plants from overgrown gardens.

In the fifteen years since these gardens were first on Hilltop’s tour, the gardeners’ obsession to always expand has resulted in additional gardens:  a forest garden in honor of Wayne Womack, a large kitchen garden thanks to neighbor John Hollingshead, test plots for landscape plants, a citrus orchard, and a working greenhouse.

Mark Culotta
818 America Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Owner of Mark Culotta’s Landscape Maintenance, Mark’s home was the former site of the family business of his father - Frank Culotta Contractor. In 2013, Mark moved into the half office and during the pandemic, began gutting the entire building for renovation. Mark’s mother Dee Dee handled all the design work on the interior, and Mark took care of the outside.  His first challenge was removing the 2-inch-thick concrete parking pad, which spanned into two lots. Now the area has a pool and lush landscaping that encourages birds and other wildlife to visit.  He is a fan of fragrance, so in his garden there is a wide selection of gardenias, camellias, and evergreens. He describes his yard as having a “New Orleans” courtyard vibe with statues of St. Joseph and Old St. Louis brick in this traditional formal garden design.

Lloyd Wardrip and Archie Obregon
645 North 9th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Wardrip and Obregon have been busy since the last Hilltop tour building their collection of tropicals and adding a small cactus and succulent greenhouse. Their entire collection is in pots since most of the property is paved, which allows them to constantly change out the front of the house as the season progresses. They have many unique and rare plants and have grown many of them from seeds and cuttings they have resourced from the internet and other local garden enthusiasts. Both men grew up gardening with their grandparents teaching us everything they needed to know to be successful. The skills they learned have enabled them to propagate and share their passion with others as well as sell at Hilltop plant sales and other events locally. They plant many of the standard plants commonly found in Southern gardens as well as enjoy the excitement of finding those older varieties you don’t see often on the seed rack at local nurseries or online.  

June Peay
631 Lucilla Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

It’s been years since Peay transformed her non-descript driveway into a garden path. Now, that path winds among hundreds of varieties of plants, mostly perennials and native plants. Using the advice of the late professor emeritus LSU School of Landscape Architecture, Neil Odenwald, and gardener Cary Long, Peay created an outdoor living room featuring an abundance of texture and color for the enjoyment of humans and pollinators. Outdoor sculptures that enhance her yard include a bottle tree by folklore metal artist, Stephanie Dwyer and a contemporary sculpture by New Orleans artist Christine LeDoux. Artwork from other noted artists is distributed throughout the yard.  Peay had her yard qualified as a Louisiana Certified Habitat designated by the Louisiana Native Plant Society which requires that the area be planted with plants native to the region. 

Patrick Ford and Greg Myers
655 Bungalow Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

The garden was started in 2014 from virtually nothing. The beds were planned and laid out to maximize the use of the limited space available.  Over the years, the garden continues to evolve and grow representing an eclectic mix of shrubbery, perennials, and annual color with varying layers of height, colors, and textures.  In 2016 a goldfish pond was installed and in 2018 a garden model railroad was added which also continues to grow. 

The Origin Hotel
101 St. Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Baton Rouge’s newest Hotel, The Origin, welcomes garden tour participants to stop for a light refreshment and quick break. Located at the corner of Saint Ferdinand Street and North Boulevard, this 68-year-old building, once a downtown bank, is the city’s newest boutique hotel which boasts 87 guest rooms, a gym, an all-day restaurant, a lounge and coffees shop, as well as a rooftop bar. While you’re there, peruse the Hilltop Gift Shop and purchase a signature cocktail, “The Hilltop”.

Spring Garden Tour Details

Saturday, May 11, 2024
Tickets $20 per person.

On-line Ticket Sales are Closed.

Tour tickets may be purchased Saturday from 1-4pm at any of the homes on tour. Only cash and checks will be accepted, no credit cards.

Questions? Call 225-767-7916 or email: