Monday, March 22, 2010

Afton Villa Gardens

The Southeastern Architectural Archive's Garden Library of the New Orleans Town Gardeners houses the collection of Afton Villa Gardens, a garden located outside of St. Francisville, Louisiana (shown above). Genevieve Munson Trimble has been working tirelessly to restore the former plantation gardens since 1972. In the process, she has comprehensively documented her preservation efforts. Her personal gardening journals are augmented by the reports of Louisiana State University landscape architecture professor Neil Odenwald.

Her entry from 22 January 1983 reads:

"We are here at Afton again to meet Neil Odenwald. We toured the garden which looks very much like January -- only a few camellias in bloom and a very gloomy cold January day. Usually at this time I feel: Why garden at all? Then, comes the realization of coming spring. This year we are concerned that everything will come too soon. Today we see daffodils already beginning to bloom -- and a few white azaleas, also! We planted 3400 tulips during December, as opposed to 1623 tulips last year, so we ought to see a difference in the garden. . . "

Read more about Genevieve Munson Trimble and the Afton Villa Collection here. Or consult her gardening journals and landscaping reports in the Garden Library.

Images above: Afton Villa Gardens, as photographed 21 March 2010 by K. Rylance.

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