St. Francisville — Sam and Noelle LeBlanc wanted flowers all the time.
That’s the one request the couple made of Dallas landscape designer Jason Osterberger to make a part of his plan for Roussillon, the couple’s country home in the Locust Grove area of West Feliciana Parish.
Now, you can see the blooms of their labor.
The May 2 Spring Garden Stroll, sponsored by Feliciana Country Gardeners, will show the gardens at Roussillon at their springtime best.
The home, named for a little town in the south of France, was designed in the style of Provence with ocher-colored exterior stucco walls. Landscape designer Michael Hopping planned the 20-acre site and situated the home in a clearing on the wooded property.
The LeBlancs met Osterberger at the Southern Garden Symposium and engaged him to create a master garden design, which was implemented by Wanda Metz Chase of Imahara’s Landscapes. About seven acres are cleared, with one to two acres planted with gardens and designed with formal courtyards.
“The design included drought-resistant and deer-resistant plantings along a long, meandering front drive and golf green,” Chase said. “It includes southern favorite plants, like grancy greybeard, flowering quince and evergreen pineapple guava for seasonal interest and to accentuate Mr. LeBlanc’s iron-work art.”
Sam LeBlanc, a lawyer, does iron work as a hobby and worked with his mentor and friend Luis Colmenares, of New Orleans, to fabricate iron gates for the front entrance.
“Mr. LeBlanc thought gates to be generally ugly with their horizontal and/or vertical ‘jail-like’ rods,” Chase said. “He wanted organic and a commentary on Louisiana flora.”
Sam LeBlanc named the entrance Dogwood Gates as a tribute to the beautiful, but disappearing, tree.
The home, like many country homes in Provence, features front and rear courtyards, the front with a low wall and the back with a high wall. Tall, thin Italian cypress trees at the front provide a vertical balance to the low garden walls and two-story home.
“Sam and Noelle requested abundant color, and the gardens succeed in producing vibrant color with seasonal blooms, as well as variegated color foliage,” Chase said.
The LeBlancs, who collect art, used iron garden sculptures by Sam LeBlanc and other fine artists throughout the landscape. Among Sam LeBlanc’s works in the front garden are “Having Fun” and “Retiré,” a ballet term describing one leg “withdrawn,” or drawn up. The sculpture — fabricated with Sammy Bogeous and powdercoated hot pink — is a tribute to Noelle LeBlanc, a ballet dancer for more than 30 years.
Lining the long, winding drive are Sam LeBlanc’s “Geometric Pipes” and “The Chief,” by Grant Ballin.
The golf green is located across a large pond on property at the front of the house in an area also decorated with iron sculptures by three artists.
The property is heavily forested with pines and other trees, including a large number of specialty trees planted in the past seven years. The five gardens on the tour will be hosted by the homeowners and members of the Feliciana Master Gardeners Program through the LSU AgCenter.
Proceeds from the Spring Garden Stroll will be used for 4-H scholarships, school gardens in the Felicianas and other community beautification projects.