Highland Road will be the path to four gardens on the LSU Hilltop Arboretum’s spring garden tour, “Historical Highland Road Gardens,” on Sunday.
Tours will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the four garden sites in three subdivisions — Highland Ridge, Myrtle Hill and Knox Hill.
On tour will be the gardens of Charla and David Wade in Highland Ridge subdivision; Dr. Anthony and Susan Ioppolo in Myrtle Hill subdivision, and Belinda and Charles King and Sherryl and Bob Tucker, both in Knox Hill subdivision.
Visitors can start the tour at any of the four gardens. Visit lsu.edu/hilltop for tickets and a tour map. The LSU Hilltop Arboretum, 11855 Highland Road, also will be open during tour hours for plant shopping.
On tour are:
Wade garden, 16612 Autumn Ridge Ave., Highland Ridge subdivision
The Wade home sits at the back of the subdivision with an elevation change undetectable from the street. From the front ridge, a 30-foot slope leads to the bottomland floodplain of Bayou Fountain.
Alongside the driveway, a 100-foot stream begins with a waterfall, flowing downstream to a koi pond at the bottom. In the shade garden under the deck at the rear of the home, ferns and hostas thrive. A miniature train circles the garden, crossing two streams that flow into a pond. Bordering the shade garden are coral bark maple and bloodgood Japanese maple intermingled with parasols and a forest pansy redbud. The large drake elm offers nice shade to the deck.
Ioppolo garden, 846 Myrtle Hill Drive, Myrtle Hill subdivision
Four acres of gardens and outdoor living spaces encompass the Ioppolo property. At the front of the house are two fountains, one of which is surrounded by a secluded rose garden. The rose garden leads to a small patio with another fountain emptying into a sugar kettle planted with water lilies.
Nearby is a three-quarter-acre pond with a central fountain and patio for bass, bream, catfish and carp to eat the food thrown by the automatic feeder. The pond is surrounded by cypress trees and lush plantings.
Behind the house is the main patio, which features a large bottlebrush tree and a koi pond, where some of the fish are more than 20 years old.
King garden, 10245 Knox Hill Court, Knox Hill subdivision
In early spring, the pathway into the Kings’ old-fashioned Southern garden is filled with blooming Japanese magnolia trees and crape myrtles, while sweet olives and orange blossoms lend their fragrance to the air.
In 1999, the couple’s yard was transformed from a sloping grassy backyard into a beautiful oasis.
The original landscape and pool designer/architect, Eduardo Jenkins, held on to the home’s original redwood octagonal deck and designed around it to create a series of waterfalls cascading into lagoon-style pools.
The caladium-lined pond adds to the calm and cools the vine-covered deck, creating an almost year-round refuge. An abundance of ginger, plumbago, split leaf philodendron, roses, agapanthus and a variety of ferns, cast irons and daylilies grow in the numerous beds providing fodder for beautiful arrangements.
Tucker garden, 10229 Veranda Court, Knox Hill subdivision
The Tuckers built their house in 1987, planting numerous azaleas and trees to complement the lot and saving an old pecan tree from the original Knox estate. A pond in the back of the yard borders Bluebonnet Swamp.
“We have to deal with quite a bit of wildlife out of the swamp, including numerous desirable and undesirable critters,” Bob Tucker said.
They constructed gravel paths through their backyard, winding among numerous large George Tabor azaleas, dwarf azaleas and Indian hawthorns. Their plantings include river birches, Japanese magnolias, holly hedges and beds for a small raised vegetable garden, annuals and hydrangeas. The paths connect the pool area with a recently added outdoor cooking pavilion and the pond, where bald cypresses and dawn redwoods, which were acquired at the Hilltop Arboretum Plant Sale over 25 years ago, stand.