Eventually, there will be four gardens areas filled with the most fragrant, tasty and useful of plants, and each telling a little bit of our history.

The first of those areas — Flavors of Louisiana — has been completed, and now the Baton Rouge Unit of the Herb Society of America is raising money to build the other three planting areas at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens, part of the Burden Museum & Gardens. 

The organization's fundraising Herb Day will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Burden, 4560 Essen Lane.

The day will include hundreds of herb plants for sale, live music, an herb petting zoo, raffles, local art vendors, food trucks and classes on everything from raising monarch butterflies to using herbs in cocktails.

Proceeds from the plant sale go toward the Herb Garden, which will include culinary and medicinal herbs of the original inhabitants of the area and the herbs of the early settlers from Europe and Africa.

The Baton Rouge Unit already has given $12,500 to build the first phase of the garden, which showcases the Louisiana kitchen garden, says Mary Williams, vice chairwoman of the local group and chairwoman of Herb Day. 

The next space will have a pavilion and gardens with herbs used by Native Americans and African-Americans, Williams says. The third phase will be a formal, symmetrical garden with plants used by the Spanish, French, German, English and Italian early settlers to the Baton Rouge area. The fourth phase will be a natural garden with winding paths and native herbs, she says.

Each of the four sections will have paths, fences and beds appropriate to the ethnicities and times of the garden.

Williams says it also will be a therapeutic garden, with packed gravel paths easy for wheelchairs to negotiate and with benches and a pavilion providing resting spots. Visitors will be able to touch, taste and smell the plants.

For more information or to make a donation to help build the garden, visit hsabr.org or send a check made out to HSABR to treasurer Cathy Scarbrough, 9355 Woodbine St., Baton Rouge, LA 70815.


Herb Day

A fundraiser for the Baton Rouge Unit of the Herb Society of America

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24

WHERE: LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden Museum & Gardens, 4560 Essen Lane

ADMISSION: Free

ACTIVTIES: Herb Plant Petting Zoo; raffles for various prizes, including quilts, jewelry, wine and gift baskets; vendors of jewelry, crafts, herbal jams and jellies; information on beekeeping, Green Bridges Gardens, native plants, Bike Baton Rouge, Master Naturalists

CLASSES:

  • 9 a.m. — Raising Monarch Butterflies
  • 10 a.m. — Companion Planting with Herbs
  • 11 a.m. — Garden Tool Care and Sharpening
  • Noon — Herbs in Cocktails