Located a stone’s throw from Jim and Brenda Bridges’ Garden on Betty Street is the garden of Chris and Brandi Bridges. Although Chris inherited his love of gardening from his mother, Chris did not become interested in daylilies until receiving an invitation to a bus tour sponsored by the Baton Rouge Daylily Society in 2005. He joined the club shortly thereafter and soon his small daylily collection began to expand. Although he had intended to wait and save towards a professional landscape installation, Chris had to take matters into his own hands and find a spot for the daylilies in the backyard.
In 2012, Chris and Brandi were finally able to follow through on their original intention and the rest of the home was landscaped with the help of landscape architect Brent Reid. Featuring a French drain system and other water collection features, the landscape design solved several site problems by channeling drainage to a nearby canal. The new garden features many traditional Southern favorites such as azaleas (including “George Tabor” and “Chinzan”), camellias (both sasanquas and japonicas), magnolia, Sweet Olive and Indian Hawthorne as well as more unusual selections such as powder puff bush (Calliandra), Firespike, Coral honeysuckle and Chinese Fringe Tree. A number of annuals are also always part of the garden. Additionally, Chris has also begun collecting Japanese maples, with red, yellow and green leaf selections included as well as weeping and coral bark varieties. The garden was featured in a recent issue of the Louisiana Gardener Magazine.
Their collection includes 65 different cultivars with an emphasis on local hybridizers such as Joe Goudeau, Ronnie Rossie, Jimmy Terrio and the late Clarence Crochet. Although the daylily garden is still located in the backyard and is a work in progress, Chris and Brandi hope to one day finish off their landscape plans and make the daylilies a prominent feature. In addition to his own collection, Chris is also growing over 35 Tim Bell introductions for the Baton Rouge Daylily Society.
Chris has remained an active member in the Baton Rouge Daylily Society and has served as President, Vice-President and currently serves on the Executive Board for the club. Additionally, Chris and Brandi are members of AHS and Chris is currently serving as Regional Publicity Director for Region 13.