The Botanical Garden of Baton
Located in the middle of Baton
Rouge the botanic garden gives our residents a place to enjoy all that the
southern climate has to offer in the way of plantings and species. The
Botanical Garden of Baton Rouge was begun in 1991 by a group of hard-working volunteers
and is ever changing. Established gardens and gardens presently under
development include the Crape Myrtle Garden, Rose Garden, Sensory Garden, Herb
Garden, Louisiana Iris Garden and the Daylily Garden.
The Daylily Garden was started
with plants donated by Mrs. B. B. Saxon. In 2001 it was expanded by Botanic
Garden Volunteers. Members of the Baton Rouge Daylily Society donated and
planted over 800 cultivars.
The daylily plantings consist of
an impressive collection of heirloom and modern cultivars in a public garden
setting which is being expanded each year as resources permit. The Botanic Gardens are open to the public
from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year.
The Botanical Garden was granted AHS Display
Garden status in 2009 and is primarily cared for by Mrs. Claire Fontenot and a
group of master gardeners and volunteers.
If it were not for Claire Fontenot, the
daylily portion of the Botanical Garden would probably be 20 – 25 older
varieties with no recognizable identification or much care.
Raised on a farm in Houma, Claire did not
start her professional career in the medical services field until her two
children were well on their way to adulthood.
In her spare time she became involved with
Lagniappe Studies, Master Gardeners and, of course, the Botanical Garden of
After twenty years in the health care field
she retired in 1995. After her retirement she became increasingly involved with
volunteer work, teaching and mentoring those interested in horticulture. She
has the answer on anything green.
The collection now consists of over
approximately 1200 named cultivars and is one of the largest daylily
collections in a public garden setting.
Claire presently serves as secretary for the
Baton Rouge Daylily Society and is a member of AHS. I do not see how she finds
time to spoil her great grandchildren.