Gardens of the River

Gentle river breezes waft through the live oaks and willows of the South’s most delightful, fragrant and colorful gardens. A profusion of color greets the eye as you stroll the brick walkways, admiring the sculptures set among flowering blossoms of formal and informal gardens originally planted in the gracious antebellum era.
Learn how the formal gardens of European estates inspired the owners of southern American plantations, and discover the flora they selected to set their gardens apart from their neighbors.
Along the way, renowned horticulturists and gardeners will share their expertise and enliven your shore explorations of such noteworthy gardens as those of Afton Villa Plantation and Imahara’s Garden, both in St. Francisville, in the heart of ”English” Louisiana. Learn how such familiar flowers as azaleas, crape myrtles, camellias and magnolias came to personify the southern garden. Join us on a Steamboating Gardens of the River Vacation and delight all your senses. 


Wanda Metz Chase
Wanda Metz Chase is the third generation of her family to own and operate one of Baton Rouge’s oldest and largest landscape contracting businesses which got its start on a shoestring by her grandfather, Mr. James M. Imahara, shortly after World War II. A 1984 graduate of LSU School of Landscape Architecture, Mrs. Chase has established an astounding career in the world of Landscape Architecture.  She is currently a licensed Landscape Architect and an industry spokesperson on gardening, design and business management within the profession.

Jeff Kuehny 
Jeff Kuehny developed a passion for horticulture in the early years of his life growing up on a farm in Northern Oklahoma and has since turned that passion into an impressive career. A professor of horticulture at Louisiana State University for over 20 years, Professor Kuehny has taught a diversity of classes on the subject in addition to developing research programs for new plant introductions and sustainable landscape management. His most current endeavors include the implementation of a master plan for the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. 

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