Tips on Gardening in Bossier

There is true joy in watching an empty or neglected yard transform into a thriving, serene sanctuary just outside your door. BeBossier asked local experts and homeowners the best way to create your own version of Eden.

“I always say make sure you know your yard. Sit outside and see how long the sun shines on an area, pay attention to if an area holds water when it rains,” said Tony Thornton, manager of Bossier’s Ellis Home & Garden. He recommends “beginning gardeners plant easier to grow plants that require less care like Sunshine Ligustrum, Baby Gem Boxwoods, Drift and Knockout Roses, Purslane, Titan Vinca, Lantana, and Blue Daze.”

LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Mark Wilson and Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions about plants, diseases, insects, and soil conditions during the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners’ Le Tour des Jardins June 1st and 2nd from 9:30 to 4:30 Saturday and 12:30 to 4:30 Sunday. Wilson advises getting a soil test before investing in plants and lawns.

“Come pick up a mail-in test kits for a lab analysis of soil conditions and have all your gardening questions answered,” said Wilson.

There will be food trucks, vendors and a tour of the Super Plant Garden of the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station, just south of Parkway High School. No ticket is required. Tickets for the garden tour, which features beautiful gardens at six homes, are available at the Research Station, Citizens National Bank, and each location on the tour. For more information, call the Master Gardeners at (318) 408-0984 (

“My advice would be to start small with easy-to-grow plants that do not require too much maintenance,” said Annalisa Vaccari of Bossier, whose home is on the tour. “The trick is to place the right plant in the right spot, so pay attention to the labels. I would recommend perennial plants that withstand our winter and summer weather such as Clematis, Roses, Veronicas, Hydrangeas, Azaleas, Irises, Hostas and Lilies.”

“Start with something you absolutely love and find beauty in, so it will inspire you to research best care practices and commit to its care,” said Alicia Andre, who owns Jayroe’s Hardware & Garden in Benton with her husband Drew. “You can’t beat a Camellia bloom in the dead of winter, and we’ve seen a very high success rate with holly shrubs. Native perennial plants are always a great idea too, for reliability and supporting the pollinators.”

“My advice for a new gardener is the same thing my mother-in-law gave me 56 years ago when I married her son: Don’t plant anything you won’t or can’t take care of,” said Brenda Collins, whose Bossier home is on the tour. “Verbena, Periwinkles and Lantana are very easy to grow and require little maintenance. 

“Gardening has been therapy for me,” said Collins, whose husband James Lloyd passed away last year. “The time I spend in my yard taking care of God’s flowers that my husband and I shared helps me remember how much he loved our yard and how beautiful he thought it was to sit and gaze at the flowers and visit with hummingbirds that would land on his shoulder to share the view.”

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