(11/12/20) BATON ROUGE, La. — Winter in the South doesn’t mean staying indoors. Burden Museum & Gardens offers many activities for the holidays and beyond.
On Saturday, Nov. 28, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens will present the annual Poinsettia Show and Sale. Admission is free and includes more than 50 varieties that will be on display and for sale in the Orangerie and Pavilion. The Botanic Gardens evaluates poinsettia varieties developed by breeders worldwide, and visitors will be able to vote for their favorites. A limited number of each variety is available for sale, so arrive on time so that you don’t miss out on these rare varieties. Proceeds benefit the research at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens.
On Sunday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visitors can ring in the Christmas season at A Rural Life Christmas, a 19th century Louisiana celebration at the LSU Rural Life Museum. Musical groups, demonstrating artisans, storytellers and costumed reenactors will be present to set the holiday mood. The event will conclude with a bonfire and a visit from Papa Noel. In order to maintain the safety of guests and volunteers, activities and schedule may be modified. Masks are required. Pre-packaged meals with chips, pickle, dessert and choice of sausage, hot dog or pimento cheese sandwich will be available for sale. Admission is $10 per person, with children 10 years old and younger admitted at no charge.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, Arbor Day will be celebrated at Burden from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens will offer visitors the opportunity to plant a tree and get a GPS location so they can return to see their trees grow. Other activities will include a scavenger hunt, children’s harnessed tree climbing, Smokey Bear, a native tree sale and more. Admission is free, and concessions will be available for purchase.
On Saturday, Feb. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., the LSU Rural Life Museum will present An Old Fashioned Tea, featuring a special English-style tea, served with sandwiches, scones and other delicacies. Served in three courses, the tea will be accompanied by music and a presentation sure to be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Admission is $60 for adults and $25 for children 13 years old and younger. In order to maintain the safety of guests and volunteers, activities and schedule may be modified. Masks are required. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact the LSU Rural Life Museum at www.lsu.edu/RuralLife for reservations.
On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and 21, the Baton Rouge Camellia Society will conduct its annual Camellia Show and Sale at the LSU Rural Life Museum and LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden. It features a juried camellia show with many plants for sale from the expansive camellia collection in the Botanic Gardens. The show is free and open to the public. Visitors may also tour the blooming camellia collections in gardens.
On Monday through Friday, Feb. 22 to 26, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Botanic Gardens will sponsor the Byzantine Icon Workshop. This thoughtful and meditative five-day retreat focuses on traditional painting techniques that date back 2,000 years. If you have a desire for a peaceful, contemplative setting, join the iconographers and create an individual piece of meaningful art. No previous artistic skill or experience is required. The cost of the workshop is $350 and includes all materials and lunch for five days. Reservations may be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Gardens to further the Botanic Gardens Master Plan.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Herb Society of America Baton Rouge Unit will present Herb Day. The event will feature an herb “petting zoo” and other children’s activities. Herb classes will start in the morning and continue every hour. Merchants will be located in the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie to sell homemade jellies and jams, gardening tools, art and more. Other local plant societies will also be present to answer your gardening questions. The event is free and open to the public.
The Birding at Burden trail system consists of six loops that wind through Burden’s formal and informal gardens, grasslands, croplands, wetlands and forest. The loops are designed for both beginners and advanced bird enthusiast. Kiosks about the birding loops can be found at the Rural Life Museum Visitors Center and the Ione Burden Conference Center.
Trees and Trails, a 3-mile system of pedestrian, recreational and educational trails in the Burden Woods, provides opportunities for hiking and interpretive and educational activities for youth and adults. The Mosaic Boardwalk at Black Swamp guides visitors through a hardwood swamp more than 200 years old. The trail system is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
The Children’s Garden offers a place to learn about gardening and nutrition. This model garden also provides a location for youth-related organizations and individual families to experience the outdoors, focusing on vegetable, herb and butterfly garden plantings.
The Rose Garden is a part of the American Garden Rose Selections program, a nationwide network of approved public gardens, and the American Rose Trials for Sustainability program, maintaining an inventory of 1,100 plants representing 150 varieties. Starting each April, the Rose Garden offers an exclusive preview of the coming year’s outstanding new varieties.
Windrush Gardens comprises majestic live oaks and ancient crape myrtles to create a shady canopy over azaleas and camellias, evoking a sense of tranquility and peace. Steele Burden, who was influenced by the gardens of Europe and the surviving gardens of 19th century Louisiana plantations, designed Windrush. The winding paths are ideal for strolling and enjoying the 25 acres of landscaped spaces.
Located at 4560 Essen Lane just off Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge, Burden Museum & Gardens is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes the LSU Rural Life Museum, the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and Windrush Gardens.
The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens is an expansive collection of specialty gardens, woodlands, wetlands and arboreta. Trees and Trails offers 3 miles of serene walking paths through the Burden Woods. The Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and All-America Selections Display Garden showcase the beauty of plants and flowers and provide educational experiences for gardeners of all ages. No admission is charged to tour the gardens.
The LSU Rural Life Museum focuses on the ways of life of rural Louisiana during the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also provides educational and research resources that advance an understanding of the material and cultural heritage of the region.
Adjacent to the Rural Life Museum, the historic Windrush Gardens comprises 5 acres of semiformal gardens of the Burden family.
Admission to the Botanic Gardens and Trees and Trails is free of charge and open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Rural Life Museum is $10 for adults 12 to 61 and $9 for seniors and $8 for children 6 to 11. Admission to Windrush Gardens is $3 per person. Both are free for kids under 6. The LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens are open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except major holidays.