From the Archives: Garden Party

In the March 1995 edition of inRegister, Katharine Dunham took readers on a tour of her two-acre garden designed by none other than iconic Baton Rouge landscape architect Steele Burden. Situated in the aptly named Capitol Lake View neighborhood, each room of the sprawling residence offered views of the State Capitol and its lake. The garden surrounded the home, which Burden designed to ensure that “something is in bloom all year long.”

Well-known for its calla lilies (a highly coveted addition to bridal bouquets of the day), weeping crape myrtles and two of the oldest white Japanese magnolias in the city, the Dunham garden was a sight to behold—and smell. It was a living work of art created by Burden and lovingly cared for by Loran Thomas. Of course, the Dunham Garden was a feature of the 1995 Friends of Hilltop Arboretum Spring Garden Tour, which included over twelve garden tours across three dates. Tickets were only available by calling Hilltop Arboretum or visiting one of the many participating businesses, all meticulously listed at the end of the cover story. These days, buying tickets to the Spring Garden Tour and reception hosted by Friends of Hilltop Arboretum on May 11 requires only the click of a few buttons.

The 2024 Spring Garden Tour will feature seven eclectic “tiny” gardens in the historic neighborhoods of Beauregard Town and Spanish Town in downtown Baton Rouge. The beautiful spaces share a spirit common among passionate gardeners of all eras—a love for creating, planting, growing, discovering, nurturing and sharing.