MAGNOLIA STATE GARDENS, DRIVES AND STORIES
May 5, 2015 – May 7, 2015
“springtime surprises from Natchez to Jackson”
Don’t miss the bus to the Magnolia State! Mississippi that is, for an unforgettable Hilltop adventure featuring the historic Natchez Trace, the home of Eudora Welty, a special photography exhibit, many flower-filled gardens and of course shopping!
We’ll board the bus bright and early on Tuesday, May 5th for the drive to Natchez where we’ll stop to wander through the colorful garden rooms at Rosehill Cottage where chickens do the weeding and debugging! Next, it’s on to the “Castle” Restaurant at Dunleith Plantation for a delicious southern-style lunch and tour of the house and grounds.
After lunch we’ll hop on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway and head for Jackson. Along the way we’ll visit Mount Locust Historic Home, one of the oldest structures in Mississippi, then, Sunken Trace for a photo “op” of the deeply eroded (12 to 15 feet) original trail.
The bus will arrive in downtown Jackson about 4:30 for check-in at the Hilton Garden Inn located in what was originally the King Edward Hotel. This iconic landmark was built in 1923, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, designated a Mississippi Landmark in 1990, and completely renovated in 2006. Once you’ve settled in be sure and stop by the Davis-Coates “party suite” for a special Cinco de Mayo “Happy Hour” before heading out for dinner at a nearby restaurant of your choosing.
Wednesday morning our first stop will be at the home of Eudora Welty, one of Mississippi’s most beloved authors. Ms. Welty was also an avid gardener, so after a guided tour of the house a walk through her lovely garden is a must. It includes an extensive perennial border, a rose garden, trellises and latticework, a woodland garden and impressive camellia collection.
Next we’ll drive to the Mississippi Museum of Art to view a special exhibit of photographs taken by Ms. Welty then break for lunch on the terrace in the museum’s new “Art Garden”. After lunch we’ll tour several surprising springtime gardens at private homes, one in the historic Fondren District of Jackson and other neighborhoods.
Day three will start with a shopping stop at Martinson’s Garden Works, a “Best of Jackson” nursery offering a large selection of plants grown on site, an extensive pottery collection, a gift shop, a fish pond and a family of exotic chickens to boot!
Then it’s off to the gardens again! This time we’ll head north of Jackson to visit a few of the amazing private gardens of Madison County. After a busy morning guaranteed to work up an appetite it’s a good thing Char Restaurant, a popular local eatery, is located nearby and expecting us for lunch! After lunch we’ll squeeze in one last Mississippi garden filled with old southern favorites like roses, poppies and foxgloves before heading back to Baton Rouge. Napping is allowed on the way home!