We’re All About Plants and People!
The 14-acre property known as Hilltop was donated to Louisiana State University by Emory Smith, a retired postal worker with a decided passion for plants, particularly those native to Louisiana. In the interest of sharing his enthusiasm, he shared and encouraged the sharing of plants.
The Friends of Hilltop “Hodge Podge” Committee has followed his lead by giving the Arboretum’s friends and fans the opportunity to scour their gardens for plants in need of a new home. From its humble beginnings as a quiet corner at the annual October plant sale, Hodge Podge has literally “blossomed” into a volunteer mini-nursery operation that boasts upwards of 2,500 plants representing 300 different species.
In his dictionary, Mr. Webster defines Hodge Podge (hoj’poj’) as “a stew of various ingredients”. That we are!!! Taking our cue from Emory Smith, we have established a delightfully spunky mix of people, native plants and other plants that behave in the garden.
Our mini nursery is an outgrowth of the area traditionally set aside at past sales offering plants donated by Friends’ members and fans for sale. Tucked into a shady nook near Mr. Smith’s old home, it boasts a greenhouse and homemade nursery tables to accommodate our stash of propagated and pass along plants and the dedicated cadre of volunteers who tend them.
You are cordially invited to come “putter” with the Podge. We gather most Wednesdays beginning around 9:00 a.m. and adjourning around noon for a modest pot luck repast. Our mantra is: “Come when you want, if you want and stay for as long as you want”. You’ll be glad you did, and so will we!!!
Want a few more details? Take a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Like Uncle Sam would say: “Hodge Podge needs YOU!” to help us keep our on-site nursery flush with plants. Do think of us when thinning out your garden’s plant population. You may leave your offerings, complete with ID’s please, by the dirt bin located at the end of the service drive.
May the Podge be with you!