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 and plants.
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 make-do shade house, a recycled greenhouse and homemade nursery tables to accommodate our stash of propagated and pass along plants and the dedicated cadre of volunteers who tend them. We gather most Wednesdays beginning around 9:00 a.m.
Come “putter” with the Podge! You’ll be glad you did, and so will we!!!
In the interest of keeping pace with the “Big Boys”, the ever trendy Podge Pack has reactivated Mr. Smith’s “honor system” and established SELF Check-In … and Check-Out procedures for those dropping off or shopping for plants in the Hodge Podge inventory at Hilltop.
Taking our cue from Uncle Sam, we 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. To facilitate your generosity, we do have shovels and will travel should you need assistance in gently rousting those extras out of their nest and encouraging them to find dirt elsewhere.
WHEN MAKING A PLANT DROP!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to our space constraints, our tables sometimes runneth over. Before you grace us with your plant bounty, we ask that you contact the Hilltop Office ~  767-6916 / firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether or not there is “room at the inn”!!! Once that has been established, just walk yourself through the following “rules of engagement”!
1. Proceed to the Hodge Podge area.
2. Go to the round 50’s era table located on the back veranda by the kitchen entrance and pull up a chair.
3. Locate, fill in truthfully and to the best of your ability the following blanks on the Hodge Podge Plant Adoption Form: your name ~ phone number ~ e-mail ~ the date ~ your plant’s botanical and common name ~ and how many of the little darlings you are gifting us with.
4. A clipboard stands ready to receive the completed form.
5. Place your offerings on the picnic table by the entrance ramp.
6. THANK YOU!