It isn’t easy to find Sarah Schoeffler’s garden. Tucked back behind a screen of trees facing Simcoe, the family house and grounds are sheltered from the gaze of passers-by for 51 weekends out of the year. But once every spring, she opens up her acres of blooming flowers to the public to benefit those less fortunate and to bring joy to those who value a green thought in a green shade.
The Schoeffler house sits on several acres facing Bayou Vermilion. Over the course of 11 years, Sarah has slowly transformed the wooded lot into a variety of gardenscapes. Take her amaryllis garden. She began with a Christmas-red flowering bulb. Now the vast collection runs the gamut from snow white to the beautiful blushing Apple Blossom variety. Tucked into that mix of tall sturdy lilies are clusters of nodding terrestrial orchids in shades of lavender, yellow and orange as well as waving fronds of autumn fern and delicate Japanese painted fern. It’s a delightful mix of color, shape, light and texture — an impressionist painting that moves and breathes, and that visitors can smell as the flowers release their perfume in the evening.
“Nothing was really planned,” Shoeffler says, gazing fondly at stands of iris in full pink, purple, yellow and blue bloom. “It’s been an evolution over time.” The broken trunks of trees that fell during Hurricane Lili, opening up a shaft of sunlight in what once was deep shade, now form a trellis for climbing Lady Banks roses. At their feet bloom wildflowers like Joe-Pye Weed and Black-Eyed Susan. An old claw-foot bathtub provides a water feature. Here a herb garden, there a row of tomatoes and strawberries; everywhere you look is a surprise like citrus trees, native star anise, old-fashioned roses or the newest hybrid daylily. Schoeffler has planted something that will bloom every day of the year.
Her deep faith in good works has allied her with a charitable organization called Family Promise of Acadiana. The nonprofit works with area churches to temporarily house and help find employment and permanent housing for homeless family groups, filling a need for families who do not want to be split up into separate-sex shelters. Admission fees for the weekend of Schoeffler’s garden events will benefit Family Promise.
The gardens of Sarah Schoeffler are located at 3502 E. Simcoe (near Oakbourne Country Club). Weekend events begin Friday, April 11, from 6-8 p.m. with Wine and Cheese Under the Stars; admission is $100 per person or $150 per couple, and reservations are required. The fee includes entry to all weekend events. On Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., experience Coffee and Tea on the Veranda, Music in the Gazebo (featuring Les Frères Michot, the Figs and more) and Bayou Boat Rides. Admission to Saturday-only events is $20 a person. On Sunday, April 13, admission to A Quiet Stroll through the Garden from 2 p.m.-6 p.m. is $15. For more information call 233-3447 or visit www.tourmysoutherngarden.com.
(photo by Terri Fensel)
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun