Find contact information for various horticulture-related organizations in our community and links of interest.
Acadiana Area Garden Societies
- Acadiana Hibiscus Society
- Acadiana Native Plant Project
- Acadiana Rose Society
- Acadian Orchid Society
- Azalea Society of America - Louisiana Chapter
- Bonsai Society of Acadiana
- Lafayette Garden Club
- Lafayette Master Gardeners
- Live Oak Society
- Louisiana Native Plant Society
- Louisiana Society For Horticultural Research
- Society for Louisiana Iris
- South Louisiana Camellia Society
The Mike Bernard Acadiana Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society was officially chartered in June of 2000. We are a non-profit organization of individuals sharing a common interest in cultivating and growing varieties of the Hibiscus. Our objective is to encourage and promote the development and improvement of hibiscus, especially in South Louisiana.
We have informative monthly meetings to further our knowledge in the growing, hybridizing and grafting of our favorite plant. The highlight of the year is when our chapter hosts its annual show in June. At this show, growers from all over Louisiana and Texas bring their blooms and complete in various classes. There may be 400 to 500 blooms on display.
Meetings are held at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center on the first Tuesday of the month At 6:00 p.m. from March through November. Visitors are always welcome.
The Acadian Orchid Society meets on the third Monday of each month and encourages anyone with an interest in orchids to attend one of these meetings. Meetings typically have a guest speaker or an informative slide show program. At the meeting members bring their blooming orchids to show and discuss their successes with orchids. Door prizes are normally drawn and the lucky person present may win a blooming orchid or a seedling. Yearly shows may be a local show or occasionally a regional show. Contrary to what most people believe orchids are easy to grow and enjoy if a few rules of culture are followed. With the mild climate in southwest Louisiana some orchids may grown outside for most of the year and brought in for the coldest nights.
Dr. Allen Owings, President
The Azalea Society offers membership to anyone with an interest in azaleas, from home gardeners, collectors and students to plant professionals. Local chapters have social activities, garden tours, meetings and plant sales of unusual varieties. National conventions have garden tours, talks by well-known azalea authorities, plant sales, and the opportunities to make and renew friendships. Follow us on Facebook.
The Bonsai Society of Acadiana was formed many years ago by persons interested in the art of Bonsai. The society holds their meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. These meetings contain educational talks on the creation, problem solving, or maintenance of bonsai. Hands-on workshops are also held each month. The society issues a monthly newsletter in which we provide information on the care of bonsai, as well as, providing information from other societies in the Gulf Coast region. The only pre-requisite for a person to join the society is a general knowledge of horticulture and a desire to create bonsai. We invite you to come and visit at our meetings to see if this hobby is for you.
The Lafayette Garden Club was organized in 1930. They adopted as their slogan: "The Land Belongs to the Landowners, but the Landscape Belongs to the Eye of the Beholder." With this in view, the group undertook the beautification of the City. The present objectives of the club are to advance gardening; to further the purpose of and to encourage civic and roadside beautification in cooperation with our state and national organizations. In furtherance of these objectives, the Club works closely with the City administration's Cleanest City Committee. The Garden Club holds a flower show in connection with the Festival des Fleurs.
Membership in the Club is open to anyone interested in horticulture and must be recommended by two active members. The Club does not discriminate as to gender. Meetings are held at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center at 9 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month from September to May.
The Lafayette Parish Master Gardeners Association (LPMGA) is a volunteer organization which provides garden-related educational programs and community service projects, and facilitates the continuing horticultural enrichment of its members.
INHC is the site of the LPMGA Demonstration Garden, comprised of various types of specialized gardens, including an award-winning Children's Garden through which group tours are offered. The Demonstration Garden is open to the public 7 days a week during daylight hours.
The LPMGA Demonstration Garden also serves as the location of plant swaps as well as the annual Master Gardener Plant Sale, at which interesting varieties of plants, propagated by Master Gardeners, are offered to the general public. It also serves as the site of “Garden Talk,” a monthly gardening seminar by Master Gardeners.
Other Master Gardener programs include the "Speaker's Bureau;" a monthly AOC program entitled “Get it Growing;” and “Ask a Master Gardener,” which provides on-site, research-based information and advice at area gardening events.
The LPMGA is part of a nation-wide, university-based extension service initiative, and was begun locally in 1998 under the direction of the LSU/Southern AgCenter, on behalf of which the LPMGA helps disseminate consumer horticulture information and advice by distributing "Horticulture Hints,” responding to consumer horticulture questions by phone, and hosting public gardening workshops.
The LPMGA is also a proud supporter of Festival des Fleurs, Habitat for Humanity, Earthshare Gardens, and 4H.
LPMGA membership is extended to those who complete a training program provided annually through the AgCenter Extension Service at the INHC, and who thereafter annually complete required hours of volunteer service and continuing education.
Coleen Perilloux Landry
The Louisiana Native Plant Society was founded in 1983 as a state-wide, non-profit organization. Its purposes are:
- To preserve and study native plants and their habitats.
- To educate people on the value of native plants and the need to preserve and protect rare and endangered species.
- To promote the propagation and use of native plants in the landscape.
- To educate people on the relationship between our native flora and wildlife.
The Louisiana Society For Horticultural Research has its beginnings in a plant collecting trip to search for new plant materials adaptable to Louisiana. Among those who were instrumental in bringing together the first members that composed the LSHR was Ms. U.B. Evans of Ferriday, Louisiana. In June and July of 1954, Ms. Evans called on persons who she felt would be interested in sending a plant collector to Bolivia. The response was enthusiastic and the Louisiana Society For Horticultural Research was officially organized at that July 1954 meeting. In August, Professor Ira S. Nelson set out for Bolivia. This trip became the first of many and the society has grown ever since. There are presently 261 members, with more than 77,000 individual plants having been released.
The cooperation between UL Lafayette and the Society may not be unique but has certainly been of untold benefit to both. The University has furnished staff members for collecting trips, taken care of the plant materials brought back and prepared releases of these plants for each member to try in their gardens. The society in turn has financed the collection trips and provided numerous research grants to the department, as well as, funded improvements to the center. One such example of this is the website you are now using.
TreesAcadiana is a non-profit organization dedicated to planting and conserving trees, urban and community forests. The primary goal of the organization is to maintain the community’s living environment. TreesAcadiana sponsors public tree plantings; provides education on the importance of planting and conserving trees and urban forests; and, supports the preservation of historic trees and green spaces.