Each plantation we visit has it's own unique qualities, but they're all beautiful. Today we went to Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville. I'm thinking early spring would be a better time to come because the azaleas are blooming. They're gone now, the hydrangeas are almost gone, and the roses are working on blooming. The plantation, however, was not named for the roses but for a play that Daniel and Martha Turnbull--the couple who built it--saw on their honeymoon.
Originally Rosedown comprised 3,455 acres, mostly planted in cotton. Construction was completed in 1835 at a whopping cost of $13,109.20. It sits at the head of a 660 foot long oak allee (a tree-lined avenue, often one that is part of a landscaped garden). The home was furnished with imported goods from Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Europe. Most of the furnishings remained with the house during the years after the Civil War and a large percentage of original pieces are still on display, making the home more of a museum.
The formal gardens were Martha's pride throughout her life. Because of a detailed garden diary kept during her 60 years at Rosedown, the gardens today are exactly the same as when she tended them in the 1800's. Her notes included a layout of the trees, plants and flowers, what varieties they were and where she purchased them. The gardens eventually extended to cover approximately 28 acres and were one of the few privately maintained formal gardens in the United States.
After the roadtrip to St. Francisville we made a brief stop at the Bass Pro Shop--just long enough to see the alligator gar fish, snapping turtle, raccoon and Heidi's new look. It's her new duck hunting camo ensemble!