MONROE, La. (WGNO) — While you’re at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens, don’t forget to tour the magnificent Elsong Gardens located on this beautiful estate.
“As you enter, you go in between the bible museum and the Biedenharn home and then you come up in between the top of the steps,” Biedenharn Museum & Gardens Executive Director Ralph Calhoun explained. “You bring kids through here it is a literal ‘Oh, wow’ moment.”
Calhoun says Emma Louise (Lou), the daughter of Joseph Biedenharn, planted flowers here when she lived at this house. Her father was the first person to bottle Coca-Cola.
“I’ve always said Joe didn’t have any clue what Emma Louise was going to do to his little garden, and so over time she developed what we had today,” said Calhoun. “She had a lot of planting flowers, and later she brought a landscape architect, and they designed what you see today.”
Now, the garden is open to the public and improvements have been made throughout the years.
“Over time, we have done improvements — we have added a conservatory, which is a fancy word for a greenhouse for tropical and semi-tropical plants,” Calhoun added.
Nestled in the garden and changing through the season, you can spot a variety of flowers and plants.
“It’s much greener in the autumn, but we do have spots of colors here, and there we will decorate seasonally with pumpkins and things like that,” explained Calhoun. “You can come in the spring, we are going to hit a period where we are busting loose with Azaleas, and we will plant 3,000 or more tulip bulbs.”
In addition to the colorful range of flowers, you can also find four unique sections all containing a theme. They include the Four Seasons Garden, Oriental Garden, and Musical Grotto.
“We have different types of plants, flowers mostly, that are of that season. The Oriental Garden has a pagoda-like feature to it, and the Musical Grotto has 8 different statues, and they are playing different types of musical instruments.”
Throughout the year, this garden stays busy with events. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.