Celebrate the arrival of spring at Gibsland’s Jonquil Jubilee

A stop on the tour, Evergreen Farm, is owned by Beth and Steve Fontenot. Since they moved here, they have planted over 17,000 bulbs. 

By Paige Nash 

The Town of Gibsland has announced the festival dates for their annual Jonquil Jubilee Homes and Garden Tour. The festival will be held on March 4 this year.  

Tickets are only $10 and will be available the day of the festival. With the purchase of a ticket, you will receive an armband, a map and a complete list with information about each stop and activity that day.

The events of the day will kick off with the Gibsland Lions Club breakfast to be held at 8 a.m. Every stop and activity will be open all day.  

An exciting addition to the tour this year is the Sylvan Retreat. The house was built in 1848 in Bienville Parish by William and Missouri Walker. The original location was on a 2,000-acre plantation near the present I-20 exit 61 but was later deconstructed and re-assembled in Gibsland in 1884. The home now belongs to Sally and Lestar Martin. They moved into the home in 1978 with their daughters; Marguerite, Sarah, Christine and Charlotte. Marguerite’s grandson, Gabriel, represents “the ninth generation to have lived or slept in Sylvan Retreat.” 

Key speaker, Greg Grant, is scheduled to hold a presentation at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church. Grant is an award-winning horticulturist, conservationist, farmer and writer.  

He has introduced several successful plants to the Southern nursery industry including Blue Princess verbena, dwarf pink Mexican petunia, Gold Star Esperanza, Laura Bush Petunia, John Fanick phlox, Stars and Stripes pentas, Pam’s Pink honeysuckle, Lecompte and Flora Ann vitex, Henry and Augusta Duelberg sages, Big Momma and Pam Puryear Turk’s Cap, Peppermint Flare hibiscus, and the Marie Daly and Nacogdoches (Grandma’s Yellow) roses.  

Grant has received several acknowledgements from his many contributions. He was presented the lifetime membership award from the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, the Superior Service Award by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award by the Native Plant Society of Texas, and the Lone Star Land Steward Award by Texas Parks and Wildlife. Heirloom Gardening in the South was also a Garden Writers Association Silver Award recipient. 

The Jonquil Jubilee will also have displays and vendors including Geraldine Zelinsky, founder of the Northwest Louisiana Basket Makers, who will be demonstrating the craft of coiled basketry. She will have baskets on display with some available for purchase.  

A complete list of stops, vendors and events will be available to the public in the coming weeks.

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