Lafayette’s annual Avec Souci Garden Tour scheduled for May 4

Kick off the spring gardening season and get some inspiration at the 27th annual Avec Souci Garden Tour from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 4.

The five featured gardens this year are:

Rosary Russo, 106 Southern Pines Drive. Russo’s is a big garden in a small space. Featuring a small courtyard shaded by a crape myrtle, the garden also includes Southern plants like asparagus fern, camellia sasanqua, daisy gardenia, dwarf mondo grass, cassia, mock orange, banana shrubs, ginger, magnolias, azaleas, roses and plumbago.

Connie and Rick Voth, 1406 E. Bayou Parkway. Set against Bayou Vermilion, the front yard includes a courtyard entrance with a pigeonierre used for gardening. There are also beds of azaleas, sasanquas, bridal wreath, lilies, rudbeckia and roses. Understory trees include Japanese red maple, golden rain trees, redbud and cypress, which join the large live oaks that came with the property. The Voths also keep a vegetable and herb garden, newly planted, with blueberries and lemon trees. The backyard features ferns, gardenias, hydrangea, cigar plants, camellias and dwarf bottlebrush, as well as a patio and deck set off by colorful roses, zinnias and other low groundcover.

Stuart Burgess, 323 Amelia St. Set in the Elmhurst Park neighborhood, the Burgess’ home was originally two homes. The garden includes a New Orleans-style courtyard with a sugar kettle koi pond and a comfortable outdoor room. Birds of paradise, foxtail ferns and lily of the Nile lend a tropical feel to the space, which was designed by Burgess and his late partner, Ty Ledet.

Marsha and Ron Vining, 1306 E. Bayou Parkway. The Vining garden has a country feel in the heart of the city. Trees around the property include oaks, crape myrtles, apple, orange, pear, grapefruit and pineapple guava. Other lush tropical plants surround the gazebo and pool.

Leslie and Jimmy Sandlin, 314 Dunreath St. The Elmhurst Park home was built by Leslie Sandlin’s grandparents, and her father grew up there. The gardens feature four original camellia bushes and a very large sweet olive. The front beds include snapdragons and butterfly bushes, while the back has palm trees and banana trees.

Admission to all five gardens is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the tour. Tickets can be purchased from any Avec Souci member, Albertson’s on Johnston Street, All Seasons Nursery and Landscape, The Gardenaire, Champagne’s Market, The Garden Center on Pinhook and Native Sun. Proceeds from the tour will go to charity. Avec Souci has given more than $132,000 over 26 years to charities, such as the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic, Camp Bon Couer, the Miles Perret Cancer Center, Lafayette Special Olympics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Foundation Scholarships, Acadiana Outreach, Faith House, the Sexual Abuse Center and Naomi House.