DISTRICT VI - Baton Rouge Garden Club Baton Rouge LA Deeds and Doings
During their end of year luncheon May 21, held at the Hilltop Arboretum, the Baton Rouge Garden Club installed their new officers. From left to right are Mary Ann Atkinson, Sharon Harley, Susie Smith, Alisa Janney, Kelly Hebert, Ruby Homayssi, Jeanette Gatzman, Jo Ann Ray and Janet Taylor.
Rukhshaba Sherin, pictured in the middle, was this year’s scholarship award winner from the Baton Rouge Garden Club. Rukhshaba is a Master Degree student in Landscape Architecture at LSU. On her left is Cindy Moran past BRGC President. To her right is Ruby Homayssi the newly elected president.
Mary Wilson was chosen as this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient from the Baton Rouge Garden Club. Presenting her with her plaque is Janet Taylor, the last award recipient.
On May 5th A Cleanest City Contest was held between participating Garden Clubs within the Louisiana Garden Club Federation. The Baton Rouge Garden Club hosted the judges and also picked up litter in particular areas in Baton Rouge. Pictured from left to right are Reginald Brumfield, DPW Street Maintenance Manager, JoAnn Fryling , Ruby Homayssi, Jeanette Gatzman, all members of the Baton Rouge Garden Club,Judges Sue Parill, Carolyn Todd, and Gail Lonibus, James Avault, DPW Landscape Maintenance Manager and District 6 Cleanest City Chairman, Clara Earl, also a member of the Baton Rouge Garden Club. Not pictured was Jay Ruffin, representing LSU.
Dr. Neil Odenwald 1935-2021
We are so sorry to read that Dr. Neil Odenwald died Tuesday; funeral arrangements are in the paper, the Advocate, April 28. He has been a member of the Baton Rouge Garden Club for so many years and it is a great loss for all of us who are garden, landscape and plant conscious." Baton Rouge Garden Club outgoing President, Cindy Moran continued with these thoughts: "He designed the new front door planting for our garden center and his contribution helped us persuade BREC to buy and install the plants after the recent renovation. His book, with James Turner, "Southern Plants for Landscape Design" was and still is the bible for everyone who does public or private landscaping in Baton Rouge and all South Louisiana. I have the third edition signed by Neil in 1996 and it is the most treasured book in my library and of course, a copy is also a prime resource book in the garden center library. We will miss him." Cindy
LA Landscape School Chair, Clara Earl, recalled the many lectures he gave to the Landscape School Students, his excitement and ability to speak on so many topics. The students always loved having him as a faculty member. He will be remembered by many LGCF members as he was a consultant for the different Gardens in the state and across the United States and in England. He served as the NGC Landscape Design Chair decades ago for several years. He worked with Sara Gladney at the Gloster Arboretum in Gloster, MS. During and after his academic career he participated in many events including chair of the St. Francisville LA Symposium, retiring from that position just 3 years ago. There are so many other honors, inspirations, insight and input he had that we could continue to list; we are stopping here.
Surely, he will be missed by many. May he rest in peace. Clara Earl, BRGC Member LGCF Landscape Design Consultant. LGCF Landscape Design School Chair
Neil Graham Odenwald, 85, of Baton Rouge passed away at his home on April 26, 2021. Neil was born on May 3, 1935, in Ruleville, Mississippi. He earned his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. in horticulture from Mississippi State University and his master's degree in landscape architecture from LSU. Neil's career began in the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. Neil was Professor Emeritus of landscape architecture at LSU and served as Director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. He served as Chairman of Landscape Design Schools for the National Council of State Garden Clubs, as a consultant on the Time-Life plant materials publications, and was awarded the Medal of Honor from the Garden Clubs of America. His publications include Southern Plants, Plants for Designers, Live Oak Splendor, Attracting Birds to Southern Gardens, Plants for American Landscapes, and The Bountiful Flower Garden. He was a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He was instrumental in founding the Southern Garden Symposium, served as President of the John James Audubon Foundation, and was recently honored with the establishment of the Neil G. Odenwald Distinguished Professorship at LSU. Neil's restoration and preservation efforts can be seen in numerous historical gardens throughout the South including New Orleans Botanical Gardens, Afton Villa, Rosedown, LongVue, Bocage Plantation, and Biedenharn. Neil is survived by his wife, Rebekah Lemoine Odenwald, his sons Von (Jo-Lynn) and Jon (Sharon), his daughter Elisa (Kevin) Osborn, his grandchildren Emily (Kerry) Klein, Lauren, Grant, Anna, and Grace Odenwald, and Jason Osborn, his great-grandchild James Klein, his sister Ruth Claire Adair, his former wife Virginia Patsy Odenwald, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mable Odenwald, and his brothers Joseph (Jean) and Robert (Sylvia) Odenwald. Visitation will be held at University Baptist Church, 5775 Highland Road, on Thursday, April 29, 2021, from 6 until 8 p.m. and on Friday, April 30, 2021, from 10 until services at 11 a.m. Resthaven Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. Odenwald Professorship, LSU Foundation 3796 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
Baton Rouge Garden Club at the Baton Rouge Garden Center
Despite the rain, these members of the Baton Rouge Garden Center refreshed their native plant garden with pine straw. The garden was dedicated to Julia Gates, a former member of the club. Pictured are Clara Earl and Cindy Moran in the front row. In the rear left to right are Ruby Homayssi, Mary Ann Atkinson, Ruth Delhomme, Jo Ann Ray, and Jo Ann Fryling.