For a big burst of Mother Nature’s color, whatever the season, book a trip to West Monroe Louisiana and a wonderful place called the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens.
Spring is especially lovely with nearly 5,000 tulips. But the collection of fountains, sculptures and other landscape accessories make a garden tour here beautiful 365 days and nights a year.
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Who Were the Biedenharns of Louisiana
The Biedenharn name first started making life better for us in the 1890s in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Joseph Biedenharn owned a candy store, but better than that, he was the very first person who figured out how to put Coca-Cola in a bottle. Until that time, you had to come to a soda fountain to enjoy a fresh soft drink, but now, you could take it with you to drink whenever. It changed life as we know it.
At first, it was slow going for Biedenharn. When his little assembly line was functioning at full speed, he could cap about 50-75 bottles of Coca-Cola an hour. But in the end, his vision launched Coke on the path to the household name it is today.
A replica of the original soda fountain from the Biedenharn Candy Company in Vicksburg is one of the exhibits now at the museum that documents how this family transformed the soft drink industry and created their own little dynasty in West Monroe.
You can easily spend the better part of a day exploring the many facets of the Biedenharn complex, but if the weather is nice, get outside!
Exploring the Biedenharn Garden
Each April, the Biedenharn Garden hosts a Garden Symposium and Plant Sale. In addition to speakers and programs to improve your own gardening skills, you can also buy cuttings from a rare green ball dianthus and some heritage plants from the 1950s such as Lenten rose and winter honeysuckle.
Be sure to check the calendar for moonlight garden tours on or near the first full moon of the month when local musicians play in the gardens.