We’ve lived in Louisiana a few months shy of four years now, and I’d heard of Forest Hill. Anytime the subject of landscaping came up, we’d always hear, “Go to Forest Hill.” Ask a neighbor about a particular plant in his yard . . . “Got it at Forest Hill.” Complain about the prices at local Lake Charles nurseries . . . “You gotta go to Forest Hill!” We had no idea where Forest Hill is. But in my mind, it became a landscaping legend, a mecca for mulchkins, the holy grail of gardening. And thus I began my pilgrimage this morning with a few friends of mine. And I discovered that Forest Hill is not a nursery. Oh, no. Forest Hill (about an hour and a half northeast of Lake Charles) is a small town with a population of 400-500 people. And home to approximately 200 nurseries and garden centers! Where does one begin?
We started at one called “Harold’s.” The place is huge. You go into the office, tell the man what you are looking for, and he makes a few circles on a map for you. What fun, just wandering around, looking at plants! The four of us bought quite a few, too. The low prices here will blow your garden gloves off.
This time of year, azaleas and wisteria are in full bloom. They grow tamed and cultivated in yards or wild and haphazard in the woods and along roadways. Either way, it’s a beautiful sight.
We went to Poole’s, although I couldn’t tell you which one. Supposedly, there are several Poole brothers who each own a different nursery. One nursery is simply called “The Other Brother.”
We ate lunch at a delightful diner called Lea’s in a town called Lecompte (pronounced La-Count. Seriously)
As the sign says, Lea’s is known for her pies.
And ham. The ham was good. And I had lemon meringue.
According to this sign, Lecompte has a pie festival in October. Wonderful time of year for another road trip!
So, if you live anywhere in the state of Louisiana and want to buy plants, flowers, trees . . . “Go to Forest Hill!”