Afton Villa Gardens

AftonVilla-sig.jpg
St. Francisville, LA
United States
Afton Villa Gardens

Landscape Information

Home Place

In 1839, David Barrow purchased the 250-acre Home Place estate from his father Bartholomew. When David married Susan Woolfolk in 1847, the couple renamed and renovated the property, expanding the existing residence into a Gothic Revival-style mansion and adding over 25 acres of gardens. The Barrow’s landscape includes a half-mile long curving drive lined with live oaks that marks the entry to the estate. The gardens, adjacent to a small family cemetery, include a formal parterre garden and boxwood maze. Below the parterre a series of seven formal terraces cascade down a hillside.

David Barrow died in 1874; two years later Susan sold the estate, which fell into disrepair until it was purchased by Dr. Robert Lewis in 1915. He and his wife restored the gardens and planted hundreds of azaleas on the property, including along the entrance drive, before selling it to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Percy in 1945. A fire destroyed the main house in 1963, which led to the estate’s abandonment and a second period of decline for the gardens. Concerned that the land would be purchased by developers, Genevieve and Morrell “Bud” Trimble acquired the property in 1972 with the intention of restoring its gardens. They also converted the ruins of the mansion to a garden, added a pond and a lake, and created a small garden called the Music Room at the bottom of the slope beyond the terraces. Afton Villa was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.