Afton Villa: The Birth and Rebirth of a Ninteenth-Century Louisiana Garden
by Genevieve Munson Trimble
Genevieve Trimble's remarkable story of Afton Villa began with a tragedy. In 1963, fire ravaged the forty-room Victorian Gothic plantation home on the historic estate, bringing to ashes over 170 years of history. Over the next decade, its once-regal serpentine entryway and carefully laid out gardens gradually deteriorated, as vines strangled the rows of azaleas that once welcomed guests. A place of enchantment crumbled toward extinction.
The irreversible loss of Afton Villa's once pristine nineteenth-century gardens and carefully built stately home did, however, inspire Trimble to seize the opportunity to protect the derelict property from oblivion and she and her husband purchased the estate in 1972. This ambitious move initiated a forty-year regeneration of one of the most treasured and legendary gardens in Louisiana.
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