A Passion for Horticulture
Louise Patricia Deegan of Pineville, La., passed away in May 2011. A nationally accredited flower show judge and master flower-arranging instructor in the Ikenobo School of Ikebana International, she exhibited flower designs both locally and nationally - at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Following, Jim Deegan shares why his mother's bequest to support horticultural research at the LSU AgCenter's Burden Center is a fitting celebration of her life.
My mother, Patricia Deegan, spent the better part of 98 years as a landscape designer, gardener, flower show judge and club leader. She believed that by supporting horticultural research, her life would inspire others. She also hoped that Louisiana would become the "green standard" for its agricultural productivity and eco-friendly quality of life.
One of her favorite organizations was the Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research. Each year, she would eagerly wait in line to pick up new plant releases at the Ira Nelson Horticultural Center in Lafayette. After they were planted and a year had passed, she'd evaluate their performance and report her findings to staff at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She appreciated this hands-on collaboration between the gardening community and horticultural researchers.
She also valued the opportunity to study landscape design at Northwestern University. In planning a home landscape, she preferred the naturalistic over the formal. Perhaps she was influenced by the Japanese concept of "borrowed landscape," which looks outside the lot's boundaries for trees and open spaces that create more interest.
My mother was an instructor in the Ikenobo Ikebana school of flower arranging. Therefore, she loved and judged Louisiana irises, not to mention camellias, daylilies, roses, magnolias and aspidistra. Another lifelong interest of hers was bonsai. She was a close friend of Felton Jones, to whom the North Carolina Arboretum's Bonsai Exhibition is dedicated.
Patricia Deegan gave so much in her lifetime to so many that her gift to support horticultural research at the LSU AgCenter will truly honor her memory.