The Gardens of Afton Villa rest on the terraced ruins of the palatial home built by Susan Barrow in 1849. They were restored by the Lewis family in 1915 and maintained by the Percy family until the home burned down in 1963. Following the fire Morrell and Genevieve Trimble often drove past Afton Villa, traveling from New Orleans to Natchez. There Mrs. Trimble picks up the story: "So one hot August day in 1972, ten years after it burned, we pushed open those gates and came in, and I cannot describe the devastation here. Vines covered all these azaleas. Grass, of course, was grown sky high, and the ruins of the old house were literally a snake pit." The gardens should be rebuilt, they figured, before someone turned the land into a subdivision.
The Trimbles took on the task
The result is 25 acres of floral beauty. Mrs. Trimble says, "I love seeing people come in here. And my husband, when he was living, he would love to stroll out here, and he would see children playing by the pond and having a picnic. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction and joy to see people come here and visit." The Trimbles have given Louisiana back a treasure which was nearly lost.