LeConte-Woodmanston Rice Plantation
LeConte-Woodmanston Rice Plantation and Gardens

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Louis LeConte, like his father, was trained as a medical doctor. he put his training to use on his plantation to nurse his family, slaves, and other families in the area. Many physicians in the 19th century also concocted their own medicines and remedies from herbs and plants. By 1813, Louis LeConte began to develop a botanical and floral garden that soon became internationally famous. In addition to a deep appreciation for the beauty of the flowers and shrubs that could be cultivated at Woodmanston, Louis also had a keen interest in botany and horticulture. He studied and grew flowers, vegetables, and trees. Louis also sent specimens to his relatives in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and solicited samples from their gardens to try at Woodmanston. After the death of his wife, Louis devoted much time and energy to the garden in an effort to divert his grief. His son, Joseph, recalled that: "This large garden was the pride of my father. Every day after his breakfast ... he walked about the garden, enjoying its beauty and neatness and giving minute directions for its care and improvements." The LeConte garden reached its peak at the time of Louis' death in 1838. While the garden contained a great variety of plants, research indicates that there were probably no finer specimens of Camellia japonicas and bulb-type plants growing in any single garden in America.