The Boom or Bust Byway is home to a bunch of small-town quirky attractions. These hidden charms are usually a local secret because they are not advertised on the Internet for all to see. The only way to discover these concealed gems is to drive the Byway and experience it personally. The Boom or Bust Byway is a 136-mile road trip through north Louisiana, traveling through four parishes: Caddo, Bossier, Webster and Claiborne. I recently stumbled across the cutest corridor of colorful zinnias that were planted for leisurely picking. You can handpick a dozen for just $2. This gives the phrase “cheaper by the dozen” a whole new meaning.
This zinnia patch was planted by local landowners that live just outside of Shreveport, near Dixie. The best way to navigate your way to the flowers is by leaving downtown Shreveport toward Highway 3049 North, then make a right on Sentell Road next to Dixie Cotton Gin. Continue on Sentell Road for about a mile, and you’ll you see a white sign with red letters that reads “Zinnias $2.00” on your right. There, you’ll find nearly six or seven rows of zinnia flowers.
You’ll be overwhelmed with the wholesome experience these private landowners created for rural road trippers and nature lovers like myself. All you have to do is pull-over, grab some shears form a pole near the signage, snip 12 of your favorite zinnia flowers, and replace the shears. Place your flowers inside of the plastic red cups in a bucket near the signage, and put $2 in the mailbox as payment. Cash only. Just like that, you have a vibrant bouquet, an outdoor experience, and a road trip all in one. The entire experience is operated by the honor system, which is a system of payment that relies solely on the honesty of those concerned.
Zinnia flowers are summer annuals, meaning they reproduce on their own during a full year cycle and bloom during the summer months. Here’s a few cutting tips to help you elongate the life of your freshly picked flowers:
- Place them in room temperature water as soon as possible.
- Cut stems straight across just above a node, where the leaf meets the stem.
- Select flowers that are in full bloom to enjoy them right away.
- During vase arrangement, remove all leaves to prevent rotting.
- If you want to plant a few zinnias of your own, snip a flower that is seeding.
Summer months along the Boom or Bust Byway are by far my favorite, and there’s no better time to take a road trip. You can make it a day trip or turn it into a staycation. If you’re looking for an overnight deal, check out a few of Shreveport-Bossier’s summer hotel offers to snag a good discount. If you want to discover more outdoor fun, stay on the Boom or Bust Byway trail with a GPS-navigated adventure by downloading the app on Google Play or Apple App Store. For more information about things to do along the Boom or Bust Byway, visit www.BoomOrBustByway.com, download the Boom or Bust Byway brochure, or follow the Boom or Bust Byway Facebook page and Instagram account.