In the 1920s, however, Ned found time to convert his private Avery Island estate into Jungle Gardens, decorating it with exotic botanical specimens from around the world. He gradually expanded the gardens until it reached its present size -- more than 170 acres. For example, Ned converted a dreary gully into the beautiful, shaded Sunken Garden, and an open sand mining pit into the Palm Garden.
He planted camellias and azaleas, which thrived in south Louisiana's mild winters and semitropical summers. Through the years thousands of these plants were arranged under the magnificent stands of live oaks - in fact, Ned planted over four hundred varieties of camellias, over a hundred varieties of azaleas, over fifty varieties of juniper, and, amazingly, over a thousand varieties of iris!
In 1935 he opened Jungle Gardens to the public, and since then it has remained a favorite south Louisiana tourist destination.