Cathy McCurdy, Horticulturalist for Cypress Bend Resort, to Retire

Many, Louisiana (6/05/20)— Cypress Bend Resort will be losing a familiar face that has enhanced the natural beauty of its grounds for twenty-four years. The talented mind and hands of horticulturalist Cathy McCurdy are going on to other personal projects. She has said she may do a blog, have classes at her home, but definitely will play in her own yard.

Cathy received her BS degree from the College of Agriculture at Mississippi State University in Ornamental Horticulture in 1975. Sabine Parish became familiar with her talents in 1977 when she became horticulturalist for Hodges Gardens’ greenhouses and added responsibility for the entire gardens from 1979-1991. She was responsible for 3800 rose bushes in three gardens!  Those were also the days that many people remember fondly because of the 50,000 tulips in the spring and 2,000 naturalized daffodils. She has always brought pleasure to people through plants.

Teaching others about plant material and design is of great interest to Cathy. She taught continuing education courses at Northwestern State University, has used various formats to share her knowledge ranging from professional conferences to groups visiting the Resort. She feels her future will include some form of teaching, whether to small groups or in writing articles or possibly even leading her to write a book so that others can learn the pleasure and rewards gained from gardening and design.

From 2004 through 2005, Cathy designed “Miss Virginia’s” Memorial Gardens at Bailey Bluff adjacent to the Cypress Bend development. The 1 1/3-acre garden is open to the public and visitors daily.

Cathy says she is going home, but will always work. Her first project she is excited about is to landscape parts of her own yard along with her husband, Rick, and to landscape a section in front of her newly constructed home office.

Education of the golf maintenance department to the garden staff has been a big part of Cathy’s job through the years. It is one of these talented and creative people that Cathy will turn over the responsibility of the colorful beauty of the Resort to.

C.J. McGue arrived at Cypress Bend Resort in 2008 and for twelve years, she and Cathy have worked together to add a greenhouse and bounced ideas off each other for holiday decorations, interior decorating of the conference center and hotel, designing the frog garden, expanding the patio and adding the herb gardens. Locals familiar with the container gardens will have already appreciated the many projects C.J. has created and added by utilizing vines from the property. These include beautiful leaf shaped structures to support colorful growing vines or shaped vines to add interest to urns.

Nick Massad, owner of American Liberty Hospitality that holds the lease of Cypress Bend Resort and owns the hotel and developed the golf suites, recognized and appreciated Cathy’s talent early on. In 2000, when the completed project opened, Nick added a painting over the fireplace in the Cypress Dining Room that will always remind guests of Cathy. He named it “Cathy’s Gardens.”

When advised of Cathy’s retirement, Vicki Massad, representing American Liberty Hospitality, wrote the following passage from the Massad family. She emotionally said, “You are our face…our eyebrows…you are the colors in our cheeks and fragrance we have made our own. Butterflies would not give us a second look without you. Trees would have no faces…seedlings would not have sprung without you. Christmas…Mardi Gras…spring…fall…Coronation of the Queen! (Margo’s wedding) Pots and beds, and doorways, tabletops, all speak of you. We love you and will always be grateful for all you did to make it unique, southern, and very special.”