Garden in New Orleans

Postcard from New Orleans

I’m in New Orleans for the first time.  I’m representing APLD as well as speaking at the International Pool, Spa and Patio Expo.  I took the morning to walk around the Garden District for a few hours before setting up shop in the convention center.

The Uptown neighborhood is served by trolley and has varying architecture, mostly dating from the 19th century. Greek Revival and a regional Victorian style, the Raised Center Hall Villa, are the predominant architectural styles. There is a specific regional style to the gardens in the district.  One of the most obvious is the layering of clipped dwarf shrubs.  Foliage texture is used to great advantage.  It’s fall and just before winter Camellia season so not much was in bloom.  It was surprising to see camellias used as hedges.

Garden in New Orleans
Clipped and layered foliage texture
Layered planting in New Orleans
Layered and clipped

Iron work, one of the icons of New Orleans’ architectural details, is everywhere, with cast iron trumping forged work.  There are balconies, gates, fences and decorative grates punctuating just about every building and street.

Iron balcony New Orleans
Cast iron balcony
Ironwork Garden District in New Orleans
Cast and forged elements in a fence and gate

Houses have deep porches or shady courtyards to offer cooler places to be outside.  I’m sure that’s the respite from the heat and humidity is matter of degree in August and September.

Layered planting and ferns on a front porch
Front Porch with massive ferns
Shades on a front porch in New Orleans
Shades on a front porch in New Orleans

Perhaps the thing that was the most fascinating from a plant point of view was the Resurrection Ferns (Polypodium polypodioides) growing wild and freely on the live oaks.   Talk about vertical planting and urban greening…

Resurrection Ferns
Resurrection Ferns on a live oak

One thought on “Postcard from New Orleans

  1. Thanks for the quick NOLA garden tour. I wished I had spent time looking more at gardens last trip, but friends to visit and places to go in Fla and Ala! The smaller properties you show, the hidden garden courtyards I spied a few times at night, and the details are so appealing…reminds me of Santa Fe homes but with a more appropriate horticultural grounding. Somehow you disappeared from my blog roll, after I reorganized it – I was wondering what was missing…

    I hope you show some more of your trip…may be a while until I go there again!

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