April 24, 2012

Wish you’d been with me in New Orleans


I thought about all of you garden-lovers during my recent trip to New Orleans. Seriously. I wish you’d been there, so we could have shared it all! I’ve been to several southern cities, but there was just something about New Orleans—especially its gardens. Amazing plant displays were around every corner.

The hanging baskets on the decorative balconies in the French Quarter…


The Garden District with its fancy homes and elaborate private gardens…


The little side gardens, visible behind locked, decorative gates…


The Louis Armstrong Rose Garden I described in a previous post


And then we saw the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Wow. A short bus ride ($2.50 round-trip per person) from the French Quarter delivered us to the City Park entrance. The botanical garden inhabits just one section of this amazing 1,500-acre public facility, full of Live Oaks, lagoons, and an arboretum.

The New Orleans Botanical Garden opened in 1936 as the city’s first public classical garden. Unfortunately, the garden was severely flooded after Hurricane Katrina, and the majority of its 2,000 varieties of plants were lost. But with volunteer assistance and donations from people throughout the U.S. and worldwide, the botanical garden reopened to the public just six months after the flood.

The day we spent in the garden ranks right up there among favorite days, ever. A few like-minded plant fans shared the pathways and facilities, but we nearly had the place to ourselves. (I think it was a Tuesday.)

Now to the reason we visited…the plants. I captured more than 300 photos in the botanical garden, alone. The hubby patiently tracked the plant names, and we both marveled at the selection. Obviously, I can’t share them all in one post, so I’ll just show a few highlights (hopefully most of these IDs are correct).

Lantana and Oxalis growing like weeds, both in the botanical garden and elsewhere in New Orleans.

Lantana camara

Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis crassipes

Several personal favorites that don't survive cold Wisconsin winters, including Bougainvillea and Citrus trees.

Bougainvillea spectabilis

Citrus limonia

Plants that commonly bloom in Midwestern gardens during the warmer months—among them Aster, Indian Blanket, Freesia, Poppy, and Canna.

Stokesia laevis

Gaillardia pulchella

Freesia corymbosa

Papavar nudicaule

Canna indica

Some incredible trees—huge Live Oaks with Spanish Moss, Cypress, and Japanese Maple.

Quercus virginiana

Taxodium distichum

Acer palmatum

Numerous previously unfamiliar (to me) plants.

Indigofera decora

Homalocladium platycladum

Justicia betonica

Mismarked--any ideas???

Bauhinia variegata

Tea Roses of numerous varieties.



A conservatory full of Orchids and other tropical plants.



And last but not least, a massive trellis of Hyacinth Bean Vine, which reconfirmed my intentions to plant it.

Lablab purpureus

For a slide show featuring these and many more plants on display at the garden, click on the collage below.


The New Orleans Botanical Garden is a must-see for any gardener traveling in the area. I can’t wait to visit again.

40 comments:

  1. So beautiful!! I love N'Awlins, too. I'm glad the city is recovering. I can't resist a moss draped live oak. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I agree--it's great to see the city thriving again, and, yeah, the live Oaks are amazing! Some of them are huge!

      Delete
  2. A very intriguing city. I have not visited the Botanical Garden there but will put it on the list after your recommendation. It is always fun to visit cities in other parts of the country and see all their plantings. I am always impressed with all the planters in Chicago. I think you will like the Hyacinth Bean Vine. I grew it last year and it was a stunner but once the Kudzu bugs found it it declined. I don't think you have that bug in Wisconsin (yet).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm envious that you live much closer to NOLA than I do, although I was surprised how fast and convenient the flight was--less than two hours, direct flight out of Milwaukee! March was the perfect time to be there! Chicago in the summer and fall near the lake shore is fantastic, but not so much in the winter or spring. Yeah, fortunately we don't have Kudzu bugs. I wonder if Japanese beetles will be a problem.

      Delete
  3. There is a lovely display of old variety roses in Louis Armstrong Park. It has one of the country's largest collections of roses that do best in warm climates.

    Please visit it if you ever get the chance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Sharrie, it's wonderful! We did visit the park while we were in New Orleans. I loved it, and included it in a previous post at this link: http://bit.ly/IwpFbJ. Fabulous display!

      Delete
  4. How wonderful that the Botanic Gardens was restored after Katrina. Though homes and medical assistance are always top priorities, people need places of beauty like this as well to renew themselves. A marvelous selection of plants; it must have been hard choosing just a few for this post.

    I think I mentioned before that my one visit to New Orleans was for a Bowl game, and unfortunately we only got to see a few of the downtown sights. Next time I'm hitting the gardens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it seems like New Orleans is back on track, which is encouraging. The botanical garden was in excellent shape. On the Web site, the links showing the "before and after" shots are incredible. Rose, you will love the gardens!

      Delete
  5. Obviously another reason to go to New Orleans. Lovely photos. The hidden gardens are intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Patty. There's so much to see and do in NOLA--things we didn't have time for, and things I'd like to do again. An entire post on the hidden gardens would be fun, too. I'll have to go back to get more shots of them, though. :)

      Delete
  6. Always wanted to visit this lovely city...glad to see the gardens have recovered as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely worth a visit, Donna. You would love it, and I can only imagine the photos you would bring back. Great city!

      Delete
  7. Wow, Beth! I absolutely would visit there before I die!
    You have taken wonderful photos and the first series of plants are very familiar to me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would probably feel somewhat familiar for you for other reasons, too, Dona. The French Quarter definitely has a European feel. And the city is so much fun. It seemed like Disneyland for adults. Great food, sights, and gardens!

      Delete
  8. Gorgeous photographic journey of the beautiful city of New Orleans (only I like the way TS says it better :) Many of the plants you photographed grow here in South Texas too. But somehow they look better there ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, TS really captured it! But your description is great, too. I've only been to Texas a couple of times. I hope to get back there, too. I especially enjoyed Corpus Christi, Terlingua, and San Antonio. I'd love to spend a week in Austin sometime, too. You're in the Hill Country, right? That sounds like fun, too!

      Delete
  9. Been there once, in the winter. However didn't visit any gardens unforutnately. There for business. Did however eat some of that great food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent food! I didn't have a bad meal, except for the granola bar on the way to the airport. :) If you're there again, check out the Louis Armstrong Park Roses, the Garden District, and the city botanical garden. I hear there's another botanical garden, too, so that's on my list for next time.

      Delete
  10. Wonderful post. I too love New Orleans and spent an entire summer there a long time ago. I love the architecture and like that you snapped a lot of photos. It brings back many memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, a summer in New Orleans! I'm not sure whether that would be pleasant or oppressive. I suppose the early mornings and evenings would be perfect, even in the summer. :) The architecture is fascinating--all the wrought iron and multi-level structures with porches all around. Your photos would be amazing, I'm sure!

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing the visit with us. Nice photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. It was a great trip, and there are so many things left to see and do for the next trip. :)

      Delete
  12. Wow, those are great photos. I am like you when I see something beautiful, i thought of my blogger friends, sometimes i already know what a blogger wants so much for herself. In those photos i most especially love the plant decors in buildings and gates, as the individual tropical plants are mostly familiar with me. We have them except for that Justicia, i love to have it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea: How wonderful that you have all those plants! I agree--each building was unique with its plantings and gardens. It must be nice to have green, growing things outside year-round.

      Delete
  13. New Orleans has such a distinct style of garden that I love. The courtyards, the brick, the lush green ferns, the moss on the trees! And all of the tropical colorful plantings. I think all that heat, humidity, rain, and sun combination make for a wonderful area to have a garden that is much like a confined jungle. Wonderful photos! Yes, NOLA is a very inspiring place for a gardener!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A confined jungle--that's an interesting way to put it! Although it didn't seem overgrown at all, as there were plenty of open spaces, too. I'm sure the heat and humidity must be tough to take in July and August, but the weather was oh so pleasant in March. :)

      Delete
  14. hallo,und vielen Dank für die wunderschönen Bilder.
    Auf unseren Reisen versuchen wir auch immer Botanische Gärten zu besuchen,allerdings wird es mit New Orleans wohl nichts .Um so schöner auf diesem Weg Eindrücke zu bekommen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danke. My husband understands and speaks German, so he was able to translate for me. I hope you enjoy all your travels, including trips to the U.S. I'm sure you will find New Orleans a great destination!

      Delete
  15. I'm so glad you came and loved what you saw in our beautiful city. One year I plan on seeing the beauty myself. LOL I live 15 minutes outside the city and never get there anymore. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photo's so I can see what I'm missing.

    Patsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I did Patsy! Thanks! Next time I head down that way, I'd like to see some of the outlying areas, too. Any recommendations? Loved New Orleans!

      Delete
  16. Oh how fun! I used to live in NOLA and go back regularly to visit friends. You captured some beautiful pics of the gardens, can't wait to see the rest of them. And did you like the food and music? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved the food and music, too! We didn't have a bad meal. And there was always great music on every block! You were fortunate to have lived there.

      Delete
  17. lovely to see all the snaps as have some great memories of this city from a visit to the French quarter in my days of wine and roses! The courtyards were particularly enticing. Astounding cataloguing of botanica here and the 2 that caught my eye in particlar were Citrus limonia and Indigofera decora. Bet you hated to leave

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Laura, it was hard to leave. But I hope to go back soon. So you have a history with New Orleans? How interesting! Yes, it's a fascinating place.

      Delete
  18. Great photos of a great city. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary! It was definitely an inspiring place for a gardener/plant-lover.

      Delete
  19. Oh, I'm SO kicking myself right now. Haven't been to New Orleans since 1991 but I wish I'd known about the Botanical Garden then. New Orleans is a wonderful place, so much to see & do ~ I would have swapped out the zoo for the gardens tho! Glad you had a good visit and thanks for sharing your pics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now when you go back you can check out the botanical garden, since you've already seen the zoo. I've also heard that Longue Vue House & Gardens is a great gardener destination.

      Delete
  20. Lovely photos Beth, I almost felt like I was there :-) I don't travel anymore due to my health problems so I have to rely on other people's photos and travel articles, and programs on TV. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing New Orleans through your camera!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Helene: I'm so glad you enjoyed the tour! And I appreciate your regular updates about your English garden. I hope to make it to England someday, but until then it's wonderful to see some highlights through visits to your blog!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)