Celebrate the season with fresh décor, new recipes and artful events
Spring in New Orleans is my favorite time of year. The lightness in the air prompts long walks in our Uptown neighborhood, spring cleaning around the house and — while we don’t have a garden — new plants and flowers on the porch. This season, I’m hoping to introduce a potted fruit tree into the mix (lemon, perhaps) and additional fragrant blooms to take over after the Confederate jasmine comes and goes.
In this issue, we are celebrating all things spring with a comprehensive gardening feature detailing what’s best to plant right now and how to keep it all beautiful and blooming. Peter Reichard’s Home Renewal column offers up a comical reminder that routine maintenance saves a lot of headaches, heartaches and wallet aches down the line. In Gatherings, Chef Evan Benson, an avid fowl and fish hunter and fisherman who helms the kitchens for Joel Catering and Special Events, shared his recipe for smoked duck with spiced pecans, strawberries, celery leaves, mint and strawberry vinaigrette. I have a feeling this will become a seasonal staple at our house.
For decorating and renovating inspiration, look no further than our 2017 Renovation of the Year. The Old Grocery, as the owners call it, is a circa 1860s gem in the Lower Garden District. It has lived many lives, but surely none as chic as the new one given to it by its owners Tom Levandoski and Tracy Gielbert. Texture, style and sophistication reign supreme in this airy space, which invites the season’s balmy temperatures in through its many welcoming windows.
Finally, outside of the home the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Sippin’ in Seersucker on April 21 is one of my favorite events of the year and proceeds support the museums programming. (Disclosure: I’m on the committee.) Nothing says spring like breaking out this Southern wardrobe staple. Also, the New Orleans Museum of Art’s “A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s,” featuring furnishings, paintings, glass and costumes of the era, runs until May 21. The glass objects, papier-mâché wig cabinet and gilt Rococo desk are exquisite. I’m planning to visit at least once more before the closing date.
We hope this issue provides all of the inspiration you need to kick off the season in style. Doing it while wearing seersucker is suggested, but not required.
— Melanie Warner Spencer, Editor