NOHL_For the Garden

Urban Oasis

Stylish New Orleans outdoor living spaces large, small and everything between

Fancy Feast

In New Orleans, the best escape from punishing temperatures is to retreat to the air conditioning. Even if dining “al fresco” during the hot summers means eating inside, now is the right time to set the table for a party.

Garden Rule

Taking advantage of extension programs like the Master Gardeners of New Orleans

Livin on Air

Bromeliads flourish in the humidity of a New Orleans summer.

A Gardener’s Roots

From Iowa to North Carolina to Missouri to New Orleans, gardening is a constant source of comfort and nourishment.

seeds of change

With New Orleans looking toward a more hopeful future, it’s time for a new gardening aesthetic.

If life gives you rain...

Between subsidence and rainstorms, both of which we have in abundance here, rain gardens make great sense.


Gardening without watering — in this climate? Architect Susan Neely proves it’s not only possible but also easy.

Herbal supplements

Indoor herb gardens are lovely, but serious cooks who want herbs on hand to punch up their recipes will have to look to the great outdoors.

Eyes on the Sparrow

Marilyn Yank of Little Sparrow Farm in Mid-City has transformed a vacant lot into a community garden worth watching.

Paved Paradise

Container gardening is catching on in urban areas, and Mid-City Community Garden is flourishing as a result.

Spring Fever

Twin needs prompt a flurry of March activity in the garden.

Homegrown Solution

The lemon grass was a guess, but it was a good guess.The problem we were addressing was cats. I am not one who rejects cats out-of-hand. Their grace and stealthy affection intrigue me. In our yard are headstones memorializing two…

Winter Green

Sometime last winter, our neighbor Chris wandered over and squinted critically at our lawn.“Yep,” said Chris, who runs a gardening and landscaping service. “You ought to plant some annual grass. Looks pretty, and it would do good for the lawn.”…

A Time to Plant

Monique Pilié has planted a lot of trees. Let’s be more precise: Through her nonprofit organization, Hike for KaTREEna, Pilié has planted more than 2,175 trees in greater New Orleans. That would be one tree for every mile she hiked…

Growing Opportunity

The last article I filed before I left for Natchez, Miss., on Aug. 27 looked at The Farm-Yard Project, a community-based effort to help people build kitchen gardens in their yards. The lead organizer, Macon Fry, got me all fired…

Early Bloomers

The morning after Hurricane Gustav, my husband hauled out the lawn mower and churned the fallen oak debris around our house into compost. It would have seemed comical to an outsider, or perhaps poignant — the thrum of the suburban…

Jewels of Autumn

Around about July 10, the heat defeated me. Instead of spending eager hours in the garden, I retreated inside to seed catalogs and Web sites and my imagination. I started dreaming about the garden that might be possible when the…

Keep on the Sunny Side

The thyme is threadbare. The maidenhair is bald. The nasturtiums look like they’ve been hit by a blowtorch. But the tithonia is giddy with blossoms, and helianthus disks sway in the heat.It must be August in New Orleans. And sunflowers,…

Compost Happens

Every week now, I either begin or end the weekend by moving the compost pile behind my house from one place to another. I start by laying some sticks and bamboo shoots in a square about 3 feet by 3…

Vine by Vine

Vines loom large in my memories of childhood –– not just the vines that served as a jungle rapid transit system in those old Tarzan movies but also the muscadines and honeysuckle that grew in my grandmother’s yard; the wild…


Something remarkable is happening in schoolyards and vacant lots across New Orleans. As neighborhoods rebuild, community gardens are expanding or cropping up, many of them tended by local kids. The most prominent, perhaps, is the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans project…

Sweet Nectar

As looks go, the spindly, gangling milkweed isn’t much prettier than its ungainly name. But monarch butterflies find it simply irresistible. Milkweed is the host plant for monarchs; if you plant one, you’ll soon have monarchs swarming around it, feeding…

Not-So-Secret Garden

Flowers are back in bloom at Longue Vue House and Gardens. An Alferez sculpture in the lilly garden at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. Volunteers in the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. Spring is in full swing, which means now is…

Enduring beauty

When it comes to antique roses, Maureen Detweiler tends to get a little evangelical.“I’m kind of like a missionary,” she says. “And I have a lot of converts.”To underscore her point, Detweiler gestures toward a yard across the street from…

Seeds of Change

For convenience, it’s hard to beat a tray of starter plants, laid out in neat rows and ready for bedding. But there’s something especially rewarding about growing a garden from seeds, even more so if you have children. I remember…

Prickly Heat

If plants could be ascribed personalities, it wouldn’t be difficult to separate the A-list from the rest. You’ve got your tropicals, the extroverts of the garden: showy, charismatic, a little demanding of attention, but eager to please. Most people are…

Sowing the Seeds

My grandparents’ spread in Northeast Texas wasn’t big: less than an  acre, I guess. But to a little kid, it was a self-contained world of adventure. It had a vegetable garden, grape vines and fruit trees—apricot, apple and, my favorite,…