TRUTH BE TOLD, I don’t particularly care for summer in New Orleans. If you are thinking it’s because of the oppressive heat, you are correct. But, as with any of the lemons life hands us, we simply have to find as many flavors of lemonade as there are hot days — and preferably lots of ice cubes, too. Lucky for us, lemon trees thrive in New Orleans so we’ll never be at a loss for lemonade fixins. Meanwhile for the next few months, we’ll be sipping that lemonade in tree canopied gardens, shaded outdoor living spaces, beside refreshing and stylish pools and on breezy porches, which are all excellent places to seek refuge from the heat. In this issue, we have a wealth of inspiration and expert advice for creating your own al fresco retreat.
This spring, I finally took the advice of our talented local experts and created an outdoor oasis of my own, complete with a small vegetable and herb garden, a couple of beds for native plants and a sweet little bird bath for our feathered visitors to have a sip and dip. In fact, by adhering to a few guidelines set forth by Audubon Louisiana, the state chapter of the National Audubon Society, and the National Wildlife Federation-affiliated Louisiana Wildlife Federation, I even had my little back yard certified as a wildlife habitat. I can attest that it’s a great feeling to create something beneficial to your own health and wellbeing and to that of the planet and its other inhabitants.
Whether you have a lot of space or just a little, a big budget or a modest one, we hope you’ll find an idea or two in this issue that makes your summer brighter, cooler and more stylish. At the very least, you could plant a lemon tree in a pot or in your yard and have fresh lemonade any time you please.