Last week, Niki and I were in New Orleans where he attended a mediation workshop and I, with my laptop, worked on writing and revising my manuscript for the book that Timber Press will publish in the fall of 2016.
Fortunately, the weekend was warm although cloudy but we were able to walk our feet off and enjoy an early spring. Mid-March is the beginning of Spring in NOLA. Flowering trees like redbuds, magnolias, and loropetalums (Chinese Fringe Tree) and a multitude of azaleas were all in bloom. I don’t know if the azaleas are a different species or it’s just that the growing conditions are more conducive in Louisiana but the flowers were huge. We don’t see Carolina Jessamine in Cleveland because it’s only hardy to zone 7 but I loved the bright yellow flowers on this vine.
The week itself was warm but it rained all day, every day. Naturally, the sun came back out the day we left.
Although Mardi Gras is long over, the decorations are not. Strands of beads have been flung over fences, into palm tree trunks, and up into the branches of trees for a very colorful display. I wonder if they are ever taken down or just added to each year.
The architecture is quite varied but beautiful, particularly in the Garden District where most of the pictures were taken. There are also a number of excellent restaurants there and, of course, we ate at several. The best meals of the trip were Galatoire’s (in the French Quarter) and Upperline (in the Garden District).
Utility boxes are by their very nature utilitarian. They also happen to be quite ugly but many of them in New Orleans have been painted as though they are canvases. Eyesores have been transformed into paintings.
Spring is tentatively making its appearance here in Cleveland and it’s time to get out in the garden to cut down the ornamental grasses and perennials. Do this soon so you can see all the little bulbs like winter aconite and snowdrops that in bloom now. If you wait too late to cut down the old foliage of the grasses, you will be cutting the new growth as well. Remember not to rake the leaves out of your beds; let them decompose and return their nutrients to the soil. If you don’t have the right tools, a hori and a mini-scythe, call me because I keep them in stock. If you don’t have time, call me and I’ll send my crew to you.
Happy Spring (almost)!