I have gardened for my Mom for a long time: since I was a kid. After the Storm, she packed-up and headed out of New Orleans for higher ground and ended up relocating near my sister and brother-in-law’s in some place called Alexandria, Louisiana. She settled into the new digs and quickly started putting her artistic “touch” on the place both inside and out.
The house is a remodeled contemporary with some beefy old trees, with tiny outdoor spaces that make up comfortable, very comforting, garden rooms. My fave of the trees is the Cow Oak, Quercus micheauxii (Swamp Chestnut Oak, Micheaux Oak). It stands a majestic sixty feet tall, and is maybe fifty years old. Real nice.
In the front, looming over the entrance doorway, are a cluster of three Chinese Parasol trees about as old, and, real champions. I haven’t ever seen any as big. Pretty amazing plants, actually.
And then Mom’s touch is obvious. She has had a love for plants starting far back as I can remeber when she grew a vegetable garden and grew Rex Begonias in a tiny backyard hobby greenhouse. She was at that time, reigning Queen of the Rex begonias! She’s a real plant collector, having perfected the art of choosing good plants when she happens to be in a plant nursery. One of the things she and my big sister Robin do on their annual spring trip back to the home-country (Arkansas), is to find gardens to enjoy and nurseries to plunder.
On a trip to do some work in Mom’s garden a year or two ago, I brought her some art pedestals. I have made a bunch of these over the last several years for gardens, to display objects d’art. I think they are the bomb, dude.
I installed a few of them and then started doing some rearranging of some of her garden art(she said she didn’t mind…). She had brought home from one of her artist / painting trips (to Bali), a collection of carved lava-stone characters. I arranged a few of the free-standing ones on the pedestals and hung the ones made for walls on the front facade of the house.
I cut and gathered about forty or fifty canes of bamboo from the back yard and proceeded to build a decorative fence at the front walk to provide a sense of enclosure for the front garden area: a separation of sorts, from the street.
We ended up with what she calls her Voo Doo garden.
Marie Laveau would be so proud!
(click on pics to enlarge)
above: a clay sculpture where I inadvertently found a whole congregation of holy-roller wasps, attending services
above: some added whimsy