last week, i spent three days in new orleans. it was timed perfectly to avoid the sub-freezing temperatures in new york, but sadly, the polar vortex (or whatever they are calling the latest cold front) reached even louisiana. it was in the 30s and 40s though, so that's something. it doesn't really look that cold in these photos, since the plant life seems to be thriving, but all i can tell you is that maybe even sub-tropical plants can survive a night or two of frost.
as i noted on my recent trip to taiwan, the greenery in new places is now one of the highlights of travel for me. so in an attempt to counteract the effects of eating five times a day (so. much. eating.), we walked for hours through several different neighborhoods as well as the new orleans botanical gardens and lafayette no. 1 cemetery.
the cemetery, it turns out, is the oldest municipal cemetery in new orleans. at a single city block, it's not as big as some of the others, but it was the perfect antidote to all the butter and oil we ingested at commander's palace (hhh had a crock of chowder and oysters; i had shrimp and grits). i was especially taken by all the ferns bursting out of the brick and rock. there was also this - hugh grant's (and his family's) tomb. funny how there are no dates on the stone. or maybe this is typical? i am no antebellum cemetery expert.
the cemetery sits between washington, coliseum, prytania, and sixth streets. it's in the garden district, which is full of lovely old homes i could spend all day looking at. (you could try this self-guided walking tour.) if you get tired, there is coffee and a bathroom, a bookshop, and a shop of turkish cotton textiles worth checking out at 2727 prytania street.
on our second day in new orleans, we ventured into mid-city. between meals, we did more exploring and ended up at the botanical gardens. despite the low temperatures, the plants generally seemed pretty happy. there were also several enclosed areas housing tropical and desert varieties. outdoors, there was an edible section with raised beds. i recognized rosemary, rainbow chard, and several types of lettuce. there was also something that hhh thought looked like giant purple basil, but i think it must have been an entirely different kind of plant...right?
all this botany gets me excited about spring planting! i've already gotten a bunch of paperwhites that i'm forcing indoors, and i came home from california with clippings from the heirloom jade plant in hhh's mom's garden. (more on that later.) i also got a dozen air plants! (hhh: why do you need so many air plants?)
anyway, all this is to say that i am ready for this ridiculous frigid weather to be done already. okay, a few more green shots to tide us over until it's really springtime....
stay warm!! xoxo