Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Orleans Botanic Gardens

Everyone who knows me knows that I love gardens. Before Katrina, Steve and I were members of the Friends of City Park and regularly visited the Botanic Gardens and patronized their greenhouse sales. They were a wonderful source for old roses (I’m crazy about antique roses) and other old fashioned plants it’s hard to find in today’s commercial garden centers. In fact, we were at City Park’s greenhouse sale the Saturday before Katrina. It was when we were driving home up Metairie Road that we saw a handlettered sign in a shop window, “Closed for hurricane.” We looked at each other and said, “What hurricane?” (Duh…)

Like so much of New Orleans, City Park went under water. The Botanic Gardens was devastated. A couple of weeks after the storm we went to look at the greenhouse. We couldn’t get too close because the street was still under water, but we were close enough to see all the dead plants. It was heartbreaking.

But this past weekend, City Park held their annual Spring Garden Show and of course we went. You need to understand that City Park receives no funding from the City of New Orleans; it is completely self-supporting. That makes their come back all the more incredible. Many, many people have poured their time and money into this park and its gardens, and the results are inspiring. And of course since I lost so many of my own plants to the flood, it’s wonderful to have my plant source back!

(That's an orchid tree, the only one of our purchases from the Saturday before Katrina to survive the storm. It came through flood, drought, and neglect to bloom beautifully this spring.)


Steve Malley said...

I love people. Our species constantly inspires me with its dogged refusal to give up under any circumstances.

No matter how bad things are broken, we stoop to build em up with worn-out tools...

Charles Gramlich said...

Good news about the gardens.