First, a view of the house circa 2006 with it's lovely Fema trailer (luckily, I never had to live in one--this one belonged to Thomas's brother who owns one half of the double--what we call duplexes in New Orleans):
The house soon after Katrina, before reconstruction began.
Last spring, after removal of the Fema trailer, painting of the awning and porch, installation of furniture, the arrival of the first flamingo (who has since moved on to a better place), and initial plantings (most of which died because I know absolutely nothing about gardening). A long way to go, but a definite improvement:
Today: the jasmine has filled in on the center post, the plantings have filled in a little (thank God for elephant ears--even I can grow them), two Japanese maples have been planted, and a new flamingo couple have landed. Eventually, most of the plants I have chosen should grow and fill in, creating a lush look. I'm aiming for a combination of tropical and cottage--kind of an English colonial garden look.
The mardi gras flag provided the inspiration for the porch and garden's purple, green, and gold colour scheme.
We found the bricks to border the bed when a local building was torn down (don't worry it wasn't a historical structure--it was a 70s block building that housed a grocery store).
The verbena and lantana provide the purple and gold blooms for the color scheme. Behind them, a satsuma tree is growing in the large terracotta plot.
The porch is large enough for some comfortable seating. The window frames were the original frames for the house which were replaced with energy efficient windows.