“Rosemonde’s Garden” accepted into the Archives of American Gardens

For over 25 years, the GCA has partnered with the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens to preserve the visual record and collective narrative of gardens. The NOTG Garden History & Design Committee submitted the documentation of Rosemonde Capomazza’s garden, and the proposal was accepted into the Archives of American Gardens of the Smithsonian in November.

“Rosemonde’s Garden” features a fountain and serpentine pool with an old brick deck and and backsplash. Musical cherubs are surrounded by a blanket of Camellia sasanqua. A lovely landscape design of numerous plant materials makes this garden a striking addition to the Smithsonian.

First Joint Founders Fund Clean-up a Success

Members of Garden Study Club and New Orleans Town Gardeners got together on October 17 for the first monthly clean-up at Popp’s Bandstand in City Park.

Next workday: November 14, 2019

Mother Nature’s Favorite Mulch: Tips from Carro & the NOTG Conservation Committee

Everyone knows that mulching suppresses weeds, buffers soil temperature, retains soil moisture, and reduces soil erosion. Decomposing mulch also adds organic matter to the soil. Pine straw seems to be the most popular choice for mulch, but I would like to offer you an easier, greener and cheaper option… your yard’s leaf litter.

Don’t bag your leaves and send them to the landfill! Leaf litter makes wonderful mulch both under the tree from which they fall and in your garden beds. Macro and micro invertebrates decompose the leaves which release nutrients into the soil to nourish your plants. Additionally, leaf litter aids in creating a biodiverse ecosystem in your yard by providing habitat for frogs, earthworms, beetles, crickets, centipedes, millipedes and butterfly pupae. Birds will come to forage for these insects to feed their young.

Let’s all adopt this easy and beneficial home conservation practice.

Presidents Council Comes to New Orleans

​The 2019 Presidents Council brought over sixty Presidents, President Elects, Zone Reps, and GCA committee chairmen to New Orleans led by Zone IX Chairman Barbara Bush. The meeting opened with garden tours hosted by Ruthie Frierson, Sally Lapeyre, and Caroline Calhoun. Caroline Reily hosted the group for a seated dinner at the Reily home in the Garden District. Maxine Fox and Harriet Nelson also opened their gardens. The business meeting was held in the Playhouse at Longue Vue House and Gardens. Paul Soniat gave a tour of the Botanical Garden and the group visited the Enrique Alvarez garden and the new outdoor kitchen. Wednesday night dinners here hosted by Kim White and Virginia White. The wrap up meeting was at the NOPSI hotel where the group was staying. NOTG and Garden Study Club volunteers helped host the group.

Zone IX ladies were very impressed with our hospitality, the gardens, beautiful decorations, abundant flowers, and wonderful food!

Storm Water Management: A Timely Message from the Conservation Committee

The city of New Orleans and its citizens must adopt Best Management Practices (BMP) to successfully manage the heavy rainfall that New Orleans frequently receives. The rain is going to fall so we might as well use it to our advantage. Good storm water management measures can be as common sense as protecting and maintaining mature trees. Researchers have found that one mature tree can absorb nearly 900 gallons of stormwater a day; a block full of trees can mean the difference between flooding and not flooding a neighborhood.

Rain gardens and rain storage systems capture and hold rain allowing water to penetrate in place and thus combat subsidence. Using pervious surfaces for parking lots, driveways and patios allows rainwater to remain close to where it falls instead running into drainage canals or streets.

A bioretention cell is a stormwater best management practice designed to capture and treat the first flush of rain runoff from impermeable surfaces such as a traditional parking lot. Bioretention cells are landscaped depressions used to slow and treat onsite stormwater runoff. Stormwater drains towards the basin and then percolates through the system where it is cleaned by plants and microbes. This is a far better landscape solution than the traditional raised planted beds in parking lots whose trees have an average lifespan of 7 years.

Some immediate benefits from water management practices such as these are improved water quality, flood control, community design, habitat creation, reduction of our urban heat island, improved air quality and these are incremental solutions that can be added to along the way.

Personal actions you can take to reduce your use of plastics

  • Recycle – Less than 14% of plastic packaging is recycled.
  • Go on a Plastics Diet – 90% of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once.
  • Ban the Bags – Urge officials to follow the lead of over 150 cities and counties by passing legislation to ban the use of plastic bags or impose a use-fee per bag.
  • Stop Buying Water in Plastic Bottles – Close to 20 billion water bottles are tossed into the trash each year.
  • Buy in Bulk – Consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you buy. Single serving containers and travel size toiletries use decidedly more plastic.
  • Cook More – It’s healthier and cooking at home eliminates plastic & styrofoam takeout containers, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, and small plastic condiment containers.
  • Bring your own Garment Bag to the cleaners – Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of plastic.
  • Consumer Rights – Contact corporations and ask them to use less plastic packaging and more recyclable containers.
  • Get the word out – Tell your friends and community about ways to cut back on the growing use of plastics. It can make a BIG difference for our oceans.

Zone Meeting Flower Show Highlights!

Floral Design

  • Linda Miller, 2nd place for her beautiful two-sided arrangement for Wonders of Restoration


  • Maria Wisdom, 2nd place for her photograph of birds for Wonders of Observation

Needle Arts

  • Kathy Eastman, Honorable mention for her beetle needlepoint canvas for Wonders of Delight


  • Maxine Fox, 2nd place for her Saintpaulia, or African violet
  • Flora French, 1st place for her Sarracenia flava, or Yellow Pitcher Plant (flower)
  • Flora French, 2nd place for her Sarracenia leucophylla, or Red Pitcher Plant (foliage)
  • Flora French, 2nd place for her Pinus palustris, or Longleaf pine
  • Shane French, 3rd place for her Drosera capillaris, or Sundew
  • Catherine Freeman, 1st place for her Clivia miniata, or Bush Lily
  • Ruthie Frierson, Honorable Mention for her Aechmea fasciata, or Bromeliad
  • Chrisie Kelleher, 1st place for her Graptopetalum payaguayense, or Ghost plant
  • Paige Morrison, Honorable Mention in the Challenge Class for her Lilium matrix, or Lily
  • Marianne Mumford, 3rd place for her Cunninghamia
  • Marianne Mumford, 3rd place for her Trachycarpus fortunei, or Windmill Palm

Three Cheers for Chrisie and Linda for representing NOTG!

Wonders of the Wetlands 2019: Zone IX Meeting in Beaumont, Texas

A highlight of the 2019 zone meeting was celebrating with David Waggonner, a partner in the architectural firm Waggonner and Ball, when he received the Zone Civic Improvement Award at the Zone IX Awards Dinner in Beaumont.

New Orleans Town Gardeners proposed David for this award because of his visionary work with water management. After Katrina, David became a champion of solving water management problems in New Orleans and throughout the region by making water an asset not an adversary.

Congratulations David!