New Orleans-Friendly Landscaping to Minimize Heavy Rain Damage

New Orleans is a well-established and historical city that has undergone drastic changes over the centuries. Still, many of its gardening trends have stood the test of time to emerge as practical considerations in response to frequent flooding.

Making Use of Potential Space

Fernando Wong, a televised landscape designer, feels that residents can use innovative design for areas with climates, like New Orleans. His design office in New Orleans caters to the area’s unique considerations. So whether your outdoor space is small, like a balcony, or a yard you need privacy for, the solutions are available. Perhaps the most common mistake Wong sees is the failure to imagine an area’s full potential. He notes that many people fixate on open designs with a yard surrounded by landscaped areas, but this stops any possibility of unique or timeless designs that can fully use the space.

Wong also points out that many people in New Orleans fixate on the backyard for landscaping without considering any front or side yards. Landscaping these areas can immediately impact curb appeal and house value, so ignoring it is detrimental for aesthetic and financial reasons. One less-obvious trend in making use of space is fencing choices. Wood is the most popular material overall but hides the area behind it. However, steel made to look like wrought iron remains a popular choice in New Orleans with the added benefit of allowing visibility into other green spaces.

This feature doesn’t work for every property, but using a metal fence can give the impression of green space that’s much larger than the property lines. It also requires virtually no upkeep, which is not a minor consideration in New Orleans’ hot and humid atmosphere. Finally, New Orleans is still prone to flooding. Innovative landscaping can help redirect water away from some properties, much like the Riverbend Rain Garden, providing a practical benefit to an aesthetic choice.

Green Space Development

New Orleans is rather green to start with, having both the temperature and the moisture to encourage plant growth across the city. However, adding green space is intentional in areas like the upcoming Metro at Clearview, which is part of the redevelopment of the Clearview Mall into a more modern space.

 Green spaces help minimize carbon emissions and improve air quality, and they are also highly beneficial for mental health and a sense of well-being. Having access to nature each day increases an individual’s productivity and stress coping mechanisms. Part of this redevelopment includes the addition of a 14,000 square foot green space that serves additional use as a festival and event area. This trend towards high-density housing coupled with a larger public green space may affect future landscaping trends, especially for open plans of the style Fernando Wong discourages.

Water Features

Water features are another common trend in New Orleans. Fountains are popular anywhere the pipes aren’t likely to freeze during winter, but they provide an additional benefit in New Orleans by actively cooling the air around them. This aspect is prevalent among businesses with the space to support fountains, where the cooler air can help draw people inside. Water features also show up around homes in New Orleans, where clever placement can significantly impact the yard. Many will incorporate beauty and functionality with built-in lights and underground irrigation systems.

Front yard water features are widespread because they can provide additional comfort when going to or from the house. These tend to be smaller than backyard fixtures, which lean towards waterfalls and large fountains.

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