Friday, March 23, 2018

The Flowers of Orpheus

The aptly named Mardi Gras Gardener (Alan) and I, planned a trip to New Orleans last month.

Part of the reason we were visiting was to see family and friends and to watch Alan's sister and some friends ride on a float in the Krewe of Orpheus Parade.

I had been to New Orleans several times before, but never to Mardi Gras. 

The Krewe of Orpheus was founded in 1993, the Krewe of Orpheus takes its name from the musically inclined son of Zeus and the muse Calliope. Orpheus had the gift of music and could charm any living being and even some rocks. Seems like a useful skill right?

Founding members of the Kwere of Orpheus include Harry Connick, both the junior and senior. Harry Connick, Jr. was the grand marshal of the parade this year and was performing at the Orpheuscapade ball that night. This year was the 25th anniversary. 

Alan and I were going just to attend the Orpheuscapade, a black tie ball, following the parade at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. We were going to meet our friends after the parade rolled into the Convention Center and party the night away. 

In a weird twist of fate, both Alan and I had the opportunity to substitute for a couple from Houston that were unable to make it at the last minute due to illness. We thus ended up on an actual float in one of the three biggest Mardi Gras parades!

The theme of this year's parade was "The Folly of Astaroth". The floats were comprised of whimsical creatures and paper mache flowers. They were a sight to behold.  

This post is to show off the floral decorations on the floats. They are pretty amazing. Some of the "flowers" are recognizable from your garden and some are a little harder to identify!  

It was a once in a life time opportunity and I'm grateful I did it!

Enjoy the flowers!

Our float "Sailing to Naboombu"

The "Smokey Mary"

Signature float "The Leviathan"

Harry Connick, Jr.
I'm too pooped to have a good time! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Perino's Garden Center

The Mardi Gras Gardener and I were recently in New Orleans (Metairie to be exact) to see relatives and go to the Orpheuscapade.

In a weird twist of fate, we actually ended up on a float in the Orpheus parade throwing beads, which was a crazy experience. The papier-mâché flower designs on the floats were amazing and worthy of a post of their own later on.

While staying in Metairie, we were only a few blocks walk away from Perino's Garden Center (3100 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, LA 70002). In between my Fat Tuesdays frozen daiquiris (I highly recommend the Pina Colada or the White Russian), Alan and I went to go see what they had in store.

As a pacific northwest gardener, it's always interesting to see what a southern nursery has in stock. There is clearly a lot that we cannot grow in Portland. A lot of the plants are still recognizable though, but most likely to be grown as houseplants.

I'm afraid I didn't pay too much attention to plant names, so some of the plant pictures will lack plant names.

A tour of the plants in pictures below:

Bird of Paradise


Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' (Variegated Flax Lily)

"Macho" Fern in the second row.

Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata'  (Variegated Shell Ginger)
Ligularia reniformis (Trqactor Seat Plant)
I thought the no-tip stands were cool!

Callistemon viminalis 'Hannah Ray'

The recent cold got to these Rojo Bananas
A grove of Citrus.
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina Jessamine)

Indoor garden plants and Orchids.