On Plants ...

These member essays originally appeared in the Patio Planters Punch Newsletter.  

Stephen Swain: I thought it was my favorite tree ...

by Steve Swain

A rosarian once asked me, “You do know that trees are our enemies, don’t you?” Well, I had mixed feelings about the implication of that question, because I do want some shade in my patio from the summer sun, but I have always wanted roses, too. Continued →  

Stephen Swain: The Thorn Tree's Tale

by Steve Swain
from The Punch, Sep/Oct '07

Many a tourist and some of you have asked me about the curious thorn tree that grows to one side of my front door on Bourbon Street. It may be hard to believe, considering its size, but I grew it from a seed I planted in 1988.

Continued →  

Sam Poché: My Favorite Plant

By Sam Poché
from The Punch, July/Aug '07

Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae)

The Bleeding Heart Vine is truly beautiful. It is hardy here in New Orleans, and can probably be grown in colder zones if taken indoors in the winter. It originates from West Africa. It also goes by Bleeding Glory Bower, Tropical Bleeding Heart, Bag Flower and Glory Tree. Continued →  

Stephen Swain: My Favorite Plant

by Stephen Swain
from The Punch, May/June '07

Every late winter I begin to prepare for the planting of my favorite herb, basil. This fragrant herb is a natural complement for so many of our Mediterranean inspired New Orleans dishes with its mixture of spicy and sweet flavor. The sight of fresh basil growing in a pot or garden bed is the promise of many delicious spring and summer meals to follow. I often buy the seeds of three or four varieties, which could include the standard Genovese, dark Opal, purple Cinnamon or the Lemon variety, and sow them in terra cotta pots indoors, waiting for the warmth of spring. Continued →  

Leslie Perrin: My Favorite Plant

By Leslie Perrin
from The Punch, Jan/Feb '07

This time of year what would our homes be like without the ever glowing beauty of a decorated Christmas tree. The day after Thanksgiving my husband hurried out to do his honorary job of selecting the perfect Christmas tree. I always chime in before he departs, “not so fat, we don’t have the space.” Well, he did come home with the most beautiful Balsam Fir. It stood 10 feet tall and was as full as any tree I had ever seen.

Continued →  

Betty Kern: My Second Most Favorite Plant

by Betty Kern
from The Punch, May/June '06

So..... our President/Editor/Columnist, Sam Poché, suffering a lapse in creativity, suggested that I write this column again. My second most favorite plant is the oleander, not so much because of its beauty, but because it evokes such happy memories of my childhood. Continued →