Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Antebellum Garden 1858

As reported by The New Orleans Daily Crescent 25 April 1858:

A Model Home.-- The larger number of our wealthy citizens consider a three or two story house, fronting abruptly upon the well-traveled pavements, which line some noisy and dusty, but fashionable street the extreme of all reasonable ambition for the possession of home or property. Well, the three or two story house opening immediately upon the pavement of some fashionable street, looks grand. Is it as entirely comfortable as other localities which might be chosen in the vicinity of the city?

If any had joined us in a pleasant ramble on last Saturday evening, as far as Desirée street, in the Third District, he might have thought differently. Fronting on that street and running from Greatmen to Levee, is the home of Mr. Lawrence, a gentleman, who, though actively engaged in business, operating in cotton and sugar, yet cultivates the nice and refined tasted of the accomplished horticulturalist.

Over his neat cottage home, sweeps the cool breeze, which has daintily kissed the waves of the river which sweeps by our city, and which, from his tressiled [sic] and flower-embowered porch, refreshes the eye and forehead of one wearied with summer heat. In his cool and quiet parlors, so hushed and shaded that one listens with almost painful suspense, for the cricket's chirrup, works of art from the painter's easel and the engraver's labor, so calm and so lifelike, that you almost realize in them an active presence meeting the eye. Among the paintings are some very excellent ones, the work of Mr. L.'s accomplished lady.

One wanders into his gardens, and the first thing which catches the eye is the princely amaryllis. It is a royal flower, and flaunts itself bravely in the garish day. It steals its livery of bright hues from the sun, and looks all splendor. There is the heliotrope, the jessamine, the honeysuckle, the white rose, but we have no space to enumerate.

We pass to the useful. Corn from Tehuantepec seed; melons from African, French and English seed; nectarines, figs, pomegranates, artichokes, Falstaff raspberries, Crescent strawberries, yielding six months in the year, oranges, lemons, giant quinces, grafted and growing in the same tree, fig-trees thriving lustily, banana plants growing well, pine-apple plants in numbers beyond all our previous ideas of their cultivation in New Orleans, showing every promise of successful growth, and other things too numerous to mention, attract the eye, charm the senses and awaken attention.

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