When in New Orleans in the spring time, one will find it hard not to spot a wildflower. Look out the window; there the wildflowers are. Take a drive down the interstate; along the lanes grow billions of breezy dandelions.
In the Park:
Take a stroll down to New Orleans’ City Park, you will find the state’s official wildflower, the Iris, growing wild in the lagoon. In fact, City Park was built around the Southern Magnolias, the state’s official flower. These same Magnolia trees still bloom today giving the park its amazingly sweet fragrance.
In the Cemeteries:
Might I suggest a spooky tour of any cemetery for more wild foliage? In most New Orleans cemeteries, mourners and the curious alike are bombarded with wild daffodils that grow around the cracks in the sidewalk and sprout out of graves. Like those daffodils of St. Louis Cemetery, where it is rumored that Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is buried.
As a child visiting my forefather’s graves, I would stick to the very center of the path between rows of deceased. I did this because the older graves are cracked open so much so that you could see inside. Until, on a dare, I took a peek in one such crack. I was relieved that there were no zombies, only white and yellow wildflowers growing and climbing on top of one another.
Around the House:
In the yard of most every home will bloom wild strawberry blossoms. No one knows how they got there. But there they are every spring. By late spring and over and over until late fall, there is plenty to eat from the fruit of these tiny yellow flowers.
On St. Tammany Trace:
When you take a quick drive over Lake Ponchatrain to the Northshore of New Orleans, you will find a paved trail called St. Tammany Trace. It is a 28 mile stretch of scenic route for the cyclist, walker, or jogger to enjoy all the beauty Southeastern Louisiana has to offer. This trace is home to every shade and species of wild flower found in the area. From the most magenta azalea to the brightest yellow marigold, you will find that they all flourish here on the trace.
Perhaps nowhere on earth is man’s delicate dance with nature more obvious than in New Orleans. Here we struggle to keep our grip on our concrete creation as nature grows is wild weeds over us. But that is the how we like it in New Orleans, we want to let nature in … at least a little.
Theresa Corbin is a New Orleans native. She admires those with a green thumb. But is grateful to live where one does not need a green thumb to enjoy the fruits of the earth.