Courtyard patios are a feature of hotels, restaurants, and homes in the French Quarter. The narrow style of house achieves more space by beautifying an enclosed area in the back. Brick is the favorite choice of masonry material in New Orleans, according to the New Orleans Historic District Landmarks Commissions — Guidelines for Masonry and Stucco, and it can add a unique complement to your patio.
To add an authentic touch of New Orleans charm to your home, enclose an area in the back yard with a board fence and pave it with bricks. The tone that you establish with a red brick floor opens the way for you to make your courtyard as charming as those in the old section of the city. The Commission states that red brick is the most popular, but you can use brown, yellow, or orange to match your decor.
Planters and Flower Beds
The warm and humid air in New Orleans provides excellent growing conditions for colorful flowers, so you may need to install a misting system if you live in a dry area. Planters shaped like large vases serve as statuary pieces that you could situate in accent areas. The lightweight material that is used in many of the planters today makes them easy to move.
Flowerbeds along the fence line provide a colorful contrast, and weeds are controllable in a limited space. Bricks that match the patio floor are good for retaining the dirt, or you could use a contrasting color for extra style.
Loads of Flowers
An abundance of blooms is the secret to a successful New Orleans patio. Evergreen plants like camellias and azaleas that bloom in the late winter or early spring are favored varieties. While it has no aroma, the camellia has flowers in red, white, and pink, which resemble large roses, and require little maintenance. Blooms on azaleas are as delicate as little orchids, usually in shades of white and light pink to deep magenta. Decorative flowers that can give you the look you want in your flowerbeds include these:
– Impatiens and vinca
– Tea roses
– Lily of the valley
Banana trees grow thickly, and dense greenery is essential in your patio. The tall leaves bend gracefully, showing yellow tints on the trunk. Some varieties produce miniature bananas, but the plant is sensitive to temperatures that are uncommon in the south. Gardenias produce an aroma that is sweet and pleasant during the day and even more aromatic in the evening. Train some jasmine to grow on your fence, and let its light fragrance add to the inviting ambiance of your courtyard.
Consider a Fountain
Anyone who has visited New Orleans has probably noticed the prevalence of fountains. While your local garden retailer may have ideas about potential New Orleans style fountains, you can do a little research first and find the best type of fountain for your home. While the city of New Orleans often boasts a larger than life personality, you do not have to spring for an ostentatious or gaudy display. Instead, look for a fine smaller fountain that is subtle in its approach. A New Orleans style fountain does not hew close to a particular aesthetic, but rather is playful in its incorporation of various features.
If you are a DIY home improvement enthusiast, you can also construct a shallow pond and connect a water supply for a spouting fountain. Water lilies in the basin or some gold fish can create a focus area that is always interesting.
The Finishing Touch
With a courtyard that is a delightful place to relax or visit, you have the perfect location to entertain family and friends. Open air dining is part of the life style in New Orleans, and it is an elegant way to enjoy a meal. The greenery, flowers and fountain provide an environment that is graceful and pleasant. With a table and some large, comfortable chairs, you are ready to enjoy your own New Orleans courtyard patio. These finishing touches help illuminate and give charm to your home. With these tips in mind, you can see how people across the Gulf Coast have looked to New Orleans for stylish home décor.
With assistance from www.concretehouston.com/concrete-patios-houston, the author is adding some classic Gulf Coast style charm to his Houston home.