Originally published in Southern Living Magazine, 2014
Two Southern tastemakers create the ultimate garden for entertaining at a New Orleans house made famous by its owner, renowned writer and hostess Julia Reed.
Three days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, landscape architect Ben Page arrived on the doorstep of author and entertaining expert Julia Reed. At the home (made famous in her book The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story) Ben found downed trees, lost camellias, and amazing examples of survival.
“In the wake of tragedy, we saw the storm had cleansed the slate for reinvention,” says Ben. Rather than install a flashy lap pool or fancy outdoor kitchen, Julia insisted that Ben honor New Orleans’ history while using every inch of her Garden District property to form a series of outdoor rooms that would elevate the experience of hosting a party. Here’s what they did.
The Motor Court
The Big Idea: “When outdoor space is at a premium, make it multifunctional,” says Ben. The semicircular drive is used for parking, doubles as a cocktail terrace, and directs guests to the new side steps that lead to the front door and around the side to the back.
The Details: Antique brick in a basket-weave pattern adds richness to the drive.