cloth, 282 pp., $55.00
Early on in America’s colonial history, Spanish explorers, French monarchs, and American leaders identified the strategic geographical importance of the site that eventually became New Orleans. Built by the French in a semicircular curve along the bend of the Mississippi River in 1718, New Orleans, the “Crescent City,” became a vital commercial port “whose residents and their customs are multinational, multicultural, and multiethnic.” These factors combined with the environmental and social conditions led to the development of landscape sites with varying character. Landscape architect Lake Douglas surveys the open spaces in the city — the public spaces (both commercial and recreational), as well as the private ones including the trends in domestic garden design. He delves further into the subject in a survey of local horticulture and those employed in this field. His in-depth investigation concludes with an ornamental plant inventory, a study that emphases the semi-tropical setting of the city.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden