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My Garden Looks Horrible, What Can I Do?

It is clear that everyone's garden looks horrible after the last week of harsh weather conditions in New Orleans.  There are a lot of people that are asking the question, " what can I do now?" and the best answer is the fix your prior mistakes.  Now, this, in theory, sounds simple but what action do you need to take today?  

5 Things You Can Do Today

  • Inspect your landscape for damaged plants 
  • Remove any broken limbs, branches, & similar 
  • Clean all the debris in the beds- fallen flowers, leaves, debris
  • Hire a Professional for a Landscape Assesment to help evaluate your garden
  • Start Researching Foundation Plants ( see below ) 

Understanding Plant hardiness zone map of Louisiana 

In New Orleans when the temperatures drop below freezing, the landscapes take a beating. New Orleans and Metairie are full of lush tropical plants, trees, and seasonal color that all fall in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map of 9a to 9b. 

New Orleans Plant Hardiness Zone

Selecting Plant Material 

We consider the 9a-9b  plant hardiness zone tropical and a lot of plant material can be damaged in freezing conditions.  In reviewing the plant hardiness zone map of Louisiana above, you will see that Metairie and New Orleans temperature zone is between 9a to 9b but what does that actually mean. In simple terms, your landscape should be designed to tolerate temperatures as low as 20 to 25 degrees.  In the planning stage, it is important to select foundation planting, trees, and shrubs that will tolerate this conditions.  

Suggested Foundation Plants 

  • Winter Green Boxwood 
  • Camellia Japonica 
  • Cleyera 
  • Ligustrum
  • Hawthrone 
  • Japanese Yew
  • Japanese Blueberry 
  • American Hollies 
  • Azaleas 
  • Gardenia 
  • Rosemary
  • Fringe Flower 

Suggested Trees

  • All Hollies
  • Oaks
  • River Birch
  • Ash
  • Elm
  • Ginko
  • Fringe Flower 
  • Dogwood 
  • Redbud

Suggested Flowering Shrubs

  • Rose of Sharon 
  • Knock Roses 
  • Hydrangea 
  • Camellia 
  • Hawthrone 

Once you have selected foundation plants for your landscape, we recommend seeking professional assistance in selecting the right plants for the right area in your garden.  The Garden Gates Landscaping Company provides service that helps homeowners make the right choice of plant material in a landscape planting design.  Our landscape enhancement consultation is a great way to begin the process of transitioning your landscape into a weather-tolerant garden.  

Landscape Enhancement Consultation Includes: 

  • Detailed report on existing plants, trees and shrubs 
  • Recommendations for landscape improvements 
  • Seasonal Color Recommendations 
  • Irrigation Recommendations 
  • Feeding and Nutrient Recommendations 

Each customer will receive a detailed report with corresponding estimates for all enhancements we recommend. Learn more

We have provided a lot of information about gardening and landscaping, If you have any questions about your landscape or garden in New Orleans or Metairie, email us at or give us a call at 504-833-6699.