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butterfly garden

Landscaping Tip: Butterfly and Pollinator Garden

Often viewed as a symbol of resurrection and renewal, butterflies are a sure sign summer is on its way. In south Louisiana, we have approximately 55 species of indigenous butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, ladybugs, as well as 12 species of hummingbirds. Pollinators are biotic agents, like bees, butterflies and certain birds, that move pollen from male to female parts of flowers. They are responsible for assisting over 80% of the world’s flowering plants and play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Without them, food would be very scarce! Why not build a garden to invite these important colorful pollinators to your yard? Size does not matter. Your garden can take up the entire yard or can be as small as a window box or few containers. The most important thing is to choose a mix of native annuals and perennials that…

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After-Storm-Advocate

Preparing your Landscape for Hurricane Season

 Is your yard/garden ready to withstand the storm?? Warm weather, outdoor BBQ’s, swimming, and Hurricane Season…all signs that the summer season is here in South Louisiana! The 2015 Hurricane Season is starting in mere weeks on June 1; is your landscape ready for a storm? With the recent thunderstorms, we got a little taste of what high winds and rain can do to the yard. Being prepared when a named storm blows through is the only way to keep your house and family safe. Below are a few tips on what to do to prepare: Start with trees; trim any dead limbs or branches that may fall in strong winds. Do not leave trimmings or clippings in the yard since they can easily become projectiles. *Remember the ‘6/40 Rule’ when putting yard and lawn trimmings out for pick-up: no pieces longer…

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modern garden

Gardens: a place where modern landscape design and comfort unite

Guest article by Jelena Djurdjevic. Image graciously provided by Homebuyers Centre. Though often overlooked as an art form, the best landscape design combines aesthetics, culture and functionality to create a pleasing outdoor space. As with all design work, it has changed with the times and adopted new styles and ideas. A few relatively small changes to a garden area can completely change the look and feel of a house. The lighting, the plants, the complimentary or contrasting elements to the building – these can all build upon each other to create something really special. It can be done with less time and less money than you might perhaps expect, as well. Ornaments for everyone’s taste Garden items are usually what first attracts the eye to a landscape garden. These include things like water features, statues, bird baths, and other ornaments….

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new orleans landscape

Landscaping Tip: Mosquito Repellant Plants

As the weather warms up outside, we are not the only ones getting excited about the spring, so is our honorary state bird, the mosquito. There are several methods to deter these pests from crashing your outdoor party ranging from candles to repellent sprays, but we like to use plants! Not only will plants offer a natural, chemical-free, safe way to repel mosquitos; they add color and fragrance to your outdoor space. Here are a few of our favorite insect repelling plants that will also thrive down here in South Louisiana. Lavender With the exception of the hearty, but less fragrant Spanish Lavender, many varieties of lavender cannot withstand the wet soil, heat and humidity of South Louisiana. That is until the recent introduction of ‘Phenomenal’ which, according to Southern Living Magazine, is a version of the herb that can not only withstand the growing conditions here,…

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houseplants-for-beginners

Indoor Plants Improve Air Quality

As winter’s shorter days and cooler temperatures force us indoors to stay warm, the house can feel ‘stuffy’ and there is nothing worse than being forced to spend countless hours inside a house with stale air. More importantly are the adverse effects poor quality air indoors can have on you and your family’s health. With little or no fresh air coming in and running heaters all winter, it is no wonder that we suffer breathing problems, congestion and headaches during these colder months. By definition, indoor air pollution is chemical, biological and physical contamination of indoor air and may result in adverse health effects. This contamination can include pollutants from tobacco smoke, mold, allergens, bacteria, viruses, radon, formaldehyde, asbestos, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). How do we clean up the air in our homes? Some of these pollutants can be…

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hardscape-flagstone

Carpentry Services

For years, Exterior Designs, Inc. has offered carpentry to complement our landscape services. We have a professional carpenter on staff that specializes in small interior and exterior projects. Exterior Designs offers a wide variety of new construction or remodeling services. We will work with you on drafting a plan that allows you to visualize the finished product. In addition to our carpentry services, we also offer handyman services to New Orleans and the surrounding area. Some of our services include: Cleaning dirt, dust and cobwebs from your porch or outdoor room Painting or staining  to refurbish existing wood work Removing fallen tree limbs and branches Building and staining or painting shutters Pretty much anything else you can think to relieve the stress of those tasks you simply don’t have the time or energy to think about! Creativity does not have…

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scored walkway

Exterior Designs, Inc. of New Orleans Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award

Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World New Orleans, LA, January 19, 2015 – Exterior Designs, Inc. of New Orleans has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The landscape design-build contractor of choice for New Orleanians was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. “We are honored that we have been chosen by our peers for such a wonderful award,” said Beverly Katz, founder and owner of Exterior Designs, Inc. “We notice more and more of our clients are starting their search for design ideas online and we couldn’t be more pleased to have partnered with the…

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swimming pool

Celebrating Mardi Gras Randazzo Style!

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is all about letting loose and celebrating a good time with friends and family. During carnival season, everyone becomes family! One of the families well known here in the City is the Randazzo’s – they are known for their world-famous king cakes. Their family recipe has been a New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition for decades. Exterior Designs wouldn’t be a true New Orleans designer without having a hand in a local legend’s landscape. We renovated the Randazzo Bakery store front in Metairie, LA by creating a Mardi Gras theme that continues year round. By selecting annuals that bloom in purple and gold, Mardi Gras colors are repeated throughout the landscape. We wanted to protect customers on those rainy days our city is known for, so we included a colorful awning that runs the length of the…

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meditation garden pergola

Exterior Designs Redesigns St. George’s Episcopal School’s Commons

Exterior Design’s Beverly Katz used form and function to define areas of this commercial landscape. Separate conversation areas allow the students to gather and enjoy the outdoors, while providing them comfortable seating. The gardens throughout the landscape are defined by raised brick. Adding a raised edge is a sure way to keep pedestrians from unintentionally walking through the garden. Beverly also included an interactive play area with a life-size chess board. Large trees provide shade for the middle school students as they enjoy their outdoor time. Although the original intent for the space was primarily for student use, the St. George’s faculty finds themselves using the outdoor room more than expected. The beautiful garden has become the perfect spot for hosting meetings, lunches and parent/teacher conferences. As the landscape matures, the foliage will fill out and provide the perfect backdrop to this outdoor…

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pergola

Hardscaping, the foundation of a successful landscape

You have decided to create an outdoor space, now it is time to plan for your hardscaping needs. Hardscaping offers a plethora of appealing options whether you want a paved walkway or driveway or an elaborate outdoor living room. When planning the hardscape phase of your project, the entire landscape of the area must be a consideration. One would not build a house by building a room, then a year or two later, add another room. Your outdoor space has to be given the same consideration as you are designing your space.  You may want to start with a patio and a walkway, then your project could eventually include a pool, water feature or retainer wall.  The planning stage should include a professional consult to help you reach the current and future goals for your space. Next you will want to choose a…

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