Category Archives: tips & tricks

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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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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pool and backyard renovation

Good Fences Make Great Neighbors

Maybe Robert Frost didn’t agree in his “Mending Wall” poem, but over the years we have come to learn that good fences really do make great neighbors. Privacy is always a concern especially when living in the city, and Exterior Designs has helped numerous clients in solving their challenges through well placed landscaping. Take this New Orleans home for example, our client came to us seeking a way to make his backyard more secluded from the neighboring houses.   Their main complaint was they could not enjoy their back porch, pool or patio without feeling like they weren’t alone. I’m sure they have lovely neighbors, but no matter how nice they are there are times when you just crave a little solitude. Beverly Katz of Exterior Designs, Inc. is known for her vision in which she can correct a homeowner’s problem…

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