POSTED Wed. Jun 24, 2015


Local Business Spotlight: American Aquatic Gardens
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

Locally owned businesses feel like an increasing rarity these days, although they tend to make a strong showing in New Orleans. With that said, the businesses we tend to think of when we hear ‘locally owned’ are places like restaurants, or bars, or clothing boutiques.

How about home and garden shops? No way, right? Too much overhead costs, and too much space to fill up when you factor in greenhouses and the rest.

Enter American Aquatic Gardens on Elysian Fields. In a garden store world increasingly dominated by big chains, the Aquatic Gardens are a little slice of local owned business that stands out like a brightly painted metal lizard on a wooden fence (incidentally, the store sells brightly painted metal lizards for your fence).

I shouldn’t say ‘little slice;’ this is actually a pretty big gardening center, and it puts paid to whatever cliches you may have of this sort of business. You know the stereotypes: a dowdy store with screen doors, lots of dirt and mulch and sacks of seed.

American Aquatic Gardens feels more like, well, a garden, albeit one that fits the avowedly quirky vibe of the bohemian Marigny. New Age-y music plays and the grounds are kept clean and tidy. Funky art pops up between random plants, and the general vibe is of walking into a set piece from a hypothetical fairy tale entitled Alice in Wonderland Goes to Buy Something For Her Planter.

Like any local business in 21st century America, the Aquatic Gardens live off of their enthusiasm and expertise. The owners are passionate about their plants and directing customers to the right flora. They care about and curate the outdoor accoutrement – pots, fountains, statues and other fixtures – that is such a visible face of the store.

They experiment with new flowers and plants, and proudly boast about the fact on social media. Most of all, they’re deeply committed to aquatic gardening – to the creation and maintenance of artificial aquatic environments, a niche specialty if ever there was one. I’ve seen stores sell lots of stuff in New Orleans, but never a wetland system.

Interested? Visit American Aquatic Gardens at 621 Elysian Fields, 9am-4pm daily, or call them at 504-944-0410. Pick up a lily pad for us while you’re there.

POSTED Nov 4, 2019


A New Orleans & Me Guide to Beer in the Crescent City

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The beer scene in New Orleans has exponentially expanded since 2010, ballooning from a few beer-specializing bars and one homegrown brewery to a series of brewpubs, microbreweries and…....

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POSTED May 16, 2019


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In the seemingly never-ending string of festivals New Orleans hosts all year round Bayou Boogaloo (Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19) is one of the standouts. Since…....

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POSTED Dec 14, 2018


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POSTED Nov 27, 2018


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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


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    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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