With more than 50 years in the business under its belt, Banting's Nursery continually colludes with Mother Nature to smuggle extra oxygen into the air with an array of fresh plants. Twig and vine enthusiasts looking to foray into gardening will delight in exploring a wide selection of adoptable flora, from citrus trees and tomato plants to colorful flowers. The shop's knowledgeable shrubologists can explain the sunlight preferences and water lifestyle choices of beauties ranging from the tropical hibiscus ($12.95 for a 3-gal.) to the plumbago ($5.95 for a 1-gal.). Three gallons' worth of knockout roses ($19.95) double as a flying-fisted home security system, and the fragrant, pale-petaled frost-proof gardenia rolls its eyes blithely at winter's advances ($14.95 for a 3-gal.).
Offering a head-spinning variety of cups and other party-planning accessories, Party Cup Express sees to it that rambunctious revelers let loose with remarkable receptacles in hand. Tailgate in style with a set of 25 16-ounce black-and-gold souvenir cups emblazoned with the fleur-de-lis ($10), craft memorable baked goods with a crawfish cookie cutter ($3.95), or keep beverages frosty with a set of six Water Meter coozies ($6). Dazzle passing pedestrians and increase the chances of picking up a hitchhiking Drew Brees with a Saints Super Bowl Champions license plate ($5).
Mattress Direct culls a variety of mattresses in textures ranging from firm to plush from brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Serta. Serta's iComfort, for example, evenly distributes support across the body with microsupport gel capsules nestled in its memory foam; a specialized material prevents overheating and the resulting unpleasant lava-chase nightmares. Mattress Direct's stock of bed frames, bed linens, and pillows allow patrons to assemble complete bedroom sets in one trip, and an express delivery service prevents the hassle of renting a moving truck or outfitting each leg of a new bed with a rollerblade.
The dedicated team of stylists at The Arthur Hutton Salon shears locks into impressionable cuts and shifts shades with vivid color treatments. In addition to snipping blunt bobs and deftly razoring crew cuts, practiced hands weave braids, employ Simply Smooth keratin treatments to subdue frizz and curls, and enliven tresses with feather extensions that will convince the robins in your backyard to let you join their innermost circle. The salon also stocks hair products from brands such as Redken, Joico, and Nioxin so patrons can maintain their manes at home.
Two Sprouts boutique, the offshoot of a flourishing online business, tickles the fancies of adults and kids with a potpourri of personalized paper goods as well as casual clothing and artful gift items. A platoon of customized stationeries showcases regional pride with designs depicting red and green trolleys and the NOLA skyline ($20/10). Meanwhile, elegant fleur de lis note cards ($16/10) soften the blow of scathing letters to the editor or ransom notes. Parents can gussy up kids' heads with floppy sun hats ($20) or send them off to summer internships with briefcases full of gator calling cards ($15/20). Adult tees ($15–$28) outfit men and women for casual activities, such as trips to the grocery store, where customers can make use of Two Sprouts' shopping lists ($8).