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8 of New Orleans' best pools 

Garden paradise

The stately architecture of Cherie and Jonathan Thompson's 19th-century Garden District home and its formal New Orleans garden designed by Rene Fransen provided inspiration for the elegant pool, which was built by contractor Reed Richardson of Gulf South Pools.

  "We wanted the focus to be the lushness, the color, the flowers and the fragrances and the pool to complement the landscape," Cherie says.

  Shaped boxwoods, gardenias, hydrangea, hibiscus, potted orange trees, Japanese blueberry trees and several sculptures by artist William Binnings surround the pool. Cascading plumbago softens its angles. A custom bowl fountain is centered along the side with the raised flowerbed. An antique fountain the Thompsons purchased and restored is visible through the side gate. A cocktail ledge spans the length of the pool, which is plastered with a deep charcoal to give the water a cobalt color. Fountains add to the ambience when the couple entertains.

  "It's so versatile," Cherie says. "And yet it doesn't take up the whole garden."

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