Friday, January 7, 2011

Houston Garden Center

The weather has been extravagantly lovely, far too nice to stay inside, so I went to the Houston Garden Center, next to the Museum of Natural Science. 

I usually just think of it as the rose garden, because there is such a huge variety of roses surrounding the building and right now they are in bloom!

Everybody who's even vaguely important seems to have a rose named after them: Pope John Paul II (white), Ingrid Bergman (very dark red), Nancy Reagan (not in bloom, but red is a safe bet).  There's a garden puzzle for you: if you had to design a rose for someone, what elements would you choose? Colors, a simple 5 petal rose vs a hybrid tea, scented or not, flower size, a climber, a shrub rose, there are a lot variations to consider.

For example, I see Dolly Parton as a big, golden yellow, hybrid tea, one of those that gets even more lucious as it blooms.  Whereas Wynona Ryder would be a smallish white or lavender shrub rose, scented but not showy.

The garden also seems to be the city's warehouse. There are statues of Confucius, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Simon Bolivar, Bernardo O'Higgens, Robert Burns, and a few others whose names I can't remember.

A gift from Chiba, Houston's sister city in Japan.
My favorite part is actually the Fragrant Garden, which is an herb garden tucked behind an enormous bust of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (a gift from their majesties of Spain). There are beds devoted to mint and sage, a bed of lemon-scented herbs and my personal favorite: rosemary. I can't go there without running my hands through the rosemary, it smells so good.

citronella leaf
And if you want a quiet spot to eat lunch, I highly recommend the pagoda on the far side of the garden. It has a beautiful ceiling.

the panels are beginning to warp a little, but it keeps the rain off.

Have a good weekend!

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