Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Re-opening the Hermann Park Garden Center

If you read this blog, you know that Hermann Park is one of my favorite places in Houston. It's got the Japan Festival, the Houston Garden Center (which includes the herb garden, the rose garden, the Chinese Pavilion), the zoo, a lake, Miller Outdoor Theater, and it's within walking distance of the best museums in town. If I could live in the park, I would. 

As I reported earlier this year, Hermann Park is celebrating its 100th anniversary by making over the Garden Center. Last weekend, the public was allowed to see what has been done. It was supposed to be a grand opening, but they're not quite finished (heavy rains pushed back the schedule) so it's more of a preview. 

Not quite finished yet
The first thing you notice is the hill. It has a spiral path leading to the top, so it resembles an enormous green snail shell. The black stripes are planted with ivy, so eventually it will be completely green.

the hill, that stripe is actually a cascade.
The old garden center has been demolished and replaced with a new, modern building, with more light and room for exhibitions and displays. 

New layout, from top of the the hill. The new garden center is at the end, the rose garden will be on the right and the citrus orchard on the left. The trellises on both sides are planted with vines, so someday, there will be shade.
The rose garden has not been replanted yet. You can see where it will be, but it's empty beds right now. 

The Chinese pavilion has been placed in a grove of pine trees, with a view of the rose garden and the statue of Confucius.

On the opposite side of the garden from the roses, is a vegetable garden and citrus orchard, with rustic log benches and raised beds made of wood and galvanized metal.  This makes it completely different in feel from the formal garden, which is only a juniper hedge away. As with the rose garden, they haven't finished yet, so there are lots of little signs saying things like "Coming soon - Mint"!

Everything is ready to grow, the retaining walls on the mound are planted with ivy, the paths are planted with vines, even the parking lot has been planted with shade trees.

the parking lot, hope the trees grow quickly
I loved the new chairs, which are really comfortable. I just needed a drink for the whole thing to be perfect.

Once all the plantings settle in and have had a few seasons to grow, it should be lovely. I'm looking forward to seeing it get even better.

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