Staying “Green” with Discovery Green’s Rooftop GardenFebruary 6, 2014
by Ashley RobertsDiscovery Green is reveling in the green with our very own garden above The Grove. The new rooftop garden is a very special feature that enhances our sustainable efforts and green thinking. Since the very beginning, Discovery Green has been committed to using “green” building methods, conserving energy and creating an ecological and environmentally-friendly park. We’re even LEED Gold Certified! It was only fitting to plant the rooftop garden, which acts as a thick layer of insulation for The Grove, conserving electricity during the summer and winter seasons.
In addition to our green accolades, The Grove happens to be one of the most eco-friendly places in Houston, using environmentally-safe materials made from corn, sugarcane or coconut fiber; recycling all paper, cans, plastics, glass and cardboard; sustaining a compost pile from the unused produce on land near the park; and only utilizing compostable trash and kitchen bags.
Needless to say, The Grove chefs are excited about being able to share a variety of fresh, organic and locally-grown herbs and vegetables with guests by using them in dishes prepared at the restaurant. Growing in the garden is an abundance of basil, oregano, mint, rosemary, lemongrass, thyme, dill, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers, all pesticide and herbicide free.
In addition to so many wonderful, fresh herbs and veggies, the garden is also home to a special colony of bees used to help with pollination and eventually harvest honey. Discovery Green Operations Director Clark Curry said the bees are positioned at the end of the garden where they have a nice, direct and unobstructed path in and out of the hive. “The first colony we brought in, for some reason, got scared, didn’t like it and flew off!” Curry said. “But the new colony seems to be enjoying it and setting up house really well here in the hive.” Keeping with our environmental approach, our core intentions are to help conserve bee population in the face of declining numbers.
While the rooftop garden is an excellent addition, it can be a difficult environment to manage, proving that going green isn’t always easy! Due to the location atop The Grove, the garden is affected by the neighboring skyscrapers which both reflect and block a lot of sunlight. The sun regularly bounces in and can almost burn the plants, while at other times, the wind can become a bit unruly. Although these conditions may seem like a bit of a task to control, the results are very well worth the hard work.
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