Rebuild. Replant. Resume.
That’s the mantra the operations team members at Discovery Green keep in mind while working to recover the gardens in the park. The park’s landscape, like the rest of the city, is slowly recovering from the outrageous deep freeze of winter storm Uri in February. As the storm approached, the team prepared by draining the irrigation system to keep it from freezing and covering some of the gardens with freeze cloth.
The damage to the park is noticeable, but we’re happy to report it’s not as bad as it could have been.
Join Discovery Green Conservancy operations director Clark Curry and horticulturist Brian Wilmer here on Friday, March 19 at noon for a closer look at how the storm impacted the gardens and how long recovery will take:
Currently the irrigation system is not functioning due to burst valves between the vacuum breaker and the city water supply. Draining the irrigation system saved many of the components from freeze damage, but the full extent can only be determined once the necessary replacement parts are received and the water is turned back on. The issues with the irrigation system have not affected potable water supplied to the buildings and the bathrooms. Water from the irrigation system is used to scrub sidewalks and until it’s repaired you may notice the concrete is dirtier than usual. Please bear with us as we make these repairs.
If you walk around the park, you’ll notice the freeze affected some of the gardens more than others. In fact, some areas were not affected at all. The native grasses, the lawns, the roses, the trees and the holly bushes are all in good shape. The garden hardest hit is the Tropical Garden, where you’ll notice the philodendron are hanging like so much cooked spinach gone bad. Both the Butterfly Garden and the Hummingbird Garden are also quite fragile and will need a lot of care to bounce back from the freeze.
The team is working long hours to care for the gardens by removing leaf matter in garden beds that will not recover and cutting back things that probably will. At this point none of the plants have been removed. In the next few weeks, the team will add mulch to the beds and little by little the gardens will recover.
As this is happening, we at Discovery Green have watched our neighbors, family and friends struggle with the effects of this storm. We work hard to maintain this vibrant green space, because we know how vital it is that our #HoustonStrong community has a place to relax, renew and recharge.