BBQ Fest has been rescheduled to the Summer - Due to annual maintenance, the Gateway Fountain is closed for the month of February.
February 9, 2024

Meet Brian Wilmer, the Discovery Green Horticulturist with a Secret Superpower!

Brian Wilmer has been Discovery Green’s horticulturist since 2008. The park has over 30 different species and variety of trees and many types and themes of gardens, and he knows enough facts about them to fill a book. He keeps the lawn lush, the gardens flowering and the live oak canopy shady.

Brian started his career in horticulture as a very young child (seen above in a photo his mother took shortly before Sunday church service was to start.) In 1994, Brian headed a team charged with refurbishing Houston parks. In 2006 he did horticultural assessments of the city’s health and library departments. Then, he had the opportunity to start at Discovery Green which was still under construction, and he seized it.

He’s a man who loves to tell a good story or a punny joke. If you’ve ever said hello to him, you probably left considering him a good friend. But there’s something you don’t know about Brian. The man responsible for keeping Discovery Green green, can’t see green. He has red-green colorblindness.

What the park looks for Brian:

So how does he manage to keep Discovery Green’s gardens so green? Because he’s turned colorblindness into his secret superpower.

“Nature never takes something away without giving you something in return,” Brian says. “I have crazy good night vision and can see in extremely low light.”

The condition also allows him to see more clearly changes in the texture of a plant’s leaves. He sees when parts of the plant are drooping, or in need of help. Brian says that sometimes his boss will point out trees that have gone brown, but he often sees the problem before it’s a problem.

Now that you know his superpower it’s not so secret. But there’s more exciting things to learn. Brian has agreed to write a semi-regular gardening column for Discovery Green’s spotlight. His first post is available now.

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Brian Wilmer, Discovery Green's horticulturist