Not having been down to work at the Chronicle for three weeks, I thought it might be well to put in an appearance today. As usual, I brought my camera along in the hope I'd have time to stop at a couple of nurseries along the way and find some new and exciting plants to add to the database. Also as usual, time got away from me and the only stop I made was at the garden editor's desk, where Kathy and I spent a while discussing the upcoming Garden Writers' symposium, garden writing in general, books, plants, and our own gardens. I finally arrived at my own desk to find some changes in process: my boss had changed desks to be closer to her editor, so she's now sitting on my left instead of my right. One of the online editors was saying her goodbyes to coworkers as she heads to the East Coast for a new job. Since these weren't exactly photoworthy changes, the camera remained in my bag and I spent several happy hours toiling at the computer, searching for educational and informative information on plants for the Houston area.
When I shut down my computer for the day and headed down the street to FloraBob (my little red truck), I realized that just across the street from the parking lot, big changes had indeed taken place. After months of renovation and construction, Market Square Park is once again open to the public. Market Square, site of the original City Hall and government buildings, has gone through many incarnations over the years of Houston's history. This latest redevelopment is a delightful place to visit and I hope the designers' dreams for it are realized many times over. This January article from the Houston Chronicle describes the plans; while work is ongoing on the restaurant, the park was dedicated on August 27, 2010 (more information that can be found here.)
So I got out my camera and took a stroll along the west side of the park to shoot some photographs to share with y'all. Although I quibble with some of the plant choices made, and wish they had opted for more butterfly and hummingbird friendly options, I'm hoping those will show up over time. I understand that it was necessary to use plants that could handle being planted in August's heat and humidity. Overall, Market Square Park is a small but charming oasis in downtown Houston and I hope it will be such for many years to come.
Here's a slide show with more views of the park.