Sustainable Landscapes

Residential and commercial landscapes consume at least 50% of the municipal water supplies during the summer months on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas. In addition, runoff from highly maintained landscapes pollutes sensitive bays and bayous. Additional growth of urban population near the coast will only increase the stress on Texas waters. The need for sustainable landscapes has never been greater. is one of the leading sources of watersmart landscapes in Texas. The web site was funded by the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Scents of Time

Old garden roses, or antique roses have enchanted gardeners for centuries with their color, grace, perseverance but mostly their delicious scent. As roses were hybridized to perfect their use as cut specimens, often their fragrance was sacrificed in the process. Old roses are beginning to play an important role in Southern gardens once again as all of their assets are rediscovered. These roses are beautiful to be sure, but they are survivors, having come from an era when sprinkler systems, chemical fertilizers and pesticides were unknown. Nostalgia also plays a role in this revival as gardeners look to plants that have withstood the test of time and flourished. Old garden roses are the standard bearers displaying a delicate, but tenacious beauty. In the photograph, taken at the Hanson House Heirloom Conservationscape at Armand Bayou Nature Center in Clear Lake, TX, the graceful arches of “Brightside Cream” cascade from the trellis beside the porch with the pink blossoms of “Old Blush” nestled at its feet. These are only two of several varieties that will greet the visitor walking back in time upon entering the garden gate. But the memories that will linger will be heaven “scent”.

For directions to the garden, call the nature center at 281-474-2551.

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a planted shallow depression designed to capture and absorb rain water that runs off roofs, sidewalks, parking lots, lawns, streets, and other various surfaces.  Rain gardens (also known as bio retention areas) improve water quality much the same way that a wetland naturally cleans water.

For more information on rain gardens, visit our sister website, WaterSmart Landscapes for the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.

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