Katy Prairie Conservancy installs Texas native gardens
The Katy Prairie Conservancy is partnering with the Houston Museum of National Science to install several “native showplace gardens” in the Museum District to showcase plants indigenous to the area.
On March 19, conservancy officials and community volunteers will begin installing the nine gardens near the museum’s Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Metro Rail line on San Jacinto Street.
They said the showcase garden, which will feature nine Texas native plants, will demonstrate how local residents will be able to incorporate such plants in their own gardens or yards, officials said.
“We are excited about this first ‘9 Natives Showcase Garden,’ which will be a model for similar gardens around Houston,” said Ali Dodson, advancement director for the Katy Prairie Conservancy.
The Garden Club of Houston funded the project. Conservancy officials said the program will help to promote the value of native plants to pollinators and illustrate how they are part of the critical prairie landscape.
Native plants are typically more hardy and can survive scorching Houston summers and drought conditions and once established, they typically require little or no irrigation or fertilization. Pesticides and herbicides are typically unnecessary because they tend to be resistant to many pests and diseases, officials said.
“This is a valuable education opportunity for both beginning and experienced horticulturalists to learn how they can use easy-to-find native plants and grasses for a manicured look to their gardens,” Dodson said.
Native plants such as the Texas Bluebonnet, Black-Eyed Susan and Indian Blanket are among those that will be used in the showcase gardens, officials said.
“Native plants, when mixed together, can provide year-round color and beauty and provide food and habitat for birds, bees and butterflies,” Dodson said.
Anyone interested in assisting with the installation or observe how to create a garden with native plants is welcome to attend the March 19 event. It will run from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. The address for the Houston Museum of Natural Science is 5555 Hermann Park Drive. Representatives from the Katy Prairie Conservancy and the Garden Club of Houston will be near the Cockrell Butterfly Center, officials said.