Uptown in full bloom

When the Uptown Houston District places tens of thousands of colorful blooms along area medians each spring, the District is doing more than beautifying the area, it’s conveying a message about the character of the Uptown community. Uptown Houston is one of the world’s great urban centers,” said District President and CEO John Breeding said. “It connects business with pleasure, energy with grace and style with substance.”

The District designs the colorful arrangements in concert with Cheryl Langford, founder of Houston-based Color Specialists Landscaping, Inc. Langford plants strategically each spring and in the fall to ensure a steady succession of blooms and colors throughout the year. As one species of flower reaches its peak, another is just starting to blossom. Langford takes care to select blooms that thrive in full sun for the District’s open areas, while placing shading-loving Impatiens along Post Oak Boulevard between Westheimer and Richmond, an area distinguished by mature oak trees.

Keeping the flowerbeds colorful is an ongoing juggling act that requires extensive planning, upkeep and tenacity. Langford and her crew are onsite regularly to weed by hand; spray on liquid plant food; ward off insects and occasional rabbits; pinch off dead blooms; and carefully place water crystals that will keep the flowerbeds hydrated. The work is a labor of love, Langford said. “This job is like home to me. The enjoyment I get is from putting something down and keeping it beautiful.”

The landscaping was the brainchild of Breeding, who says the genesis for his idea is rooted in a book he read in the late 1970s, High Tech, High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning by Nana Naisbitt and Douglas Phillips “They wrote that in this time of technology, it is very important for successful companies to find a way to offer a personal touch,” Breeding said.

Inspired by the lovely floral arrangements he had seen in San Francisco’s Union Square, Breeding saw no reason why the Uptown Houston District couldn’t display equally beautiful flowers – but with a distinctive flair. “What I wanted to do was create a little more energy, a little more movement,” he said.

Working with Langford, Breeding and the District have achieved that goal. The medians along Post Oak Boulevard, for instance, display a winding band of vivid yellow Pansies that seem to interact with the road’s traffic flow. The flowerbed is only 30 inches wide, but it spans 200 feet in length. “It stays on your eye when you’re going down the street,” Breeding said. “It’s even more eye catching from above,” he added, referring to the view from Uptown’s towering office buildings.

 

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