Houston has some exceptionally fine gardens. The tropical plants that they can grow there, add a level of whimsy that this northern east coaster really appreciated. The gardens I saw were inspired by different styles: English, Italian and Japanese and all had a very individual point of view.
Johnny Steele This landscape architect has designed many wonderful gardens in Houston. Although I did not meet him, I was very taken by his own garden which is carved into a steep hill overlooking the Buffalo Bayou. The modern house, sits at the top of the hill, with large windows and open screens looking onto a Japanese influenced garden. The hardscape in the garden is well conceived and at times, playful. Large shifting concrete slabs, rise up the hill effortlessly. Steele has set up a rhythmical experience of shifting levels. Japanese style fieldstone paths and stone retaining walls guide you down to a cascading waterfall, with small seating areas on the different levels that allow you to rest and contemplate the view. This garden is orchestrated to work as a whole – a symphony of textures; I was enchanted with its intimacy and masterful layout.