Houstons

Houston’s new botanical garden opens

It’s a loss for golfers but a big win for plant lovers. After decades in the planning stage, the Houston Botanic Garden finally opened September 18 on the former Glenbrook Golf Course in southeast Houston. The garden serves as yet another draw for locals and visitors to explore Sims Bayou, a watershed area near Hobby Airport that already includes miles of walking and biking trails and countless places to launch canoes.

a garden with greenery and white flowers

“The garden will showcase international and native plant collections, educational classes for children and adults, and provide engaging programming that will embrace the garden and natural settings,” said Justin Lacey, director of communications and community engagement at Houston Botanic Garden. The international firm West 8 designed and managed the overall garden project, with Harvey Cleary Builders as the general contractor. Houston’s Clark Condon designed the garden’s planting and soil, with installation by Landscape Art.

Related: Failed Palm Springs golf course is being repurposed

a garden of rocks and succulents

Building a garden

By the time Nancy Thomas, past president of the Garden Club of America, and the late Kay Crooker formed the nonprofit Houston Botanic Garden in 2002, they’d already been talking about it for years. The two women dreamed of a massive botanic garden that would rival those of other metropolitan cities.

But like all massive projects, the garden took a lot of planning and plenty of money. It wasn’t until 2015 that the Houston City Council unanimously approved a plan for the garden to take a 30-year lease on Glenbrook Golf Course. Garden supporters had to raise $20 million by the end of 2017 to claim the city-owned property.

The garden has been built from the ground up. First, the garden team analyzed how long-term golfing had impacted the soil. Maintaining perfect-looking greens meant decades of intensive mowing and regularly applying pesticides and

Takeout Thai from Houston’s Street to Kitchen

As this coronavirus crisis continues, we continue to support our local restaurant industry any way we can, including by ordering takeout.

Over in the East End just off Harrisburg sits a takeout spot you’ll want to get to know asap, the sizzling new Thai concept Street to Kitchen. It comes from Thai native and chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter — whose prior work in the kitchens at SaltAir and Theodore Rex put her name on the culinary map — and her husband Graham; and though it’s only had about two-plus months under its belt and it opened in the middle of a pandemic, it has quickly garnered fans across the city.

Consider this writer one of them. I’d been following its Instagram account and it was already on my hit list before I realized I needed to get out of my Friday night pizza or ramen rut (don’t worry Romano’s and Ramen Tatsu-Ya, I’ll be back). So on a recent, rainy Friday, my husband and I finally decided to check it out.

You can pick up chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter's real deal Thai eats straight from the drive-through window.EXPAND

You can pick up chef Benchawan “G” Jabthong Painter’s real deal Thai eats straight from the drive-through window.

Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

The restaurant’s operations are currently takeout and delivery only (with plans to open a dining space in the future), so you can order online and pick up the goods through a drive-through window or get delivery via UberEats and DoorDash. Note: if you order via the DoorDash delivery directly through Street to Kitchen’s website and not from the app itself, it helps the restaurant avoid the large commissions typically charged by delivery services.

We ordered delivery, and around an hour later the eats arrived well packed and still hot. Veggie spring rolls ($5 for four), teeny numbers packed with cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms