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Houston Airports Display Blooming Flowers

Spring brings new blooms to Houston’s airport landscapes

Houston Airport System
April 26, 2010

© Houston Airport System
Approximately 17,000 different annual plants are placed and arranged each year

Although April showers bring May flowers, the Houston Airport System (HAS) is one step ahead of Mother Nature.

In March, HAS employees were filling the landscapes of George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington (EFD) Airports with lush greens and bright blooms.

Kathy Brakeville, a facilities administration superintendent at HAS, devotes most of her time with discussions about flowers, plants and various landscaping choices.

She plays a major role in deciding what plants and flowers get planted in more than a dozen locations at all three of Houston’s airports, and it’s time to for the big spring rush.

“We typically change the airport landscaping in March,” says Brakeville. “We’re having discussions about what we want to do and we place orders with local suppliers.”

Now that April is here, Brakeville and her colleagues have selected, ordered and placed approximately 17,000 different annual plants.

“It’s a huge job,” Brakeville admits. “When you’re dealing with that many plants, you have to coordinate everything from the ordering, to the delivery, to the final planting.”

Brakeville says the first step is to decide what plants and flowers are going to be involved in that year’s installation, a decision-making process where color, curb appeal, availability and durability are all considered in equal measure.

At that point, the HAS team works with local suppliers to decide which company is in the best position to fill the order and final details are worked out in regards to location and staging for each plant and flower.

“It’s kind of like a painter that works with a number of different canvases at the same time,” Brakeville says. “You have a lot of freedom to try different things because you have such a large area to cover.”

But Brakeville says, with each project the goal remains the same, to catch the travelers eye and force them to, figuratively at least, stop and smell the flowers. “Everyone knows that traveling can be stressful at times,” Brakeville says. “My job is to create something that helps people take a deep breath and relax as much as possible.”

In addition to the carefully planned out landscaping, HAS employees carry out an 11-year tradition of planting 500 pounds of seeds of the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet and 500 pounds of Indian Paintbrushes and Texas wildflowers at both IAH and HOU.

Now that nature has kicked in and the results have bloomed this month, floral enthusiasts and guests of the airports can now enjoy blankets of flowers and the hard work of the HAS facilities team.

Copyright © 2010 - Houston Airport System

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