Numerous trees and shrubs were planted last week as part of a Houston Schools landscaping project.

The landscaping of a portion of the campus of Houston High School and middle school has gone went through a major change last week.

Rather than just grass and cement, the commons area in between the cafeteria and classroom buildings now features an array of foliage and large rocks. The project was carried out Thursday and Friday by workers from Willow Green Gardens in Rogersville. Helping oversee the work was Art Hock, who has 30 years of experience in the field.

“A lot of people can dig a hole and look up in a book how to care for a plant and prepare soil to put it in,” Hock said. “But not everyone can envision what an end result will look like when you start out with a certain piece of land and a specific set of materials.

“It takes a special talent to be able to do that. I consider this an art.”

The project included the addition of about a dozen trees of various types, numerous shrubs and plants and several hundred flower bulbs, all arranged in beds covered with a dark bark mulch. Also included was about 30,000 pounds of large indigenous limestone boulders donated by a local resident and chopped from formations on a property east of Houston.

Hock’s cohort, Jeff Eggleston, created the layout.

“He has that type of vision I was talking about,” Hock said.

The landscaping surrounds cement walkways between buildings and several metal picnic tables anchored in cement by the walkways.

Houston Schools Superintendent Scott Dill called the project “the capstone for the 2013 bond issue.” 

“The response from our students has, to this point, been overwhelmingly positive,” Dill said. “It is pleasing to our students take pride in our facilities and I hope we have established a precedent that will be utilized for future collaborative efforts on behalf of our students.

“This is good for the school, and it is good for Houston.” 

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