December 9, 2021

The Garden is a gift

The holidays are here! I just love this time of year; celebrations of light and love seem to put everyone in a festive and joyful mood. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think people are kinder to one another and filled with hope for the future. 

I also love this time of gifts, even though gift giving has never been my love language. I admit, I am a little jealous of those who always seem to figure out the perfect, unique gift for everyone. As I went for a walk this morning, thinking about who is still on my list, I noticed the most exquisite camellia bloom and wanted to wrap it up for everyone! The beauty of nature is a wonderful gift to us all.

I hope your holidays are filled with light, love, and cherished gifts.

Claudia Gee Vassar
, president & general counsel

Give the gift of wonder

Thousands of Houstonians have already discovered Lightscape, a magical experience PaperCity has dubbed "no ordinary light show."

"This is [an] which nature and artistically created installations come together in harmony. All of us were equally enthralled." -- Catherine D. Anspon, visual arts and features editor, PaperCity 

Lightscape -- the internationally acclaimed holiday light show from London that debuted in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, and San Antonio this year -- includes artistic light displays set to carefully curated holiday music setting moods from contemplative to festive for each exhibit along the trail.

Time is running out to be dazzled by a “Winter Cathedral” with thousands of twinkling lights overhead, a show-stopping “Fire Garden” with real candles burning, a field of illuminated “Jigantics Flowers," and much more.

Lightscape closes Jan. 2, 2022. Timed entry slots are selling out on weekends. Get your tickets -- and maybe some extra to gift to family and friends too -- now!

Give the gift of inspiration

Houston Botanic Garden is excited to offer to a limited number of friends the very special opportunity to meet and have lunch with Adriaan Geuze, founder and principal of West 8, the international design firm that did the master plan for the Garden. Over a fabulous catered lunch on Monday, Dec. 13, Adriaan will present "The Modern Interaction," in which he will discuss his approach to landscape design and describe some of the specific inspiration behind the uniqueness of the features included in the Garden here.

The real future in today's debate about sustainability lies not in a political or philosophical dialogue about what we are protecting or how we are going to 'sustain' it, but rather how to actively create new ecologies." -- Adriaan Geuze, founder and principal, West 8 

Lunch will begin at noon; we expect to conclude at 2 p.m. If your schedule allows, please plan to allow time before or after the presentation to enjoy our beautiful gardens and see the incredible growth experienced since our opening in September 2020.

Give the gift of creative expression

The Garden has multiple upcoming opportunities for you to exercise your creativity while making botanically themed, hand-made gifts -- to share with family and friends this holiday season, or keep to enjoy yourself.

Botany & Cyanotypes -- Saturday, Dec. 11, 2-4 p.m.
Participants will create their own cyanotypes -- a camera-less form of photography also known as sun prints or blueprints -- using various leaves and other natural elements found around the Garden.

Botanical Printing -- Sunday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participants will use a variety of leaves to make botanical prints on fabric through eco printing, a natural dye process that creates incredible prints of leaves on fabric without using artificial dyes or harmful chemicals.

Botanic Tiaras -- Sunday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Participants will use flowers, foliage, and other natural and pre-made accents to design and construct tiaras.

Give thoughtful Garden-themed gifts

The Garden Shop in the Welcome Pavilion is currently featuring a number of gorgeous garden gifts perfect for the holidays, including personal sets of the beautiful porcelain bee cups on display in "Texas Bee Oasis II," part of the Art in the Garden: Celebrating BioDiversity! exhibit. While you shop, you can also enjoy a beverage from the Garden Café's brewed coffee and tea bar.

*Members enjoy a 10% discount on Garden Shop purchases year-round.

Memberships to the Garden also make a great holiday gift for friends and family who live in the area. Memberships start at just $50 for individuals and $100 for families. Among several exclusive benefits, members receive free general admission for one year, effective from the date the gift membership is first used.

Give to support the garden you built

Thanks to you, Houston Botanic Garden opened last year as a major addition to the city’s cultural, educational, and scientific institutions, and its growing list of urban green spaces. Since opening, many Houstonians have found refuge and safe discovery during the pandemic. Gifts to the Garden's annual fund ensure the beauty of Houston's world-class botanic garden -- and the work to realize its critical mission -- will endure for generations to come.

Additional Ways to Support the Garden

The best way to enjoy the Houston Botanic Garden is to become a member. Treat yourself, or a loved one, to the gift of a membership and start enjoying free general admission and other member benefits for one year.

Volunteers are vital members of our team who share their time and talents with our horticulture, visitor services, education and/or development staff to help us achieve our goals.

Celebrate life's milestones with family and friends. Host a luncheon, retreat, or conference for your company or organization. You can rent selected sections of the Garden as a beautiful setting for a wide variety of formal and informal events.