September 6, 2023

The Garden Welcomes New CEO

Much like nature -- which is experiencing what some are saying is the warmest year on record worldwide, and challenging drought conditions, closer to home -- organizations must adapt to ever-present shifts in the environment. The strongest ones are able to maintain their focus on the mission and continue delivering for their constituents as they evolve. It can also be an incredible opportunity to embrace growth and new possibilities. In this spirit, the Houston Botanic Garden is excited to welcome Jill Barry as our new Chief Executive Officer. 

Jill brings significant experience in strategic planning and successful program development and implementation at multiple respected cultural institutions, including the Naples Botanical Garden, that will be invaluable as we turn the page to the latest chapter of our developing story.

Read our full interview with Jill to learn more about her vision for the future of the Garden, including a passion for building connections with diverse communities through capital improvements and program enhancement. As always, we appreciate your support and invite you to help us make Jill feel right at home in Houston, and among the Garden family, when she joins us officially in October. 

Have You Heard? The Garden is Making Headlines!

Cover of Houstonia magazine featuring photo from Houston Botanic Garden.

Houstonia magazine recently featured a wonderful write-up highlighting the incredible progress the Garden has made in the three years since our opening in September 2020. It’s a great read for folks who have never visited before and what a glimpse of what they can expect when they visit. Regulars will appreciate it too, since they are likely to discover a feature, event, or opportunity they may have overlooked previously. 

Dragonflies & Butterflies & Beetles, Oh My!

Glass in Flight sculptures shine in the sunlight of an arid garden

Something new will land at the Garden next month, and you won’t want to miss it. Glass in Flight, featuring 21 steel and hand-cut Dalle de Verre glass sculptures of gigantic, realistic insects by Tucson artist Alex Heveri, will make its Houston debut beginning Saturday, Oct. 21. The exhibit will bring these beautiful sculptures to the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, where sunlight shining through the colored glass will intensify the illusion of movement and life.

A Picture-Perfect Place for Photography

As a botanical oasis in the heart of the country’s fourth largest city, the Garden is becoming a favorite destination for professional photographers. One of them, Michelle Sailer, has fallen in love with the way the venue’s endless colors and textures can create a magical experience for clients. Check out her thoughts on the Garden’s ability to elevate her images and her business. 

Making Memories at the Garden:
Flutter Makes Its Graceful Arrival at the Garden 

Flutter: The Monarch Butterfly Project arrives at the Garden soon. The family-friendly event celebrates the monarch butterfly’s approximately 3,000-mile southern migration, which passes through Texas each fall. 

Open Dance Project will be in the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1, from 4-7 p.m., to present a series of three half-hour, immersive contemporary dance performances, in whimsical costumes by Houston-based artist Natasha Bowdoin.

New monarch butterfly sculpture rests near McNair Foundation Cypress Forest

Open Dance Project creative director, Annie Arnoult, recently took the time to share her passion for dance and how the dance company designs performances that connect so deeply with audiences. 

She and Justin Lacey, our director of communications & community engagement, also sat down with KRBE’s Around H-Town Podcast last month to spread the word about the event. 

The Flutter event will also highlight three new butterfly sculptures recently added to the Garden's permanent collection thanks to the generosity of Ann Lents and David Heaney.

Learn How Mayoral Candidates View Importance of Green Spaces

Gardens and green spaces are a vital part of our community, and the candidates for Houston’s next mayor are ready to share their priorities for building a greener city. If you’re interested in hearing what they have to say before you vote, join this October 5 forum -- free and open to the public -- at Emancipation Park.

Scientifically Speaking
Surviving the Heat: Choosing Texas Native Plants

The Houston area is notorious for its relentless heat and humidity, yet this summer's intense heat wave is currently pushing inhabitants, both human and plant life, to their limits. As temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, it becomes valuable to identify the plant species that can thrive under these conditions. Surprisingly, a remarkable number of Texas native plants have adapted to withstand the challenging weather conditions in Houston.

Read the latest from our Director of Education, Dany Millikin, to find out which plants are well-suited for Houston's intense environment. 

What's Happening at the Garden

Garden visitors play Botanic Bingo.

Feeling Lucky?

Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with some bingo and brews at the Garden. Eureka Heights Brewing will be on-hand for a fun night of Botanic Bingo, sponsored by AARP Texas, featuring educational information about Central American plants and garden-themed prizes. The games begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. 

The Garden's horticulture team takes a break outside the clubhouse.

Meet our Experts

Our top-notch horticulture team is ready to share the lessons they’ve learned around the Garden with you. Join them on Saturday, Sept. 16, and explore the latest trends in horticulture, learn to care for tropical plants, get tips on planting for wildlife and more. The all-day event includes coffee, lunch, and happy hour. 

A couple enjoys cocktails while chatting in the Garden.

A Late Summer Night’s Dream

Don’t snooze on the Garden’s fast-approaching Late Summer Night’s Dream event this Friday, Sept. 8! It will be a treat-filled stroll through the Garden during the gorgeous golden hour. 

Take Your Membership on the Road

Thanks to our recent inclusion in the Reciprocal Admissions Program from the American Horticultural Society, Garden members can now access free admission and other benefits at more than 345 participating gardens throughout North America and the Caribbean. 

This added amenity is just the latest example of the Garden’s continuous efforts to expand our offerings through collaboration with organizations near and far that share our passion for Mother Nature.

Learn With Us

Explore our Events Calendar for more opportunities to grow your gardening knowledge. 

Get Involved
Make an Impact by Volunteering Your Time

*New volunteers must complete orientation.

Wondering if a career in botany is for you? We need your help! 

The Garden is looking for extra hands to assist with our plant record keeping as we transition to a new season. Plant records has opportunities indoors (taxonomic research) and out (mapping, cataloging, and placing accession and display labels). There are also recurring opportunities to file and download data. Reach out to Jena Portanova, Plant Records Manager, at for more information.

Host a Buy-Out Event for Exclusive Access to the Entire Garden

Looking to elevate your next major private event? Imagine giving as many as 1,500 guests the entirety of the Houston Botanic Garden to explore. Several local organizations have already taken advantage. Now it's your turn.

Earlier this year, we hosted the Célébrez En Rose Festival, and this weekend we will be the venue for the Houston Rally for Recovery for the second year in a row. And be watching later this month for details on a new seasonal light showcase that will present an amazing opportunity to reserve the Garden for large corporate holiday parties and events. 

Visit our website for general pricing for our various on-site spaces, or contact us so we can create a custom quote for a buy-out that meets your specific needs. 

Save the Date for the Annual Luncheon

The Garden’s premier fundraising event is next month! Our co-chairs, Kit & Carl Detering and April & Wells McGee, are planning an unforgettable event that you don’t want to miss. 

This year’s theme, “Like a Child, a Garden will Grow,” is inspired by the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, and we will honor Susan's husband, C. Michael Garver, and daughters, Beth Garver Black and Gretchen Garver Hilyard. 

Reserve your table or ticket for the 2023 Annual Luncheon while you still can. The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 12-1 p.m. at River Oaks Country Club. 

Join us early for a pre-event champagne reception from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. hosted by Mary and John Eads, Exhibition Chairs for Glass in Flight, the art and science exhibition opening in the Family Discovery Garden on Oct. 21.

Don't Miss Out on Membership Perks

Individual memberships start at just $50 and provide unlimited admission to the Garden’s 132 acres of amazing natural wonder and incredible works of art. Benefits also include discounts on classes, events, and Garden Shop purchases. 

 Bloom Socially with Other Garden Friends

The Bloomers, a network of nature-loving young professionals, are ready to welcome more like-minded Garden enthusiasts to the group. Help raise awareness about the Garden's impact on the community by taking part in fun social gatherings and volunteer activities.