Jan. 12, 2023

New Year Brings New Opportunities

Out with the old and in with the new! In recent years, saying goodbye to one year and looking forward to the next has been a stronger sentiment than usual.  Resilient, like plants, we hopefully look forward to the new year and all it promises. In 2023, I’m looking forward to a monumental sculptural exhibition by Steve Tobin called Intertwined, a spring wildflower display, and March with Monarchs tracing the migration experience from Michoacán to Michigan.

This winter, our freeze came early, so this mantra might hold added meaning for our gardens that we Houstonians don’t often experience. We first need to remember that not all brown is lost and have patience and understanding, remembering how our bananas came roaring back after the last freeze. 

I know there’s a lesson for the rest of my life, too! I know that I was blown away by the resiliency of the Garden after the heartbreak of Uri, and I can now see the winter Garden with the potential and excitement for what it will become.

And, yet, two hard freezes without a hardening-off period feels like a trend we should pay attention to, learn something about, and make some changes in the wake of. As Fran de la Mota, Director of Horticulture, says, plant loss due to a freeze teaches us about plants. We now know more than we did before about how different species survive and thrive, or don’t. The Garden will take those lessons to heart and learn from them, choosing not to replace plants that did not withstand Uri or the 2022 freeze. The exciting thing is that it opens space for new additions and trials to learn more about other plants. We are capturing all of this data in the Garden’s plant database to help inform scientists and gardeners as we build a bigger body of knowledge about the plants around us. And now I have an excuse for that new plant I have been wanting to try out in my backyard, too...What a fun opportunity!

Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel

Get Tangled Up in Steve Tobin's Intertwined: Exploring Nature's Networks

Art and nature collide at the Garden later this month, as 20 monumental sculptures are installed. The installation was tailored specifically to the flow of the Garden as an extension of the living environment. 

We sat down with internationally renowned artist Steve Tobin to discuss his Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks, and to learn about his artistic process and how nature inspires him. Generously co-chaired by Nancy O’Connor Abendshein and Bill Stewart, Intertwined opens to Garden visitors on Jan. 28 and will be on display until Aug. 13, 2023.

Art collaborations like this one are only possible thanks to the generosity of countless sponsors and donors. If you’d like to support this significant moment for the Garden and public art in Houston, learn more about available sponsorship opportunities.

In Search of an Idyllic Outdoor Wedding Venue?

They liked it so they put a ring on it! And now you’re searching for the picture-perfect outdoor venue to exchange your vows and say “I do.” What better place than surrounded by the lush natural beauty of the Houston Botanic Garden? Our private event spaces are the ultimate outdoor venue for truly memorable weddings or vow renewal ceremonies. 

This recent Western-inspired wedding was a beaut!  

Scientifically Speaking

For the second year in a row, unseasonably cold winter weather has had an impact the Garden’s plant collections. With high temperatures in the 60s just days before the Dec. 22 freeze, plants had still been actively growing, rather than transitioning to dormancy for winter. Fortunately, our Director of Horticulture Fran de la Mota expects much of what is brown to come back with a little TLC. 

To learn more about the impacts of the freeze and the resiliency of nature, click below to read Fran’s most recent article.  

What’s Happening at the Garden

Art Meets Fine Dining

On Jan. 27, join us for an elevated 5-course pop-up dinner and wine pairing to celebrate art and nature in all their splendor. Intertwined, Wined & Dined includes a private after-hours tour of the Garden with a first look at the 20 monumental sculptures that compose Steve Tobin’s new art exhibit Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks. Space is limited so register early.

Calling All Educators

Network in Nature is an opportunity for educators to meet like-minded nature lovers, enjoy a tasty brunch, build lesson plans around nature and art, plus get an exclusive tour of Steve Tobin’s Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks exhibition. Join us on Jan. 28 for this one-of-a-kind event.

Making Memories at the Garden

Set any new wellness goals for 2023? The Garden is here to support you in achieving them. Explore 132 acres of horticultural displays, natural ecosystems, and walking trails to get all the fresh air, fitness, and mindfulness you crave. All walking trails are ADA-compliant to accommodate visitors of all abilities.

Time is Running Out to see LEGO® Art

Sean Kenny’s Nature Connects® Made with LEGO® Bricks art exhibition is only here until Feb. 19! Each meticulous construction is hand-built and nestled into the natural landscape. Check out this clip from FOX26 Houston to learn more about the engineering marvel. 

Head to the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden to enjoy it while it’s still here!

Learn With Us

DIY Terrarium Building

On Jan. 14, join us to learn how terrariums function as miniature, self-sustaining environments, and craft one of your own.​ (Families are welcome to attend, but separate tickets are required for each terrarium made.)

Making Medicine With Plants

What do you know about herbalism? On Jan. 28 explore medicinal plants that you can cultivate in your home garden. Learn all about the uses, benefits, and healing properties of these plants.

Canvas and Cocktails 

This crowd favorite will return on Jan. 28! Explore color and form based on plants at the Garden with Houston artist/teacher Roberto Castillo and fellow nature lovers. Adults only. No painting experience is necessary. All art materials provided.

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

Horticulture Help 

When and how should I prune?

'Why are you pruning?' This is actually the most important question to ask yourself before you start snipping. In his latest article, the Garden’s Horticulture Manager Brent Moon explains the ins and outs of pruning—whether it’s to remove diseased wood, reduce plant size, shape, rejuvenate, or otherwise.

Get Involved

Take the first step to achieving your New Year’s Resolution! Connect more with nature and the Houston community by volunteering at the Garden in 2023. There are so many ways you can help our living museum flourish while bonding with like-minded nature lovers, from helping our horticulture team to greeting visitors, assisting with administrative tasks in our office, and more. 

To get involved, contact us at volunteers@hbg.org.

Support the Garden Every Time You Go Grocery Shopping

Hey Kroger shoppers, did you know you can link your Kroger card to the Houston Botanic Garden profile on the Kroger Community Rewards app? Then the Garden receives a percentage of every purchase linked to that card. To participate, just create a digital account, link your Kroger card to the Garden, and remember to use it each time you shop. This past year we had 20 households participating—will you join this low-lift giveback program to benefit the Garden?

Membership Perks

For Members

Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary membership pin at the Ticket Window the next time you visit. 

Start Blooming Socially in 2023

Connect with more like-minded peers in the new year. Resolve to join our next-generation group! From social events to volunteer efforts, the Bloomers have become an integral part of the Garden community.

To make a donation to the Houston Botanic Garden,
visit our website or text give2garden to 71777.