October 12, 2023

The Garden Grows Better with Each Passing Season

Sun sets on Meredith Tucker's "Monarch with Gregg's Blue Mistflower" sculpture, gift of Ann Lents and David Heaney, in Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden

As the Houston Botanic Garden enters its fourth year of operation, we celebrate the many ways it has become an integral part of the Greater Houston community, enriching life through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment. 

We would not have made it this far without the efforts of our skilled staff, along with an incredible network of members, donors, volunteers, and corporate partners who support the Garden’s mission.

Jill Barry, Garden's new CEO (in purple floral dress near center), and members of Garden staff welcomed guests to 2023 annual luncheon on Oct. 4

Our new CEO, Jill Barry, got to see this extended community’s passion first-hand at our Annual Luncheon earlier this month, where we honored the Garver family, who generously supported the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden. The event was a huge success and will enable the Garden to continue to serve Houstonians and visitors near and far, while being a responsible steward of the acres under its care.

With a welcome reprieve from triple-digit temperatures, now is a great time to experience the new exhibits, installations, and performances happening at the Garden. From glistening glass creatures to thought-provoking discussions on conservation, there is always something new to experience as life grows here

Glass in Flight Lands at Garden With Flourish

You will notice a little extra sparkle at the Garden later this month. Glass in Flight, chaired by Mary and John Eads, with its 21 steel and hand-cut Dalle de Verre glass sculptures of gigantic, realistic insects by Tucson artist Alex Heveri, is making its Houston debut at the Garden. The sculptures will be placed throughout the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, where sunlight shining through the colored glass will intensify the illusion of movement and life.

Join us as we welcome Glass in Flight on Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and wear your favorite insect costume for a chance to win fun prizes!

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Arboretum

Radiant Nature Lantern Festival Comes to Life for Holiday Season!

Experience the Garden in a whole new light this holiday season with the premiere of Radiant Nature, presented by ReliantFrom mid-November through the Lunar New Year, more than 50 large-scale lantern installations will be glowing bright around the grounds. Stay tuned for more details about this incredible interactive installation opening Nov. 17. 

NOTE: Garden members should watch for details on the invitation-only Radiant Nature preview.

Generous Gift Allows Steve Tobin Sculpture to Take Root in Houston

Steve Tobin’s captivating sculpture installation, Intertwined: Exploring Nature's Networks, has wrapped up its run at the Garden. The monumental roots, stainless steel clouds, and giant bronze nests of mirror-like eggs are now headed off to wow at a new venue. 

Fortunately, there is some good news for those who who didn't get a chance to see them. Thanks to the generosity of the River Oaks Garden Club, the fabulous yellow Dancing Steelroots have become part of the Garden’s permanent art collection. The piece, donated in honor of long-time board member and former chair Nancy O'Connor Abendshein, has taken up residence in the Global Collection's Savanna.

Making Memories at the Garden:

Garden's Sims Bayou Mural to Bloom with Assistance of Volunteers

Make your mark on a permanent part of the Garden vista! With generous funding from the Gulfgate Redevelopment Authority, the Garden has commissioned local muralist David Cobb to transform the 300-foot concrete retaining wall along the Sims Bayou Greenway beneath the Garden’s Bayou Bridge into a beautiful piece of public art showcasing the diverse ecosystems of Texas. The artist will use a paint-by-number approach, so volunteers can participate—no experience necessary—making it a full community effort.

Work on the mural has already begun, but we still need help. The Garden needs at least 90 total hours of volunteer assistance to turn the mural from dream into reality. There are several 2.5-hour shifts still left to fill.

Sunday, Oct. 15, 9-11:30 a.m.

Sunday, Oct. 22, 9-11:30 a.m.
Sunday, Oct. 22, 12-2:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 29, 12-2:30 p.m
Sunday, Oct. 29, 3-5:30 p.m.

Scientifically Speaking:
Protecting Endangered Plant Species

The horticulture team at the Garden is taking steps to preserve some of Texas’ most endangered plants. Learn how our experts are prioritizing conservation at the Garden, and how they hope to do even more in the future. 

Explore Houston's Wild Side with Local Author & Ecology Expert

Suzanne Simpson, author of Wild Houston: Explore the Amazing Nature in and around the Bayou City, will be signing copies of the new book at a launch party event at the Garden on Oct. 29. 

Equal parts natural history, field guide and trip planner, Wild Houston has something for everyone. The book will be available for purchase at the event and in the Garden Gift Shop, and a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the wilderness restoration efforts at HBG. 

Simpson recently took some time to share her passion for conservation, tout the uniqueness of Houston's ecosystems and the area’s status as a biodiversity hotspot, and encourage Houstonians to get outside and discover the natural wonders right under our noses. Read her informative interview below and attend the book launch event to meet the author in person!

Garden Members Can Really Go Places With Reciprocal Admissions Program

As a member of the Houston Botanic Garden you also have access to the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program. Take advantage of special admission privileges and discounts at more than 340 gardens throughout North America, including 15 in Texas.

This month, we suggest utilizing your reciprocal admission to visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission. If you head there now, you will encounter beautiful monarch butterflies floating their way through the “Texas Funnel,” as they head to their annual winter home in Mexico. Make your plans to see this incredible sight before it ends later this month!

National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive, Mission, TX 78572

Garden Gift Shop Goes Green

As of August, the Garden is the latest brick-and-mortar location selling plants from The Blessings Gallery, founded in 2020 by David Blessings as a groovy boutique featuring a curated collection of fan favorite house plants. We are excited to offer our guests the opportunity to purchase popular plants -- the Prayer Plant, the Snake Plant, and different cultivars of Pothos, as examples -- to take, grow, and enjoy in their own homes.

New monarch butterfly sculpture rests near McNair Foundation Cypress Forest

What's Happening at the Garden

Garden visitors play Botanic Bingo.

Mariachis photographed by Xavier Munoz (UHCL).

Festival en el Jardín

On Oct. 14 from 2-6 p.m., make plans to attend this event in preparation for Día de los Muertos. In partnership with MECA , we invite you to spend the day enjoying live jazz, folklórico, and mariachi performances, learning to make a traditional ofrenda, and more. 

Tiny Gardens: Pumpkin Succulents

Create the perfect pumpkin for your Texas porch at our Oct. 14 Tiny Gardens class. We’ll be topping the big fall fruits with low-maintenance succulents to make a unique decoration sure to impress visitors this autumn. The fun starts at 10 a.m. 

Garden visitors play Botanic Bingo.

Medicinal Herbs of Latin America

Discover some of the helpful herbs from south of the border that thrive in your backyard. Herbalist Joanna Botvin will showcase plants from Central and South America that are key to the traditional remedies practiced there. Sign up for the Oct. 21 class, sponsored by AARP in Texas, to learn how to grow these medicinal plants successfully and put them to use in your home. 

Trail Mixology

This crowd-favorite event is back on Nov. 4. Enjoy delicious cocktails inspired by -- and infused with botanical ingredients from -- the Global Collection and Culinary Garden. Tickets include general admission to the Garden to explore at your leisure, complementary tastings, and a commemorative cup. Don't wait to reserve a spot — this event sells out fast!

Let's Talk Conservation

Ecologist and professor Doug Tallamy is bringing his Homegrown National Park tour to the Garden on Saturday, Nov. 11. Tallamy encourages Americans to embrace of native and natural landscaping, rather than the cultivated lawns that are typically found around the country.

Come hear his captivating and persuasive pitch for this forward-thinking, community-based approach to conservation. Tickets to the 3 p.m. event include after-hours access to the Garden, refreshments, and networking opportunities.

You can donate to the Houston Botanic Garden at any time by visiting our website or texting give2garden to 71777. 

How Our Garden Grows:

Participate in Kroger's Community Rewards Program

Support the Garden every time you shop at Kroger when you link your Kroger card to Houston Botanic Garden. We will receive a portion of any transactions made with your card, at no added cost to you. Kroger donates annually to participating organizations based on your percentage of spending. It’s an easy way to contribute to our discovery, education, and conservation efforts every time you buy household neccessities.

Learn With Us

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

Get Involved:

Making a Difference with 

Data Collection

The house plants that helped keep Anna White company during the pandemic brought a bit of “novelty to even the most routine tasks.” So she was delighted when she discovered that the Garden needed volunteers to review data for the Taxa Project that tracks the varieties and progress of plant life in the Garden. Now, she trains other volunteers to help collect and maintain the data. Read more about why she’s given more than 60 hours of her time HBG in recent months. 

Private Rentals:

Plan Your Holiday Party Now

Create a first-class corporate holiday event at one of the most vibrant venues in town. The gorgeous surroundings, flexible indoor and outdoor spaces, and experienced team at the Garden make it the perfect place to treat your employees to a memorable winter gathering. Best of all, our Radiant Nature Chinese lantern festival will ensure your party is the most “lit” of the season.

This Month's Membership Perk

Members will receive two tickets and one parking pass for the invitation-only preview of the Radiant Nature Chinese lantern festival on Thursday, Nov. 16. (The show opens to the general public on Friday, Nov. 17, and those tickets are on sale now.) New this year, members can purchase additional tickets and parking passes to the preview for family and friends, to help the Garden get the buzz about the showing going as far and wide as possible.