April 6, 2023

Celebrating & Protecting Our Big, Beautiful Planet

Louisiana iris in the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden lagoon

Nature shows us the power of the seasons. Winter brings much needed rest to many of the Garden’s plant specimens, and when it’s time for their return in the spring, we are rewarded with the vibrant shades of blooming Amaryllis in our gardens, Louisiana iris in wetlands, and waves of bluebonnets dotting lush prairie grass. The return of butterflies and pollinators as they flock to new blooms gives us yet another reminder of how this complex environment works in concert to create a healthier, stronger ecosystem.

It’s fitting that Earth Day, celebrated April 22, occurs at a time when the bounty of the Garden is on full display. 

The Earth is our home. It’s so easy to take for granted the gifts of exquisite flowers, powerful forests, clean air, fresh water, nourishing produce, melodious birdsong, and all the beauty of nature that makes our planet special. This month, all around the Garden, we celebrate our partnership with the living environment, and our place in the city and region’s ecosystem. Come discover the many programs and activities exploring our relationship with plants and the environment this month and enjoy the beauty of spring in the Garden. We hope you’ll leave inspired to join us in committing to care for our corner of this beautiful planet, our home.

Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel

Earth Day Celebration

There’s no better place in Houston to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, Apr. 22, than at the Garden. We’ve got three amazing events taking place in our Culinary Garden Tent, each designed to highlight the understanding and collaboration necessary to care for our planet. Come out for a full day of discovery and education.

How to Heal our Planet: Tools to Combat Climate Change 

Kick things off at 10 a.m. with some hands-on learning. Participants will learn practical ways to reduce their carbon footprint and create lasting impact. Join us and discover how your contributions can be a small part of the solution to a big problem.

Save the Earth with Citizen Science

Next up, find out about the smartphone apps you can use to share crucial information with the scientific community at 2 p.m. with Education Manager Erin Mills.

The Buzzz on Demystifying Mosquitos: Houston’s Most Dangerous Animal Foe

Finally, an evening lecture on the pests that the Bayou City loves to hate. Harris County Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative will discuss why mosquitos aren’t all bad during this talk. 

What’s Happening at the Garden

Sunday Concert Series

The Garden’s Sunday Concert Series is back! Join us every Sunday afternoon from Apr. 16 through May 14 to enjoy talented local musicians in a setting that no other venue can match. 

We recently visited with Patrick Devlin from Blaggards about returning to the Garden’s concert lineup for the third year in a row. He shared the stout Irish rock band’s secret to making its high-energy music and heavy-metal look “appeal to everyone from age nine to 90.” Patrick and his bandmates take the Garden stage on May 7. Don't miss it!

NEW DATE: Discover the Secret Garden

The Secret Garden party has moved to early June. During this after-hours garden-chic social gathering hosted by our next-generation group, the Bloomers, the many natural wonders that fill our grounds will be supplemented by cocktails, games, and special tastings. 

Everyone is invited to experience this incredible evening at the Garden! Garden members receive discounted tickets. 

Making Memories at the Garden

Our Spring Break BotaniCamp was a hit with the young nature lovers who joined the fun. Here's what they had to say about their favorite parts of the experience: 

Alex, age 11: "My favorite part of camp is all the friendliness here."

Janelly, age 9: "I liked when we were testing the water. I don’t want the animals to be in a bad environment."

Olivia, age 8: "My favorite part was picking up trash because it was helping the environment."

Angel, age 11: "My favorite part of the camp was using the binoculars and building the terrarium."

Maya, age 8: "I loved planting, trying new things, seeing the animal show and picking up trash."

Sybil, age 5: "I liked all of it!"

Don’t worry if your kiddo missed out. We have eight weeks of summer day camps lined up starting on June 19. Flowers, farming, bugs, and bayous are just a few of the themes to choose from. 

Pick your child's favorite topic(s) to explore outdoors and reserve a spot before it’s too late. 

Learn With Us

Forest Gardening 

In partnership with Urban Harvest, Mickey Kleinhenz will be at the Garden on Apr. 11 from 6-7 p.m. to share his expertise in forest gardening. Get a detailed introduction to this low-maintenance and sustainable source of food production, with tips specific to the Gulf Coast climate. 

Discover, Cultivate, Create: Citrus

This class in an ongoing series focused on a different plant each month dives into the colorful world of citrus. Join our experts on Apr. 15 to learn more about the tasty genre of fruit that can be enjoyed in so many different ways. Presented with sponsorship support from AARP Texas & AARP Texas en Español.

Be Nurtured by Nature

Next month is Mental Health Month and we have the perfect opportunity to participate. Our outdoor Wellness Flourishes class on May 6 will integrate healthy food, personal fitness and mental health best practices to create a refreshing spring Saturday retreat. You’ll also have a chance to hear from wellness guide and keynote speaker, Eleanor Bramwell.

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

Horticulture Help

How can I best support the growth of spring-blooming wildflowers in my home garden?

The path to backyard wildflowers in the spring just takes a little planning and preparation. Hopefully, you’ve eliminated competition from grass with a low mowing and spread your seeds earlier this year in October. Now just let nature do the rest. Winter rains should bring blooms come spring. Best of all, you’re mostly off the hook for mowing duty from May through June! 

Garden Closed April 29 for Private Event

Houston Botanic Garden will be closed on Saturday, April 29, for its first buy-out rental of 2023 for the Célébrez en Rosé wine and music festival. It’s a unique, picnic-style event that pairs perfectly with the Garden's gorgeous scenery. 

Tickets are on sale to the public for anyone interested in attending!

Large-scale Private Events

Organizations with events of all sizes are invited to reserve the Garden’s versatile spaces for their needs. Our team can accommodate intimate gatherings in our small spaces, larger events in one of our spacious tents, or make the entire venue available for a private rental. 

All of the proceeds of private rentals support our mission to enrich life through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment.

Photo credit: Jessica Chandra Yoga.

Steve Tobin's Whimsical Intertwined is Perfect for Fun Family Photos

Stroll among the stainless steel clouds, marvel at massive bronze roots and admire intricately beautiful steel nests with magical eggs. The 20 mesmerizing sculptures composing Steve Tobin’s Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks offer a new perspective on nature’s overlooked and unseen wonders.  

The project is an incredibly memorable piece of public art for Houston and features several never-before-seen works from the sculptor, whose work has been displayed around the globe and featured in Time Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and the New York Times. Learn more about the artist’s inspiration in our article below and make plans to see his creations in person before the installation ends August 13.

Get Involved

Meagan Terry stepped into her new role as the Houston Botanic Garden’s Volunteer Engagement Manager last month and is eager to start building relationships and creating new opportunities for involvement for Garden members and for the wider Houston community. 

Read more about her excitement for nature and what she has planned for volunteers at the Garden. 

To get involved, contact us at volunteers@hbg.org or call 713-715-9675 ext. 152.

New Camera Lets You Check the Conditions at the Garden Before You Visit

Thanks to a partnership with KHOU, it’s easier than ever to check conditions at Garden before you head over for a visit. A new high-definition camera is now streaming 24 hours a day with views of the Culinary Garden and Steve Tobin’s Romeo and Juliet sculpture. 

No need to worry about a surprise April shower disrupting your visit. Use the new tool to get a live look at the site, review a time-lapse of the past 24 hours, and get an instant Weather Bug forecast.

Susanne & Melbern Glasscock address attendees at the 2022 Annual Luncheon. Photo credit: Hung Truong.

How Our Garden Grows

The planning for the Garden’s largest and most impactful fundraising event is underway, and the time to get your table or tickets for this sure-to-sell-out fall event is now. 

The Houston Botanic Garden’s 2023 Annual Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 12-1 p.m. at River Oaks Country Club. This year’s event honors the Garver Family – C. Michael Garver and daughters Beth Black and Gretchen Hilyard – and is co-chaired by Kit and Carl Detering, and April and Wells McGee. 

Stay tuned for additional details coming soon.

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

Membership Perks

A membership to the Garden gets you more than access to 132 acres of gorgeous serenity. You’ll also enjoy discounts on classes and certain events. For example, your free admission benefit applies to the upcoming Sunday Concert Series

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

Get Your Bloom On

The Bloomers are nature-loving young professionals with a passion for the Garden. If that sounds like a fit, consider joining the flourishing next-generation group organizing many of our social events and volunteer activities. They have become an integral part of the Garden community and are always ready to add new members. 

Make plans to attend the June 10 Secret Garden event hosted by the Bloomers for a chance to meet current members.