November 10, 2021

Houston is simply glorious!

Glorious. That word comes to mind when I walk out the door each morning these days. Houston this time of year is simply glorious. I have been inspired to simply pause and take it all in. To gaze at sunlit clouds and enjoy the leaves peppering the grass.

In the tourism world, we call these our chamber of commerce months; the best time of year to entertain out-of-town guests. During the dog days of summer, we sometimes forget that Houston has seasonality. 

The cooler temperatures of fall are a nice respite inviting us to spend more time enjoying the Garden. They are also wonderful for our fall flowering plants, like Tagetes lucida (Mexican mint marigold) and Salvia leucantha (Mexican bush sage) lining the border of the Pollinator Garden in the Global Collection.  

I spoke with one Houstonian who said they were waiting until the spring to visit the Garden, thinking that’s the only time we will have glorious blooms to enjoy. It gave me the opportunity to share how thoughtful our design team was to ensure that there is seasonal interest all year round. For instance, the Camellias and Symphyotrichum (asters) are starting to bloom, preparing to serve as focal points in the landscape as other ornamentals enter dormancy.

With the growth experienced over the spring and summer, you cannot tell that the Houston Botanic Garden is only one year old and suffered through a devastating freeze this past winter. The resiliency of plants is evident. And the Garden is simply glorious.

-- Claudia Gee Vassar, president & general counsel

"Lightscape" Opens Nov. 19 -- Get Tickets Today!

Installation of Lightscape started Nov. 1, and signs of what's to come are visible -- even during daylight hours -- throughout the Global Collection Garden, along the walking trails leading to and from the Coastal Praire, and around the Culinary Garden.

From Nov. 19 through Jan. 2, 2022, Lightscape willl delight visitors with a wide array of brightly colored, festive installations by local and international artists, the sounds of popular holiday music, and delicious seasonal food and beverages.

Get your tickets now to secure your prefered date and timed entry slot!

Embrace Plant-Based Cooking This Holiday Season

A participant at Chef Keisha's recent "Creating a Garden Meal" hands-on class, held on Oct. 21, shows off her meal prepping skills.

Creating Holiday Desserts & Appetizers
TOMORROW: Thursday, Nov. 11, 6-8 p.m.

Chef Keisha Griggs – who uses her expertise and flexibility to introduce new flavors to everyone who experiences her food – will guide participants through hands-on creation of holiday appetizers and desserts incorporating fresh produce from local farms, as well as the Houston Botanic Garden’s Culinary Garden. She will also share a wine and beer pairing that works with the delicious dishes.

Space is limited to 20 registrants; a few spots remain. $58 fee includes general admission to the Garden, and tasting of finished meal, wine, and beer. Members receive a $10 discount.

Wild Cooking: Houston's Winter Weeds
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m.

In this virtual presentation, Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D. – a chemist with a passion for foraged, useful plants – will show participants how to identify and use Houston's top edible and medicinal winter weeds.

To purchase access to this virtual workshop, participants will need to log in to an existing account or create a new account on the Garden's website. Garden members receive a $10 discount off the $50 registration fee.

Creative Outlets for Budding Artists of All Ages

Botanical Printing
Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Molly Koehn, a Houston-based environmental artist, will show participants how to use a variety of leaves to make botanical prints on fabric through eco printing, a natural dye process that creates prints on fabric without using artificial dyes or harmful chemicals. The workshop will cover techniques to achieve clear prints as well as mordanting – the process of preparing fibers to accept color – to create color variations.

$80 fee includes admission to the Garden and registration ($45), as well as a supply fee ($35). Garden members receive a $10 discount off registration.

Fairy Gardening
Friday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Katherine McDaniel, founder and director of Synkroniciti, an incubator for arts and creativity, will inspire participants to repurpose fallen leaves, seedpods, stones, shells, dried flowers, and more, to construct whimsical fairy houses and create a miniature garden for fairies and gnomes.

The Garden will provide peat pots, and a hodge-podge of natural/found items, soil, and plants. Participants need to bring a medium-sized container for transporting their creations home. 

Workshop fee of $25 includes general admission to the Garden. Members receive a $10 discount. Adults and adult/child pairs – at a maximum ratio of three children (5 and up) to one adult – are welcome.

Saturdays, Dec. 4 & Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Environmental artist Molly Koehn returns for a two-part class to show participants how to bind their own botanical journal or sketchbook using multiple-needle coptic stitching, one of the oldest forms of bookbinding, dating back to the 2nd century. Finished books will lay flat, perfect for botanical journaling, sketching, or pressing leaves.

$80 fee includes admission to the Garden and registration ($45), as well as a supply fee ($35). Garden members receive a $10 discount off registration.

For a full calendar of upcoming events -- including Young Ones Yoga -- visit

Fall is Great Time to Explore Natural Ecosystems

While strolling the walking paths of the natural ecosystems in the fall, visitors will see a variety of native plants that are critically important to insects, pollinators, birds, and other wildlife that either migrate through or prepare to overwinter in the region this time of year.

Composting Drop-Off Continues at the Garden Through Nov. 27

Through Saturday, Nov. 27, Houston residents can collect food scraps and select compostable non-edibles throughout the week in any container or bag of their choosing and drive through the Garden's parking area to drop off organic waste without even leaving their vehicle.

New Young Professionals Group to Bloom in 2022

The Garden is seeking young professionals, emerging patrons, and horticultural enthusiasts between the ages of 21 and 40 to become Bloomers, a new membership group that will invest meaningfully in the growth of the Garden through their contributions of resources and time. Spearheaded by friend of the Garden Jenna Lindley, the Bloomers will serve as the next generation of leaders and advocates of the Garden, hoping to better the lives of Houstonians through access to and a better understanding of the natural world.

Bloomers membership starts at $150 and includes invitations to an annual Garden Party and other Bloomers-exclusive social events, admission to the Garden at no additional charge, member discount in the Garden Shop, and more.

For more details on the Bloomers, and instructions for joining, email Connie Boyd, VP for development, at

Easy 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.

Gifts of all sizes to the Annual Fund will help maintain and grow the Garden as a place for discovery, celebration, and connection. A donation to the Garden in any season will make a difference.

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.