March 31, 2022

Join Us In Tending To Planet Earth

Blue Marble 2002 | Source: NASA's Earth Observatory

This April, you will likely see many images of planet Earth, as we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2022. The Blue Marble image taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972 is one of the most reproduced images in history. Not only is it an awe-inspiring reflection of our shared humanity, but it's also a useful tool for understanding the vegetation in the world's macro-garden. 

NASA’s more recent series of images are taken by Suomi NPP, a research satellite. With satellites across the globe, scientists are working together to monitor the Earth’s vegetation, which is the primary energy source for nearly all life on the planet. Using these images, scientists can see that 1/3 of land cover of Canada and Alaska changed from 1985 to 2021, they can measure the health of plants, and they can quantify the impact of changing ecosystems.

One of the great privileges of working at a botanic garden is the incredible, global collaboration with other botanic gardens that share a similar view of our interconnected world. The Houston Botanic Garden has begun participating in some of these international efforts to understand and care for the Earth. For example, the Global Conservation Consortium for Oak is a macro-collection of oaks, North America’s most powerful native tree, including species from across the world.

So, when you see one of these beautiful photos of our planet Earth, I hope you’ll be reminded that we are all working together – in our home gardens, at the Houston Botanic Garden – as we dig, plant, propagate, and prune in the global garden of our sacred world. Happy Earth Day!

Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel

Discover the Garden's Hidden Magic

The Garden’s next generation group, the Bloomers, invites the public to its upcoming The Secret Garden party! On Thursday, April 28, experience the Garden as you’ve never seen it before. Use a map to find hidden surprises, pop-up cocktail bars, garden games, and special tastings. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members, $40 for non-members.

Save the Date for Our 2022 Luncheon

Join us on Thursday, October 13, 2022, at River Oaks Country Club for our Annual Luncheon! 

Our Honorees this year are: 

Susanne M. & Melbern G. Glasscock 

As two of the Garden’s most ardent advocates and visionaries, the Glasscocks were involved in site selection and have influenced the Garden’s themes and design. They are passionate about creating opportunities to introduce more people to the Garden and have a keen interest in ensuring the Garden has partnership programming and events throughout the year. 

Honorary Chairs of this year’s luncheon are Linda Anderson, Kathleen & Bob Clarke, and Elizabeth & Albert Kidd. Co-Chairs are Elle & Clarke Anderson and Tammy & Bob Casey. Please mark your calendars and join us to celebrate and support the Houston Botanic Garden!

What’s Happening at the Garden

Sunday Concert Series

Come jam with us this spring! Performances begin at 3 p.m. each Sunday, April 3-May 8. Concessions, table rentals, reserved seating, and VIP packages are available for purchase. Check out details for our first four concerts below.

April 3: Houston’s newest reggae sensation Dem Roots Music

April 10: Cristina Amaro’s tribute to Female Tejano Icons

April 17: Texas-tinged, traditional Irish music by the Blaggards

April 24: Susan Hickman, the Texas Country Music Association’s Singer of the Year 

Earth Day Wellness Walk

Exercise with us on Earth Day! On April 22, certified teacher and nutrition coach Laura Conely of Urban Paths will lead a wellness walk. The mid-day stroll through the Garden is sure to get your blood pumping and enhance your appreciation of the natural world. All paces are welcome! 

Entry, which includes general admission to the Garden, is $20 for non-members and $10 for members.

Horticulture Help 

How do I keep my garden in great shape this April?

Continue to trim back dead foliage on tropical plants that were affected by cold weather but avoid pruning any spring flowering shrubs, like Rhododendron (azaleas), before they bloom. They should be pruned immediately after blooming, no later than July 4, to allow time for setting buds for next spring. If you need to transplant a shrub or perennial, do it as soon as possible before temperatures get too high. 

April is a great time to start planting your summer seasonal color, like Coleus, Pentas or Zinnias. There’s also still time to plant short-cycle cool-season vegetable crops, like Lactuca (lettuce) and Raphanus (radish).

How can I incorporate more eco-friendly practices into my gardening routine?

Consider adding compost to feed your soil. Tilling in an inch or two of well-aged compost will give your plants a boost all season long. 

At the Garden, we mulch our beds in April to prevent weeds by blocking light to the soil, keeping the root zone of plants cooler all summer as well as retaining moisture. Mulching over leaves in your landscape instead of raking them will slowly feed your plants as the leaves break down over time.

Lastly, mowing your grass higher this time of year will also help shade and cool the soil. 

Making Memories at the Garden: BotaniCamp

BotaniCampers with Education Coordinator, Michael Godoy

Spring Break BotaniCamp was a blast! Nothing but inquisitive minds and smiling faces. Parent Danielle P. sent her kindergarten daughter to BotaniCamp and was thrilled with the hands-on learning activities. 

Her camper’s favorite activity was making masks because she got to be creative and use her imagination. She also made a bug catcher and learned to let the bugs go after studying them so they can live safely in their natural habitat. Read more of Danielle's thoughts on BotaniCamp. 

Spots are filling up fast for our Summer BotaniCamp so don’t wait — register your kids today!  

Learn With Us

On April 14, Chef Keisha Griggs wants to celebrate spring with you through the joy of cooking a complete meal using fresh produce from the Garden and local farms. Her Easter Eats class is limited to 30 registrants, so sign up today.

On April 19, balance your garden’s purpose and appeal through native plants! Beth Clark, an experienced landscape architect who consulted on the Houston Botanic Garden, will show you how adding natives can be rewarding for you and any wildlife that call your garden home. 

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

Get Your Hands Dirty

Volunteering isn’t just for individuals with green thumbs. We love hosting corporate teams, service groups and families. And we can’t wait for the Sam Houston Council of BSA to wrap up its Spring of Service with a big volunteer event at the Garden this month to celebrate Earth Day. 

Want to schedule your own group volunteer days? 

Contact us at or call 713-715-9675 ext. 152.

Grow With Us

Angela Roth might be one of our most well-rounded donor members! As a former U.S Naval Officer with both formal culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu in London and agricultural training as a Texas Master Gardener, Angela now teaches Urban Agriculture at Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire. 

 “My biggest thrills are seeing our little seeds grow into beautiful flowers and vegetables that nourish us,” she said in a recent interview — an apt metaphor for the work she does teaching children about nature, caring for animals, and protecting the environment. 

With Earth Day approaching, she shares why she supports the Garden and the work it does to educate Houstonians to be stewards of the natural world.

Roth next to her family's donor plank along the bayou bridge at Houston Botanic Garden

You can make a donation to our annual fund at any time by clicking here or texting give2garden to 71777.

Scientifically Speaking

The Garden is involved in two Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) Global Conservation Consortium (GCC) programs, gathering germplasm (plants and seed) for taxa in the Magnolia and Quercus (oaks) genera.

Quercus turbinella

Quercus arkansana

We believe these efforts are critical to preserving the valuable genetic material of plant-world icons for future generations to enjoy both at the Garden and in the wild. In recognition of Earth Day this month, our Horticulture Manager Brent Moon gives details on the Garden’s ongoing conservation project in his article “Protecting a Keystone Species.”

Membership Perks

Garden Members

Nature vs. Nurture? Let’s do both. Give your family the gift of fresh air, exercise and a budding curiosity for the outdoors. 

Our $100 Family Membership provides two adults and up to four children with a chance to invigorate their senses and nourish their minds all year long.

The Bloomers

Don’t be a wallflower! Network with young professionals and parents, emerging patrons, and gardening enthusiasts while getting involved philanthropically. Bloomer members are invited to this month’s exclusive Scavenger Hunt event on April 9!  Explore the Garden while solving a set of chlorophyl-ed clues with our next generation group.