March 10, 2023

The Texas Butterfly Highway

Some people love the Garden in the spring to take in the show of bluebonnets bursting forth.  Others, to witness the powerful regrowth of the bananas after the winter dieback. This year, I’m really looking forward to the butterflies. For me, they are magic. I’m sure my excitement is due in part to our March for Monarchs event and a new exhibit that will soon make its debut in the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden. Everything butterflies is in the air. 

Butterflies are powerful symbols of love, hope, and strength.  If you have ever walked along our perennial border with a kaleidoscope of butterflies dancing around, you have surely fallen under their spell. These magical creatures carry significant meaning to cultures across the world. The monarchs that leave Mexico in the spring, indicate to the Mazahua and Otomi peoples that it is time to prepare the soil for the year’s harvest. As they return in the fall around the time of the celebration of the Day of the Dead, they mark the end of the agricultural season, and–according to Mexican lore–carry the souls of the deceased to comfort family members. Monarchs also have symbolism for the Hopi (abundance and health), in Christianity (transformation and rebirth), and in Taiwan (good luck and long life), to name a few.

I hope that you will come see the magic of butterflies at the Garden this spring through sculpture, parade, and slowing down to watch them dance in the air from flower to flower.

Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel

March for Monarchs

On March 18 you can follow the journey of the migrating Monarch butterflies without leaving the Garden. As you travel through the grounds, you’ll see many native plants that make their trip from Mexico to the Northern United States possible. You’ll even receive a native milkweed plant to grow your own butterfly haven. The tour wraps up with food, crafts, and games during a lively "backyard" celebration.

New Butterfly Sculptures Coming Soon!

Ready to learn more about butterflies and their favorite food sources? The Garden’s newest interactive art installation is coming soon and will include several butterfly-coupled-with-flowers sculptures. We sat down with Meredith Tucker, an industrial designer from TXRX Labs, to discuss the process and vision for the installation, as well as her enduring fascination for entomology that made this a true passion project. Keep an eye out for the Garden’s new butterfly sculptures!

Last Call for Spring Break BotaniCamp!

From March 13-16, our plant-centric nature camp is the perfect place for your kiddos to grow their love for nature through discovering aquatic animals and plants, experimenting with water chemistry, and learning about keeping our local waterways safe and healthy. Don’t get stuck scrambling for Spring Break plans! Snag a spot for your future botanists before they’re all gone.

What’s Happening at the Garden

Sunday Concert Series

Spring dates for the Garden’s Sunday Concert Series are set. Every Sunday afternoon from April 16 through May 14 you can enjoy local musicians from diverse genres. Spoil your senses as you soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of these incredible concerts in Houston’s unexpected oasis. 

  • April 16 - Ancient Cat Society (Folk & Indie Rock)

  • April 23 - Cristina Amaro (Queen of Tejano Tribute)

  • April 30 - East of Eado (Alternative Rock)

  • May 7 - Blaggards (Stout Irish Rock)

  • May 14 - Annika Chambers & Paul DesLauriers (Blues)

Why Insects Matter to Plants & People

Plants and insects have complicated relationships. But whether they’re deadly enemies or dependent on each other for survival, the role of insects in our ecology is fascinating and essential. Rice University’s Dr. Scott Solomon will cover their remarkable abilities and the threats they face in a Saturday evening lecture on March 25. Come enjoy his passion for insects!

Exploring Nature's Networks through bayou-inspired botanical paper embroidery

Art and nature collide at this April 8 class led by NASA environmental scientist Leslie Espino. Embroider, assemble, and frame your bayou-inspired 3D botanical display. Make plans to join this refreshing three-hour journey into your imagination and discover the power of sustainable art. 

Making Memories at the Garden

March Madness is coming to town March 31-April 3, and the Garden is ready. Our Director of Community Engagement, Justin Lacey, is working hard with colleagues throughout the city on an official Final Four committee to showcase all that Houston has to offer. Bring your out-of-town basketball fans for a break from the action. We’re just a bounce pass away from all the action downtown and at NRG Stadium. 

Learn With Us

Get Creative With Corn

We’re sure you’ll be all ears as this month’s Discover, Cultivate, Create spotlight lands on corn. Join our experts on March 25 to learn more about this sometimes-confounding plant that travels across the botanical spectrum of vegetables, grains, and fruits. 

Unlock the Power of Herbs

In celebration of International Women’s Month, the Garden is hosting Herbs for Women’s Health on Saturday, March 25. Explore how herbal allies can support and nourish female bodies while creating delicious and targeted herbal tea blends to take home. 

Celebrate the Aztec New Year 

Bring the whole family to the Garden on March 18 for a one-of-a-kind indigenous celebration. Storytelling, ceremonial planting, traditional dance performances, and a craft activity are just some of the fun that awaits participants in this unique cultural experience.

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

Scientifically Speaking

Get your garden ready for the return of the Monarch butterflies. As the summer breeding ground for these winged beauties, Texas is vital to sustaining a healthy population throughout the U.S. According to our expert, Erin Mills, abundant milkweed plants set the stage for new offspring to complete their development and head toward the origin of their parents, grandparents, or in some cases, great-grandparents. 

This species’ survival involves three plants that thrive in Harris County. Click to learn how you can help support these pollinators on their migration journeys!

Host Your Corporate Meeting at the Garden

Escape the office and let the beauty of Houston Botanic Garden inspire your team. We now have options to accommodate your next corporate meeting. A 4-hour rental of the Culinary Garden Tent starts at $400 and includes free Wi-Fi, tables and chairs for 30 attendees, ample parking, and more. Regardless of the temperature, your group will be comfortable in the spacious, climate-controlled setting. Contact us to learn more and explore available dates, or request a custom quote for your event.

Put Yourself in the Clouds with Steve Tobin's Intertwined: Exploring Nature's Networks

The Garden is hosting 20 monumental sculptures composing Steve Tobin’s Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks until Aug. 13, 2023. This exciting project is an incredibly memorable piece of public art for Houston. Be sure to see this world-class exhibit (with several never-before-seen-in-Texas works) on display while you can!

Nancy O’Connor Abendshein generously co-chaired the project alongside Bill Stewart. Other sponsors include the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation, Barbara and David Gibbs, Margaret and Joel Shannon, Terri Lacy and Jim Baird, Blair and Bryan Loocke, Kelli and Chris Mize, Judy and Charles Tate, Jan and David Bean, Jenny Elkins, Lynne and Joe Hudson, Shelli and Steve Lindley, Precision Drilling/Veronica Foley, Vivian L. Smith Foundation/Jesse H. Jones II, Aimee and Wynne Snoots, Sharyn and Jim Weaver/The Gordon A. Cain Foundation. Special thanks to Jack Bellows/Bellows Construction and Houston Public Media.

Bring the Exhibition Home with You

Want to take home more than just memories of Steve Tobin’s Intertwined: Exploring Nature’s Networks? Stop by our Garden Shop to browse T-shirts, caps, and magnets branded with the exhibition logo, as well as table-top pieces by the artist behind the inspiring limited-time exhibit.

How Our Garden Grows

A new generation of enthusiasts are embracing their passion for the Garden through their involvement with the Bloomers. Head Bloomer Megan Sheffer recently took the reigns of the group and is working closely with the steering committee to continue its growth.

“I was delighted when I found out that the Garden had a young professionals group, and it’s been so fun meeting people.”

Since launching last year, this emerging collection of young patrons connects through special Garden-related tours and events, at the Garden itself and through gatherings hosted at private homes. If you’re a like-minded Garden lover, Sheffer hopes you’ll attend the next gathering.

Contribute To Our Growth

You can donate to the Houston Botanic Garden at any time by visiting our website or texting give2garden to 71777. Become a member to support our mission and receive membership perks for yourself, your family, and friends.