March 2, 2022

Spring will soon make its colorful debut at the Garden!

Lupinus texensis at the Garden along Sims Bayou

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” – Lady Bird Johnson

Wildflower season is magical. At the Garden, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet), Callirhoe involucrata (winecup), and Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth’s eryngo) will start to show off their vibrant blooms soon. 

Texans have long been enamored with the wildflowers that line our highways, in large part because of Lady Bird Johnson. A shy child, she spent her days outside in the piney woods and cypress bayous of East Texas. Walking through the McNair Foundation Cypress Forest and Loblolly Forest – amidst the dragonflies and hawks, butterflies, bluebirds, turtles, fish, and even the occasional eagle! – admiring the Taxodium distichum (bald cypress), aquatic Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed), and geometric Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto) along the path, I can see why she never considered herself lonely.  

Another Texas woman, Dr. Eula Whitehouse, ensured that we know the names of these beautiful blooms with her popular book, Texas Flowers in Natural Colors. The contributions of women to botany over time have included the study of plant structure and cell function by Katherine Esau, the first trained botanist to receive the National Medal of Science; the diligent documentation of countless plants for scientific study by Maria Sibylla Merian; discovery and collection of hundreds of thousands of plants by Ynés Mexía, and locally by Mary Sophie Young; the study of plant genetics to develop sugarcane for India for their economic independence by Janaki Ammal; and many, many more.

We celebrate these brilliant female botanists and the many other women who, throughout history, have contributed to advancing the field of botany. As you take in the beauty of the wildflowers and other spring blooms, know that we have many pioneering women to thank for them, including my namesake, mi tocaya, Lady Bird Johnson.

Claudia Gee Vassar, President & General Counsel

Seasonal Sips at the Garden

Breathtaking views, snacks from the Garden Café, and cocktails inspired by our Global Collection and Culinary Garden await! On Saturday, March 19, our Trail Mixology experience will offer attendees a memorable stroll through nature, while enjoying drinks accented by tasty herbs, beautiful flowers, and lush foliage you can grow at home.

All attendees must be 21+. Admission is $40 for non-members and $25 for members and includes entry, snacks, tastings, and a commemorative cup. 

What’s Happening at the Garden

Get those lawn chairs and blankets ready, our Sunday Concert Series is back! Groove with us every Sunday between April 3 and May 8 to live music that celebrates our city’s cultural diversity and its musical artistry. 

Performances begin at 3 p.m. and are included in the cost of general admission. Concessions, table rentals, reserved seating, and VIP packages are available for an additional charge. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students (must show valid student ID), and $10 for children ages 3 and older. Our Sunday Concert Series is free to members.

Horticulture Help

When will my bluebonnets bloom? 

Good news — it’s almost time! Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) should bloom this year starting in early March and last until early April. If it doesn’t get too hot, too quickly, they could potentially stick around for longer.

What about my other perennial bulbs?

Bulbs, including Tulipa (tulips) and Narcissus (daffodils), should bloom this month. Like bluebonnets, tulips especially will last longer if it’s cooler when they are in bloom. If temperatures get into the 70s, however, these bulbs may only dazzle for a short time.

Making Memories at the Garden

BotaniCampers exploring along the Boardwalk Maze

Several studies have shown the positive emotional impact that green spaces can have on children, which is why we’re excited to host our first Spring Break BotaniCamp – an extension of our Summer BotaniCamp launched in 2021 – from March 14-17! 

At BotaniCamp, campers in grades K through 5 participate in fun-filled and educational activities centered around the environmental art of gardening, caring for plants, and understanding the different ecosystems that make up our Garden.

Learn With Us

The Culinary Garden

On March 9, join us for an exciting class focused on How to Make a Garden (and eat it too!). Led by Beth Clark, a professional landscape architect with 30+ years of experience, the class covers essentials like basic garden design, then digs deeper with a discussion on incorporating herbs and edibles into your landscape. ​

Beth helped plan and install our Garden as a local partner with West 8, so students also have the unique opportunity to learn how the Culinary Garden was designed.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Garden volunteers harvesting peanuts

Roll up your sleeves and volunteer with us! On Saturday, April 2, get to know fellow Houstonians and nature lovers as you learn about our volunteer process and what we hope to achieve through your amazing help. The Grow Our Garden volunteer day will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

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

Grow With Us

For Jenna Lindley, a charitable spirit runs in the family. Inspired by her parents, Shelli and Steve Lindley, she announced the creation of a next-generation group called the Bloomers at a garden party in April 2021. With the goal of making philanthropy fun and connecting young conservation enthusiasts, the group offers a program of quarterly socials as well as exclusive Second Saturday events for members.

Lindley says her motivation for starting the Bloomers was to safeguard the success and longevity of the Houston Botanic Garden. “We have to ensure that there is buy-in from the next generation of leaders so that the Garden continues to thrive and doesn’t languish as time goes on.” 

Lindley at the Bloomers' Winter Social held at Eads Family Vineyards in Jan. 2022.

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

Scientifically Speaking

Springtime splashes of color are on their way! Bulbs around the Garden will soon begin blooming, including Viola tricolor var. hortensis (pansies), Antirrhinum (snapdragons), and Brassica oleracea (ornamental cabbage and kale). Tulipa (tulips) should make an appearance in early March, along with Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)! 

Brassica oleracea and Antirrhinum

Lupinus texensis in the Global Collection Wildflower Area

Where can you find all these floral favorites on an upcoming visit? Good question. Stop by the Culinary Garden, the entry bed at the front of the Garden, the Welcome Pavilion, the Bamboo Forest, and the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden to see these seasonal beauties!

Membership Perks

Garden Members

Attention members: We are transitioning to digital membership cards in April 2022! This means you can save your membership card to your smartphone’s wallet and never worry about forgetting it again – plus, it’s a chance to be even more environmentally friendly.

We will reach out to you prior to the launch to address any questions or concerns you may have about the timeline and rollout. 

The Bloomers

The Garden’s next-generation group, the Bloomers, offers as much networking as it does nature-gazing. On March 12, enjoy Yoga in the Garden as part of Second Saturdays programming. And be sure to mark your calendar for the Spring Social on March 23, which will include a Culinary Garden discussion at a private local home and garden.

Join before April 1, and you’ll also receive a silver Houston Botanic Garden insulated wine tumbler.