November 9, 2023

Surround Yourself With Nature's Abundance

Nancy O’Connor Abendshein, Nancy S. Thomas, Jill Barry, and Odette McMurrey Mace admiring Alex Heveri’s “More Bees, Please!”

I’m delighted to share that my first month as the new President and CEO of the Houston Botanic Garden has been a busy one. We welcomed the stunning Glass in Flight exhibit and recently got a glimpse of the early stages of Radiant Nature. It will be an incredible display that I can’t wait to share with the community.  

One of my favorite experiences this month was seeing David Cobb’s mural of the eco-regions of Texas unfurl along the bayou after the many hours of volunteer work that made it come to life. We are so thankful for the support from the Gulfgate Redevelopment Authority that funded this vision. Local families, friend groups of retirees, and the students from the nearby Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success Early College STEM & T-STEM Academies all are part of this beautiful addition to our landscape, thanks to his paint-by-numbers approach.

As if in response to our man-made artwork, nature is putting on its own show with bright blooms of Solidago (goldenrod) painting the Garden’s prairieland yellow. You’ll spot this can’t-miss display of seasonal beauty in the unmowed natural ecosystem areas, especially south of the Global Collection Garden Tent. 

And there’s even more to look forward to this autumn. We have lots of exciting exhibits and activities planned at the Garden, many embracing the fast-approaching holiday season. I hope you and your loved ones will find the time to shop at the Houston Plant Market and/or try a botanic beer at the November Sip, Sup & Stroll

Nothing enriches life quite like spending time in nature with people we care about. We wish you a lovely Thanksgiving, and hope to see you at the Garden soon.

—Jill Barry, President & CEO

Don't Miss the Garden's Holiday Glow-Up: 

Radiant Nature Lantern Festival Debuts This Month!

The premiere of one of the Garden’s most incredible holiday lights experiences yet—Radiant Nature—is set for Friday, Nov. 17. For more than 60 nights through February 2024, we’ll be home to more than 50 large-scale lantern installations, in three themed zones, all celebrating the beauty of nature and the promise of the Lunar New Year. 

An interactive zone will feature illuminated swings, seesaws, and other immersive opportunities for family-friendly play and memory-making.

Special thanks to presenting sponsor, Reliant, for making this experience possible.

November's Membership Perk

Become a member today and receive two tickets to see the Garden’s Radiant Nature lantern festival at the invitation-only preview on Nov. 16, before it opens to the general public. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase additional tickets and parking passes for friends and family. 

And remember, a Garden membership makes a great gift this holiday season. Consider sharing your love of nature with someone special this year with a Gift Membership! 

Doug Tallamy photographed by Rob Cardillo.

Celebrating Conservation with Doug Tallamy

Ecologist and professor Doug Tallamy brings his Homegrown National Park tour to the Garden this Saturday, Nov. 11. Check out our informative and uplifting interview with Tallamy below, and make plans to be here in-person to hear his challenge to convert 20 million acres of privately owned land to native and natural plantings. Tickets to the 3 p.m. event include after-hours access to the Garden, refreshments, and networking opportunities.

Glass in Flight is Delicate & Daring

Glass in Flight sculptures shine in the sunlight of an arid garden

Complementing the Garden's wonderful flora, you can now explore 21 steel and hand-cut Dalle de Verre glass sculptures of gigantic, realistic insects during your visit. Created by Tucson artist Alex Heveri, the sculptures are on display throughout the Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, where sunlight shining through the colored glass intensifies the illusion of movement and life.

Scientifically Speaking:
A New Way to Learn from Our Experts

We recently launched The Houston Botanic Garden Show on our YouTube Channel. In it, Director of Education Dany Millikin offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Garden and introduces viewers to the expert staff members who help our Houston oasis thrive. You’ll also learn about upcoming events, like Radiant Nature, visits from authors, and more. Check out our first episode and subscribe to stay tuned for the next one coming soon. 

Keep an Eye Out for This Great Gin for a Good Cause

A unique member of Houston’s distillery scene is partnering with the Garden to add some local flavor to its Botanic Harvest Gin. With a strong commitment to sustainability and a mission that’s anchored by nature and inspired by innovation, the collaboration between Fox & Seeker and the Garden seems, well…natural. See what we learned from our recent interview with distillery founder Sean Anger, and find out how your next cocktail can support the Garden. 

The Botanic Harvest Gin will be available soon at Houston-area Spec’s locations!

Shop Truly Unique Gifts This Year

Looking to cross some holiday shopping off your list? Discover gift sets and gardening items at the Garden Shop.

The Garden Shop features unique gifts from small businesses and local crafts people, as well as toys and books for kids that promote the discovery of the natural world.

Check out the Garden Shop’s many stocking stuffers, from botanic lotions to herbal teas and hot chocolate.

What's Happening at the Garden

Vistor stands by table

Houston Plant Market

The first of two upcoming plant markets is scheduled for this Sunday, Nov. 12. Come shop a variety of local plant, craft, art, and food vendors, just in time for holiday shopping season. Can’t make it this month? Make plans to attend our next one on Dec. 2. 

Brunch & Bouquets

Try your hand at Ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of floral design. Sign up for our Saturday, Nov. 18, brunch workshop where you will create a beautiful arrangement for your Thanksgiving table, with help from artist and instructor Shaila Shah. Admission includes a light brunch of pastries and mimosas, as well as a flowering plant to take home and use to hone your new skills.

Visitors walk down a path at the Garden.

Sip, Sup & Stroll

Spend an autumn afternoon at the Garden and Sip, Sup & Stroll this Sunday, Nov. 12. It’s your chance to sample one of the latest creations from Equal Parts Brewing, a delicious beer infused with Mexican beautyberry (Callicarpa acuminata) and other botanicals harvested from the plants grown here. We’ll also have a selection of tasty appetizers to complement the new brew. 

Woman makes a wreath by hand on a wooden tabletop.

Wine & Wreaths

Grab your scissors and make your way to the Wine & Wreath event on Sunday, Nov. 19. Katherine McDaniel from Synkroniciti, an incubator for arts and creativity, will be your guide as you relax with a glass of wine and turn a combination of found natural objects and accessories into a beautiful 14” wreath. 

Explore More With Reciprocal Admissions Program

Every member of the Houston Botanic Garden can take advantage of the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program. This perk of membership provides special admission privileges and discounts at more than 340 gardens throughout North America, including 15 in Texas.

Mercer Botanic Gardens in Humble is always free to visit, but your Houston Botanic Garden membership lets you enjoy free or discounted rates on their special events and educational opportunities, as well as privileges at the on-site Baldwin Boettcher Branch library.  

Mercer Botanic Gardens
22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, TX 77338

Two young girls make nature themed crafts.

How Our Garden Grows:

Help Us End the Year Stronger Than Ever

This year, your gift can go TWICE as far — and create double the impact! Houston Botanic Garden supporters Cathy and Joe Cleary have offered to match all gifts of $100 or more made by December 31, 2023.

As 2023 comes to a close, consider making an end-of-year donation to Houston Botanic Garden to support our mission of enriching life through discovery, education, and the conservation of plants and the natural environment. 

You can give at any time by visiting our website or texting give2garden to 41444

Since its opening, the Garden has welcomed more than 246,000 guests, including almost 40,000 school children who are learning how to be good stewards of nature and care about conservation and sustainability. Your gift supports education and programming, including BotaniCamp and primary and secondary school trips. 

This holiday season, you might also consider making a tribute gift in honor of someone who appreciates nature as much as you do. 

Thank you for helping us maintain and grow the Garden as a place for discovery, celebration, and connection. 

Learn With Us

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

Staff teach attendees about bananas.

Two volunteers wearing gardening gloves weeding the garden.

Get Involved:

Volunteers Make All the Difference

From greeters to gardeners, organizers to educators, there’s no shortage of ways you can get involved at the Houston Botanic Garden. Our volunteers are vital members of our team, and we are always looking for more help. Reach out to us today to learn about how you can make a difference at the Garden. 

Private Rentals:

It's Time to Reserve Your Date

Elevate your corporate event this holiday season by creating an unforgettable experience at the Garden. Our beautiful atmosphere, accommodating spaces, and experienced team combine to create winter gatherings that are always a hit. This year, our Radiant Nature lantern installation is sure to give your party the extra glow your guests will remember. 

Large tent decorated for a private event.