OUTDOOR CORNER – Houston’s Botanical Gardens

Sep 16, 2021 | News

The diversity of the Bayou City has long been one of its defining characteristics, so it’s fitting that the Houston Botanic Garden chose diversity as a design emphasis. This theme is especially prominent in the global collections gardens, a centerpiece of the 132-acre grounds featuring flora from all over the world. The garden, designed by Dutch architecture firm West 8, opened to the public in September 2020. It wasn’t easy to open a venue during a pandemic, but the garden’s team saw it as an opportunity to provide a safe place for visitors to discover something new. “People were clearly hungry to get outdoors,” says Justin Lacey, director of communications and community engagement. Perusing the global collection, and its elaborately designed covered walkway, Lacey jokes, “you can go around the world in three acres.” 1 Botanic Lane, 713-715-9675

Just outside the Houston city limits, the trails and boardwalks of Mercer Botanic Gardens sprawl over four hundred lush acres, which are managed by Harris County, and where admission is free. Over the years, the garden’s staff have been frequent collaborators with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on plant conservation and research projects, and Mercer is host to a native and endangered species garden. Eclectic touches are scattered throughout the grounds, including a small plot near the entrance that is filled only with species named in the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble, 713-274-4160

A Guide to Texas’s Best Botanical Gardens – Texas Monthly