With leadership from Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 Parks facility located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble, 77338. Harris County Precinct 4 programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, sex, religion, national origin, or physical ability. Anyone seeking additional information or requiring special assistance to participate in any program should contact Mercer at 281-443-8731 or online at www.hcp4.net/mercer.
Recently, Mercer announced its summer program schedule:
Cypress Creek Daylily Show. Sat., May 10, noon – 4:30 p.m. Come out to see favorite large and small blooms as they put on a stunning show! Cultivars like spiders with long, draping petals and others with frilled and picotee edges or dark eye zones will be on display. Daylilies bloom in the hot months in full sun and are show stoppers in any garden.
Lunch Bunch: Butterfly Gardening – If You Plant It, They Will Come. Wed., May 14, noon – 2 p.m. Join horticulturist Zac Stayton of the Cockrell Butterfly Center as he discusses butterflies native to the Houston area, their favorite host and nectar plants, and how to create a backyard butterfly oasis.
Bromeliad Sale & Show. Fri., Sat., and Sun., May 16, 17, and 18. Members of the Houston Bromeliad Society present “Bromeliads: Jewels of the Garden” during this local show, which is judged by international bromeliad experts. The show will be on display in the Visitor Center on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The plant sale, which features every genus that performs well in the Houston area, is open on Friday noon to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Lunch Bunch: Hummingbirds – Myth, Magic, and Mystery. Wed., June 11, noon – 2 p.m. Explore some of the urban myths about these tiny travelers with Mark Klym, Texas Parks & Wildlife program coordinator.
Plant Hunters: A World of Exploration. Mon., June 23 – Fri., June 27, 9 a.m. – noon. This week-long exploration camp will introduce children to the world of plants. Using Mercer’s living collections, children will learn about the different habitats around the world where plants live from rain forests to wetlands. Participants will learn about botany, ecology, and geography through fun, interactive, and hands-on activities that will spark their imaginations and sense of adventure. This program is available to children entering the 4th and 5th grades. Please call Mercer at 281-443-8731 for program and registration details.
Lunch Bunch: Secrets of Brewery. Wed., July 9, noon – 2 p.m. Southern Star Brewery, the craft beer brewery based out of Conroe, will share brewing secrets and information about the plants used to make it all possible. An ancient practice, considered by some to be an art form, beer brewing utilizes various plants to create the familiar drink enjoyed by many.
Plant Hunters: A World of Exploration. Mon., July 13 – Fri., July 25, 9 a.m. – noon. This week-long exploration camp will introduce children to the world of plants. Using Mercer’s living collections, children will learn about the different habitats around the world where plants live from rain forests to wetlands. Participants will learn about botany, ecology, and geography through fun, interactive, and hands-on activities that will spark their imaginations and sense of adventure. This program is available to children entering the 4th and 5th grades. Please call Mercer at 281-443-8731 for program and registration details.
Texas Rose Rustlers Meeting Sat., July 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This Rookie Rustler meeting is open to the public in order to help enthusiasts learn the etiquette of rustling old garden roses, how to propagate from cuttings, and then grow their favorite flower. For more details, visit www.texasroserustlers.com or call Mercer at 281-443-8731.
Summer Color Plant Sale and Lectures. Sat., July 26, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Splash into summer with this one-day immersion into perfect solutions for gardening in the heat. Special guest speakers will share their gardening expertise and highlight outstanding plants for Texas summers that will be available in the plant sale. Conference participants can take advantage of a plant sale that morning, which opens later in the day to the public. Reservations and a fee are required, so please call 281-443-8731 for additional details.
Lunch Bunch: Orchid Growing 101. Wed., Aug. 13, noon – 2 p.m. Bruce Cameron of The Houston Orchid Society and Orchid Obsession Nursery will teach the basics of orchid care and inform participants of the best varieties to grow in yards and homes.
Children’s Story Time in the Garden. Third Monday of the month, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Children’s Librarian Maggie Hope at Baldwin Boettcher, along with Mercer volunteer docents, share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents in the Mercer gardens. A craft project is included. Check in at the Visitor Center for the specific location. Free.
May 19: Over Under in the Garden by Pat Schories
June 16: 12 Days of Summer by Jan Andrews
July 21: What if? by Laura Seeger
August 18: In the Small Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Chrysanthemum Society. Fourth Friday of most months, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. These monthly meetings include discussions about growing chrysanthemums and floral arrang¬ing. The Society also provides plants for Mercer’s collection. Please call 281-443-8731 for more informa¬tion.
Bonsai Society Saturday Study Group. Meets every three months on the first Saturday; Next meeting is July 5, 9 a.m. – noon. Meet under the treehouse portico to mentor, cri¬tique and learn more about this living art form.
Tai Chi for Arthritis. Every Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Join certified instructor John Spencer for this free beginners class that helps relieve pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia, relieves stress, and improves balance in the calming atmosphere of the garden. Most classes will meet outdoors under the treehouse portico or near Baldwin Boettcher Library.
Mercer Moments: Your Livable Garden Radio Show. Listen every Saturday or Sunday morning. Shawn and Blinda Kelley chat and chuckle about various gardening topics and the best plants to grow in Houston while featuring Mercer staff members on the show. The radio show airs Saturday mornings from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Houston’s KSEV 700 AM and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KPRC 950 AM.
Distinguished Lecture Series: Exploration to Exploitation – The Road from Plant Discovery to Market. Thur., September 4, 6:30 p.m. Discover the secrets of how and why new plants fit into different markets niches during this “behind the scenes” look at the nursery world at the Houston Museum of Natural Science with Tony Avent, founder of Juniper Level Botanic Gardens and owner of Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina. For ticket information, please call 713-639-4629 or visit www.hmns.org/lectures.
Distinguished Lecture Series: Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World. Thur., September 25, 6:30 p.m. Join Dr. Peter Raven, president emeritus of Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science during this look at the various factors threatening plant species and the conservation methods that can help save them. For ticket information, please call 713-639-4629 or visit www.hmns.org/lectures.