Mercer Botanical Gardens
Located just 30 minutes from Downtown Houston, in the Humble TX area, the Mercer Botanic Garden offers a constant display of diversity and covers over 300 acres.
The gardens house the largest collection of cultivated and native plants in the region. They are also a living museum of natural history, and home to an array of animals that depend on them.
Visitors are welcome to stop by early and pack a picnic so they can explore the large acreage of native and cultivated plants, birds, butterflies, and other seasonal events.
Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, Texas divides the botanic gardens from the arboretum. The Botanic Gardens are located on the East Side. More than 60 acres of beautiful gardens, including bamboo, color displays, and daylilies, endangered species, gingers, herbs, and tropicals, can be found here. There is also a large walking trail system on the East Side, including a Remembrance Walk, which can be used to honor and memorialize people, ponds, a visitor’s center, and a courtyard plaza.
A garden in full bloom is the most iconic thing about springtime. Mercer Botanic Gardens, a peaceful, idyllic 400-acre space, is bursting with vibrant plant life, birds, and hatching Monarch butterflies. These gardens are located less than five miles from Highway 99 and Hardy Toll Road. They offer a peaceful, artistically designed environment where families can reconnect with nature. The gardens are free to enter. Regular classes, storytimes, lunches, and a springtime plant sale are all offered at the garden. Visitors can view winter plants give way to spring salvias, petunias as well as tropical pentas, Texas bluebonnets, and colorful spring salvias. Chris Ludwig, director of Mercer Botanic Gardens, says that visitors will see new things every time they visit. It’s always growing and changing. Aldine Westfield Road divides the property into two parts: the east side botanic garden and the west side arboretum. 60 acres of manicured gardens are found on the east side. This includes a children’s area, a plaza, goldfish pools, endangered species, and walking trails. Two playgrounds are located on the west side, as well as several miles of walking trails. There is also a Cypress swamp. The garden is unique in Houston. It was established by Charles and Thelma Mercer who purchased 14 acres of brambly woods along with Cypress Creek in 1949. They battled droughts, floods, and mosquitoes over the next 24 years to make their garden oasis. To make the land more suitable for hawthorne and dogwood trees, they gradually cleared the land. This property is still home to the couple. The couple designed and built the koi pond now known as “Thelma’s Pond”, which is a popular attraction for photography. In 1973, the couple decided to move to the Rio Grande Valley. Instead of selling their gardens to developers, they decided to sell the property at a much lower price to Harris County to provide education and enjoyment for the public. In a 1973 letter to Harris County, Thelma stated that the idea of bulldozers entering here and destroying nature’s work was difficult to accept. The garden is currently home to 350,000 visitors each year and plans to expand. The gardens will reopen their Creekside Ramble area and Storey Lake in June. These areas were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey. To allow for further expansion, plans also include the construction of new production greenhouses in the southern part of the property. GARDEN FUN FACTS + Mercer Botanic Gardens began as a 14-acre property with small garden areas donated to the county by Charles and Thelma Mercer to be kept and maintained as public gardens. The center has the largest ginger collection in southeast Texas + The gardens have propagated several thousand “Mercer has grown” vegetables and native plants that can be purchased by local residents + Mercer maintains a national seed bank of rare native species for restoration and research and a prairie preserve for 200 native species, four of which are rare 22306 Aldine Westfield Road Humble, Texas 77338 Hcp4.net/Parks/Mercer/ 713-274-4160 PULL QUOTE “We are a beautiful green oasis where you can escape and enjoy nature and see a wide variety of plant material that can be grown in the Houston area.”
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Check out this article about another great local attraction to the Humble, TX area.