The staff at Mercer Gardens is gearing up for a beautiful summer and has a number of fun and educational programs planned. Be sure to put on or more of these upcoming events on your summer calendar of activities.
May Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Lunch Bunch at Mercer Gardens: Houston Audubon Presents Birds of the Bayou City. Wednesday, May 13, noon – 2 p.m. Learn about birds, bird conservation, migration and how to attract birds to your backyard. This free, interactive program features live hawks and owls. To register or receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Cypress Creek Daylily Club Flower Show Saturday, May 9, 1 p.m. – 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.
Bromeliad Society Annual Sale and Show. Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17. Members of the Houston Bromeliad Society present “An Artist’s Palette” 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 3:30 p.m. The plant sale, which features every genus that performs well in the Houston area, is open on Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
June Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Lunch Bunch at Mercer Gardens: Starting Up a Worm Composting Bin. Wednesday, June 10, noon – 2 p.m. The United Nations declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils! How will you celebrate soil? You might want to start with the help of the small, but mighty, red wiggler worms! Improve the health of the soil in your garden with nutrient-rich worm castings collected from your own worm composting system. Learn how to set up a worm composting bin, identify what to feed the worms, and how to harvest and use the castings. To register or receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Summer Color Conference and Plant Sale Saturday, June 13, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. This popular annual event features a sale of fantastic summer garden selections coupled with inspiring lectures that will help you choose the right plants and grow them to perfection. This year’s event takes place just before Father’s Day – give dad a gift that grows! To register or receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
July Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Lunch Bunch at Mercer Gardens: Monarchs & Milkweed. Wednesday, July 8, noon – 2 p.m. Learn about growing milkweeds and attracting monarch butterflies to your yard. Various species of milkweed will be available as door prizes! To register or receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Texas Rose Rustlers Annual Meeting. Saturday, July 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Join the Rose Rustlers during this annual meeting that features guest speakers, a pot luck lunch and rose propagation demonstrations. Roses and other plants will be given as door prizes. This Rookie Rose Rustler meeting is open to the public. Check www.texasroserustlers.com for more details or call Mercer at 281-443-8731.
Garden Explorers: Mercer’s 2015 Children’s Summer Camps. Tuesdays through Thursdays, July 14-30, 9 a.m. – noon.
- Mercer Gardens Summer Camp: A-B Seeds July 14 – July 16 for children entering Kindergarten and Grade 1. Discover seeds and explore the gardens during this three-day camp. From a sensory garden safari to creating a seed head buddy and observing the colors of popcorn kernels, children will look forward to crafts, activities, laughter and friendship.
- Mercer Garden Summer Camp: Butterflies & Bees: July 21 – July 23 for children entering Grades 2 and 3. Explore the gardens and investigate pollinators during this lively, three-day camp. Spot pollinators visiting flowers during a habitat survey, share your crafty side while constructing honeycombs, test your skills while playing nature-themed games and more!
- Mercer Botanic Gardens: Tip-Top Trees: July 28 – July 30 for children entering Grades 4 and 5. “Travel the world” by identifying trees native to Africa, China, Mexico and more. Scout out a cypress swamp and hickory bog, examine a tree cookie and test your skills while playing nature-themed team games.
August Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Project Learning Tree PreK–8 Workshop.. Wednesday, Aug. 5, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Become a Project Learning Tree certified educator and receive 6 hours of SBEC and TEEAC credit. Investigate environmental topics and participate in engaging, hands-on indoor and outdoor activities. Receive PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide, correlated to national and state academic standards. Register on the calendar of events page at plttexas.org. Project Learning Tree is sponsored in Texas by the Texas Forestry Association and the Texas A&M Forest Service. For additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731 or visit plttexas.org.
Lunch Bunch at Mercer Gardens: The Botanics of Beer Brewing. Wednesday, Aug. 12, noon – 2 p.m. Local craft beer brewers from Southern Star Brewing Company will delight you with the history of the plants used for this ancient craft. To register or receive additional information, contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Ongoing Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Story Time in the Gardens. Third Monday of the month, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mercer volunteers share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents. Check in at the Visitor Center for the specific location of this free event in the gardens.
Lunch Bunch. Second Wednesday of each month, noon – 2 p.m. Join fabulous speakers at these free presentations that cover various topics. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch to enjoy during the events. All ages are invited to Lunch Bunch presentations.
Chrysanthemum Society. Fourth Friday of most months, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Upcoming meetings: May 22, June 26, July 24, and Aug. 28. These monthly meetings include discussions about growing chrysanthemums and floral arranging. The society also provides plants for Mercer’s collection.
Cypress Creek Daylily Society. Sundays, Sept. 27, Oct. 25, and Dec. 6, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Meet in the Visitor Center to learn about gardening with daylilies.
Upcoming Events at Mercer Botanic Gardens
Texas Gulf Coast Gardener Tier I: Intro to Gardening. Tuesdays, Sept. 22 through Nov.17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break. Participants are immersed in the essential points of gardening in the Texas Gulf Coast region during this 9-week course through lectures, demonstrations and exploring the gardens. To receive additional information, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Texas Gulf Coast Gardener Tier II: Outstanding Landscape Plants. Thursdays, Sept. 24 through Nov. 19, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Become familiar with the great variety of plants that thrive in the Texas Gulf Coast region during this 9-week course. Participants will become knowledgeable in horticulture, propagation and botany of exciting and unique plants through lectures, demonstrations and exploring the gardens. To receive additional information, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.
Moonlight Over Mercer: Dine, Dance and Donate. Saturday, Oct. 17, 5 p.m. Party-goers will dine under the stars while bidding on unique and extraordinary treasures. A silent auction with a wine and beer reception kicks off the evening followed by a catered dinner and a live auction. Proceeds benefit special garden projects and programs at Mercer. To receive additional information, call Mercer Botanic Gardens at 281-443-8731.