Mercer Botanic Gardens’ Renaissance Garden Progresses

Mercer Botanic Gardens is a step closer to completing a key section of its Renaissance Garden after receiving a $5,175 grant from the Houston Garden Club. The grant will be used to purchase six silver date palms to line the existing Cypress Promenade in the Renaissance Garden.

“This garden will be unique at Mercer for its formal architecture and structured plantings. There are not many public spaces like this in the Gulf Coast region, so it should attract a lot of admirers when it is completed,” said Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle.

A project of The Mercer Society, the Renaissance Garden has been in the works since late 2012 and will cost about $250,000 to complete. Plans include incorporating classic columns, statues, arbors, fountains and reflective pools into a series of themed garden rooms including the Cypress Promenade, Citrus Walk, as well as Temple of Dreams and Neptune’s Grotto. Mediterranean garden plantings such as Italian cypress, oleander, grape, citrus and Texas native creeping silver cenizo will complement the formal architecture.

Mediterranean garden plantings such as Italian cypress trees line the existing Cypress Promenade in the Renaissance Garden
Mediterranean garden plantings such as Italian cypress trees line the existing Cypress Promenade in the Renaissance Garden

Date palms, cultivated for thousands of years in parts of the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, will add contrast to the Italian cypress trees in the low-lying flower beds of the Cypress Promenade, framing the entire garden. When planted later this year, the palms will measure about 12- to 15-feet tall, but can grow to 40 or 50 feet in about 30 years.

“Silver date palms will make a wonderful addition to this formal garden,” said Mercer Director Darrin Duling. “We hope the new trees will inspire the community to visit this already spectacular garden, as well as support our vision for it.”

Improvements to the Renaissance Garden include planting six silver date palms in two lawn areas of the Cypress Promenade.
Improvements to the Renaissance Garden include planting six silver date palms in two lawn areas of the Cypress Promenade.

Renderings of the planned project are on display in Mercer’s Visitor Center and the west entrance to the Renaissance Garden. To make a donation, please contact The Mercer Society, a nonprofit organization that supports Mercer through fundraising and awareness efforts. To learn more about Mercer, visit www.hcp4.net/community/parks/mercer.