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Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Humble, Texas

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Azaleas in bloom at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Azaleas in bloom at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Evolving Garden Design

This fantastic Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Garden opened to the public in 1974. My husband and I visited there along with both of our mothers about three decades ago. The changes in the landscape from the time of our first visit to our recent one is dramatic!

Much of the back part of the botanical gardens was naturally wooded. Now, most of that 325-acre property has been cultivated into more garden spaces showcasing a myriad of plants that grow well here from all around the world. They certainly have space, but it took a lot of time and effort to create the gardens, such as they exist today.

We have very moderate temperatures in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area. It would be time well spent visiting these gardens during every season of the year. Plants, trees, and bushes would be flowering at different times.

You can tell from my photos that we visited these glorious gardens in the spring of the year. The redbud and magnolia trees were in bloom as well as azaleas, camellias, and a host of other plants.

Closeup of sculpture of Thelma Loraine Mercer

Closeup of sculpture of Thelma Loraine Mercer

Thelma Loraine Mercer

The photo above shows a portion of the Thelma Loraine Mercer sculpture. It had a sign at the bottom, which had the following information posted on it.

"Visionary naturalist and innovative horticulturist, Thelma Mercer and her husband, Charles, created a charming and unique garden sanctuary on the original 14.5-acre property that would become Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens on January 8, 1974. Her legacy endures in this place of beauty, serenity, and learning that is enjoyed by all who enter these gates."

Hours of Operation and Location

The Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens are open to the public every day. There is no admission fee. March through October, the hours of operation are from 8 am to dusk. From November through February, the hours are from 8 am to 5 pm. The only days of the year that they are closed are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day, and Thanksgiving.

You can find these spectacular gardens at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, Texas 77338.

Goals

The preservation of native plant species is one feature of what this botanical garden has as a goal. More importantly, they have taken on the responsibility of preserving endangered plant species. They work together with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) in caring for threatened or endangered species.

According to one of their brochures, over 866 plant species are endangered or threatened to become extinct. The same leaflet states that 200 have already become extinct. We could have lost potentially life-saving medicines developed from those plants which are no longer around. It is worth time and effort to save those bordering on the endangered list!

Classes

Gardening classes are available at Mercer Arboretum. If interested in becoming a master gardener, it can be accomplished there. Landscape design classes are a portion of what one can learn.

These classes would be perfect for those starting with a blank canvas! Expensive mistakes need not happen if one learns about the proper soil, light needs, and hardiness of plants suited for our local climate.

There is every type of garden imaginable at Mercer Arboretum and botanic gardens. Rock gardens to perennial, herb, bamboo, tropical, and formal gardens are all found there. Considering that the plants are entirely outside, a person can get an idea of what does well in our climate.

Charitable Entity

The Mercer Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. People wishing to support the gardens can help in many ways.

Three significant plant sales are held each year during March, June, and October. It draws plant lovers from near and far! Unique plants are available as well as typical ones that do well in our warm, humid climate. There is also a gift shop selling plants on a year-round basis.

Sponsorship is another way of raising much-needed funds. It can help preserve endangered plants while honoring a loved one. Plaques displayed in the gardens honor those whose names are remembered through donations at various levels.

The Plaza Pond at Mercer Arboretum

The Plaza Pond at Mercer Arboretum

Garden Entrance

When first entering the garden, one sees a pond with some sculptures and plants. That feature was there during our initial visit. A plaque reads as follows:

“The Plaza Pond

Constructed in 1985, the plaza fountain pond is 14 inches deep and holds 1800 gallons of water. The bronze and copper fountain, a series of three sculptures consisting of cattails, iris blossoms and arrowheads, is an original design from an artist in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Water lilies, water snowflakes, parrot’s feather, horsetail, umbrella palm with Japanese Koi and goldfish make this pond a favorite spot for children and adults.”

The east side was the first area developed and has many of the formal gardens and manicured lawn area. It also contains the visitor center with restrooms and classrooms for those taking courses learning about plants. A library is located there as well as a building called the volunteer cottage.

The west side of the gardens has many trails. Some have steps leading up to places where one can overlook the Cypress Creek, which borders the entire garden on the north side.

Photography

We saw a professional photographer taking photos in the garden that day. Many distinct areas exist within the expansive grounds of the Mercer Arboretum.

I must have taken hundreds of photos with my digital camera on the day of our visit. There is so much to admire! The images here are a small sampling.

There were several families taking photos of their girls wearing quinceanera dresses. Photographs taken in those lovely gardens would forever document their 15th birthdays.

Source:

Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

The goals of the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens are indeed worth celebrating. It is such a visual treat visiting them as well as educational.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 21, 2020:

The botanical garden is a visual treat. Its goals are much appreciated. I would love to visit it. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2020:

Hi Dolores,

You are correct. Botanical gardens offer so much to us by way of inspiration as well as sheer beauty.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 23, 2020:

I enjoyed your article on Mercer Gardens. There is nothing like a botanical garden or arboretum for some inspiration. Not only for the peace and beauty, but to get ideas for our own home gardens.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

Mercer Gardens is a wondrous place to visit for people who like plants. So glad you enjoyed my photos. I wish you safety also! Thanks for your visit.

C E Clark from North Texas on July 09, 2020:

Just love your gorgeous photos! This looks like such a lovely relaxing place to visit . . .

Posting this to FB & AH.

Try to stay safe . . .

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Linda,

Quinceaneras are very popular in Hispanic cultures, so we see a lot of that down here. Happy to share photos of these beautiful botanic gardens with you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Visiting gardens when traveling can be so rewarding. I agree!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Dora,

In an abundance of caution, many of our parks were shut down during Easter. I do not know if this one is open for visitors now. We are staying pretty much in our neighborhood when walking these days.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Heidi,

Sometimes it is not that crowded depending upon the time and day of the week a person chooses to visit. Weekends are always more crowded.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Yes, the name is Humble, Texas. During the oil boom, Humble Oil used to be headquartered there. So glad you enjoyed my photos of the plants and gardens.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 21, 2020:

I enjoy reading all of your articles, but my favorite ones are about nature. This sounds like another lovely garden to visit! I've never heard of a quinceanera before. I appreciate the education.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2020:

Hi Umesh,

So glad to know that you enjoyed this article. Thanks for your comment.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 21, 2020:

You have produced an excellent review of these gardens. Your photos are excellent. We often look out for botanical gardens when we are travelling.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 20, 2020:

Visiting this garden would uplift the spirit at a time like this, to distract us from the social distancing, lockdowns and all the other inconveniences. Hoping the weather is right. Thanks for the tour and the beautiful pictures.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on April 20, 2020:

This looks so pretty! Seems like a nice place to self-isolate... if you could get it all to your self. :) Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

This is such a beautiful site! I am glad you enjoyed my photos and information about it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2020:

Is that really the name of that city? Now there is an article waiting to be written. Why Humble?

Love the gardens!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 19, 2020:

Beautiful article. Well presented.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 19, 2020:

The Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Garden is stunning in its beauty.Of course, your pictures are beautiful but I love nature's flowers and plants.I really like the bottlebrush plants as I think they are unique. This looks like wonderful place to visit.