News Categories: Mercer Botanic Gardens

08 May
By: Communications 0

What’s in Bloom at Mercer Botanic Gardens

Wondering what’s in bloom at Mercer? Check out some of these beauties below!

Louisiana Iris

Not too many flowers thrive in a swamp, but the Louisiana iris is a gorgeous exception. Blooming from mid-April through May, this water-loving iris features blooms that come in a variety of colors with tough, sword-like leaves that grow several feet tall. Find these colorful plants throughout Mercer’s Hickory Bog.

Indian Pink

Texans can’t resist the scarlet brilliance of Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica), a Texas native that grows near woodland areas. It sends up stems with one-sided spikes of scarlet flowers topped with a yellow, star-shaped lobe. This perennial is blooming now in the Native and Endangered Species Garden.

Purple Coneflower

Bluebonnets may be the state’s showiest wildflower, but purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea and hybrids) are the most enduring. Popping up in dense purple clusters, this perennial typically starts blooming in April and continues through winter. Perfect for dry, rocky areas and prairies, this classic flower is Hill Country royalty that can add pizzazz to any landscape.

Larkspur

These flowers are divine! Now in full bloom, larkspur features 4-foot-tall glowing blue, purple, pink, and white blooms. As a fun bonus, many people think the center of larkspur resembles the face of a rabbit. Find this plant in the Mercer Herb Garden and lining Mercer’s entrance.

Daylily

There’s nothing like a field of daylilies in full bloom. Although blooms only last a day, flower stalks continue producing new blooms for up to three weeks. Mercer’s daylily collection, which lines the trails near the Tropical Garden, has just started forming buds that will bloom in May and June. Some rebloomers will continue blooming through summer.

Salvia

Salvia is another reliable performer at Mercer. These heat-resistant and hardy plants feature tubular flowers that are magnets for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees through summer. Texas sage (Salvia coccinea) comes in red, white and coral shades. Anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica) features blue and purple varieties.

For a complete listing, click here www.hcp4.net/parks/mercer/inbloom/.

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08 May
By: Communications 0

Enjoy a Day in the Tropics at Mercer Botanic Gardens

Harris County residents can explore the world of tropical plants during next month’s all-day Tropical Symposium at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Activities will include tropical plant presentations, a plumeria workshop, a tour of the tropical garden, and an exclusive tropical plant sale.

Discover new tropical plants during the Tropical Garden Walk and Talk with Ceil Dow, The Mercer Society’s ginger grower and a Harris County master gardener. Guests can also learn techniques to propagate plumeria from seeds and cuttings with Galveston County Master Gardener Loretta Osteen.

Keynote speaker Timothy Chapman, a well-known ginger expert, will give an overview of the ginger family, identify select gingers, and discuss new plants debuting at the symposium. Darla Harris, the president of the Texas Gulf Coast Fern Society, will explore ideal fern choices for Houston-area gardens. Mercer Greenhouse Manager Jacob Martin will focus on underrated and cold-hardy tropical species.

The Tropical Symposium will run Saturday, July 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seating is limited, and registration is required. Attendees will receive a light breakfast and a tropical-themed lunch. The cost is $50 for members of The Mercer Society and $60 for non-members. For additional information, contact Mercer’s Education Director Jennifer Garrison at 713-274-4160 or mercerbotanicgardens@hcp4.net.

Mercer Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 Parks facility located one mile north of FM 1960 at 22306 Aldine Westfield Road in Humble.

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08 Mar
By: Communications 0

Prepping for Spring

You may be wondering what you can do out in the yard this weekend and in the coming weeks to prepare for adding new spring color and plants around your home.

Check out these tips to prepare the soil in your flower beds, tidy up your edging, and get your yard ready to flourish this spring!

To prepare your flower beds, simply apply a top dressing of high-quality compost like Cotton Burr or Leaf Mold. You may be tempted to till or turn over the soil, but there’s already a fantastic ecosystem established there that’s best left undisturbed. Nutrients from the top will work their way to the bottom and enhance the properties of your soil.

You’ll also want to clear out any weeds from your beds and consider adding a weed preventer, unless you’re planting bulbs. Then you may choose to add a thin layer of mulch to act as an additional weed barrier, help retain moisture during dry periods, and serve an attractive feature to your home’s curb appeal.

You can also enhance the appearance of your flower beds by tidying up the edging of your flower beds. If it’s been a while since the trenches and shape of your flower beds were established, you might want to re-trench and consider cleaning up the stones or brick. Many times, homeowners don’t mind the look of moss that grows on stones. It can be considered an added color, or even texture, to your overall landscape design. But if you find the moss unsightly, you can spray a fungicide to get rid of the growth.

Now that your flower beds are ready, you’ll also want to prevent weeds from growing in your lawn too. What good is a beautiful garden without a lush healthy lawn to complement it? Try an effective pre-emergent that will stop weed seeds from germinating. But avoid weed and feed products that could be harmful to trees and shrubs in your yard.

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