While the city is more reminiscent of an urban jungle, there does lay lush pockets of flora manifested in parks, trails, and gardens. Discover Houston’s tiny pockets of Eden this season at these 10 gorgeous Houston gardens.
At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the artwork isn’t confined to the building. Formerly the home of philanthropist and civic leader, Ima Hogg, Bayou Bend is a collection of art pieces, fine American furnishings, silver, and ceramics. Situated on 14 acres of gardens. in River Oaks, the Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens features an array of superb gardens blooming with flowers, trees, and pristine hedges.
When visiting any garden flourishing with a spectrum of colorful plant varieties, its often the general impression that’s most impactful. That said, let us throw you a couple stats on the McGovern Centennial Gardens that might measure in to your amazement upon your visit: 490 trees spanning 50 species, 760 hedge shrubs, 55,000 perennial bulbs, 650 azaleas, and 4.5 acres of grass – not to mention its four gardens. Enter through the Peter Bohlin-designed Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion.
- J.M. Stroud Rose Garden: Planted comfortably in Hermann Park, the J.M. Stroud Rose Garden is an enchanting garden hidden in plain sight. Inside its sculpted hedges, the garden is populated with antique roses ranging from polyanthas, Chinas, and climbers, to found garden roses and more. Its pathways, park benches, and pink-popping archways, lend its overall pleasantness.
- Woodland Garden: Retreat in the dappled shade of the Woodland Garden in Hermann Park. Here, native underwood trees provide ample respite for azaleas, camellias, blue mistflowers, summer snowflakes, and blue gingers.
The Japanese Garden, also known as the Friendship Garden, was designed by renowned Japanese landscape architect, Ken Nakajama. The late Nakajama, who arranged similar gardens all around the world, designed the Hermann Park Japanese Garden according to traditional Daimyo style. Over five acres, the elegant terrain features comely touches of lush flora, a stone Yukimi-style lantern, shaded stone paths, bridges, and cascading waterfalls.
Dubbing itself “a living museum”, the Houston Botanic Garden features 132 acres of natural ecosystems, walking trails, and horticultural displays. Strewn about this luscious oasis are a variety of groves, wetlands, glades, and green spaces. Among these spaces, are four separate gardens filled with beautiful plants from all around the world.
Enter a stunning, three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall. This simulated tropical rain forest is filled with exotic plants and thousands of live butterflies. As you walk through the three-story glass rain forest at your own pace, feast your eyes on a rainbow of color provided by the thousands of live, fluttering butterflies and exotic flowering plant species. Absorb all the beauty of the living rain forest, and then make your way to the Brown Hall of Entomology and witness astounding living insects, spectacular mounted specimens, larger-than-life models, and interactive games!
Boasting the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants, Mercer Botanic Garden spans nearly 400 acres in Humble. The east side botanic gardens alone comprise over 60 acres of ferns, daylilies, tropical, and more. Furthermore, an extensive walking trail system allows visitors to gracefully stroll through the colorful displays, ponds, courtyard plaza, memorials, and honorariums. While visiting, don’t forget to check out the woodland west side arboretum, consisting of a hickory bog, boardwalk, maple collection, as well as walking trails, picnic tables, and barbecue pavilions.
Formerly known as the Peckerwood Garden, the John Fairey Garden is a 10-acre botanic gem midway between Houston and College Station. Filled with over 3,000 rare and unusual plants from the likes of Mexico and Asia as well as the United States, the garden also features a number of sculptures, mosaics, and murals.
Nestled in the courtyard of Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church, The Cloister Garden is a true hidden gem in Houston. Inspired by the cathedral ground plans of the Middle Ages, the quadrangle features a fountain centerpiece, surrounded by a garden of shrubs, paintings, park benches, and a grass lawn. As such, the garden offers a floral oasis in Uptown, Houston.