Houstonians who long for the island life no longer have to trek to Galveston (although it’s a lovely visit, to be sure). Houston Botanic Garden has officially opened to the public as of September 18 and boasts a lush, 132-acre green space, half of which is located on an island.
Nestled east of I-45 South on Park Place Boulevard, the just-opened space — which was once a municipal golf course — is surrounded by the original Sims Bayou meander on three sides, and the later Sims channel to its south.
The Houston Botanic Garden has transformed the island, and the adjacent South Gardens on the opposite side of the Sims channel, into an area offering up horticultural marvels and outdoor gallery spaces.
These spaces showcase a collection of tropical, subtropical, and arid plants from around the world to showcase the biodiversity that thrives along the Texas Gulf Coast, according to a press release. The garden is designed by West 8, an award-winning international landscape designer.
Here are some of the features visitors can expect, according to a release:
- Global Collection Garden: Three acres of regionally themed zones that demonstrate the wide variety of diverse and beautiful plants from around the world that flourish in Houston’s climate.
- Culinary Garden: An artistic display of edible and medicinal plants – many of which visitors could grow in their own yards – that have served as a basis for economic and cultural exchange across the history of the world.
- Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden: A sensory-engaging area that presents opportunities for families to engage with nature in a variety of ways, including a boardwalk maze around a lagoon; simple water machines, and nature play structures crafted from trees that previously grew on the property.
- Woodland Glade: An intimate-yet-open space that visitors can rent – beginning later in the fall – to host weddings and other celebrations under a mature overstory of trees surrounded by the beauty of magnolias and sculpted hedges.
To toast the opening, the garden is hosting a series of weekend events to showcase how visitors can connect with plants in several regions of the world from which plants in the Garden originate:
- September 18, 19, and 20 – Celebrating Latin America
- October 2, 3, and 4 – Celebrating Asia
- October 16, 17, and 18 – Celebrating Africa
- October 30, 31, and November 1 – Celebrating the Mediterranean
The garden’s entry is located at 8210 Park Place Blvd., and is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. Ticket prices on Mondays-Thursdays are $12.50 for adults and $8 for students (with current ID) and children age 3 and older; prices on Fridays-Sundays are $15 for adults and $10 for students (with current ID) and children age 3 and older.