By Bryan Carey

It has often been stressed that we should stop and smell the roses whenever possible. Of course, this statement is normally made in the metaphorical sense, but there is something quite invigorating, even therapeutic, about seeing fresh flowers in a natural setting. Houston has several public gardens and other places known for their colorful, inviting landscape. Here are the best flower beds in Houston:

Bayou Bend Collection And Gardens
6003 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77265
(713) 639-7750

Unique among the flower beds in Houston, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is part of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and includes the former home of former Houston civic leader Ima Hogg. Art collections are found inside the house and surrounding it are 14 acres of gardens containing some of the most memorable flower beds in the city. Azaleas, tulips, and other assorted flowers are great for photo opportunities and the trails through the gardens contain other beautiful scenery. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is one of the largest and best of its kind in the Houston area and is perfect for those who love nature and art.

Japanese Gardens
6001 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77265
(713) 524-5876

Hermann Park is known to all Houstonians as a fun place to enjoy a little bit of nature within the city limits. The Japanese Gardens are part of this larger park complex and they feature assorted flowers throughout the year. The most popular and many say the prettiest of the flowers are the Sakura Cherry flowers, which bloom in late winter/early spring each year. A walk through the Japanese Gardens is peaceful and enjoyable, presenting an atmosphere ideal for reflection and meditation.

Mercer Arboretum And Botanical Gardens
22306 Aldine Westfield Road
Humble, TX 77338
(713) 274-4160

Thelma and Charles Mercer, two Houston natives with an interest in horticulture, founded the Mercer Botanical Gardens many decades ago. Today, their legacy lives on at the Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, located just north of downtown Houston. The large, lush garden features native plants, flowers, and wildlife and it is recommended that all visitors take the short hike to turtle pond where they will see dozens of these shelled reptiles gathered in and around the water. Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is an educational experience, too, and all of its plants and flowers are clearly identified and described for future reference.

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Cockrell Butterfly Center
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 639-4629

An excellent choice for a rainy day activity, Cockrell Butterfly Center is located inside the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Focusing on butterflies and insects, this educational center contains dozens of butterfly species and visitors can get to know these colorful insects on a personal level. Of course, butterflies like flowers and Cockrell Butterfly Center is loaded with flowers for your viewing enjoyment. It is one of the few places in the Houston area that features flower beds in an indoor setting, making it perfect for those who would rather avoid the unpredictability of Houston’s weather conditions while they look at beautiful flowers and the insects that frequent them.

Helen’s Garden
701 E. Main St.
League City, TX 77573
(281) 554-1180

One garden outside of the immediate city limits but every bit as worthwhile is Helen’s Garden. Located in the suburb of League City, Helen’s Garden is popular among locals as a place to hold weddings and other ceremonial or celebratory events. Helen’s Garden is more intimate than other gardens, with a smaller space but well- maintained gardens, including eye- pleasing flower beds. Helen’s Garden is just a short distance from downtown Houston and is a nice garden for those who want to soak up the beauty of nature without the crowds.

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