Say hello to our newest arrival, a John Deere Utility Vehicle. In late November, The Mercer Society received notification that they were the recipients of a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for the acquisition of this beautiful utility vehicle. Our previous 12-year old vehicle was struggling before Hurricane Harvey but when Harvey dumped over 8 feet of water on the mechanics, that was the final blow. So, this grant award was truly a welcomed gift. The staff and volunteers are all delighted with the new vehicle and as soon as it was delivered to the NorthSide Growing Compound it did not take much time before our newest volunteer was to put to work preparing for March Mart and the grand reopening of the Gardens on March 17th. Our sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for this lifesaver!
Our First Annual Mercer Valentine’s Day Rose Plant Event was a huge success so we wish to take a moment to acknowledge and thank everyone that supported this first-time event. Thank you!
All proceeds from this event benefitted restoration of Mercer Botanic Gardens and The Mercer Society following Hurricane Harvey’s devastating blow.
We will back next year with the Second Annual Mercer Valentine’s Day Rose Plant event…see you then!
Thanks for making a difference!
The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe has reopened at 400 Main Street in Old Town Spring while restoration work continues at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Hours for the new location are Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. For more information, please contact the gift shoppe staff at 281-651-5475
The Mercer Society Gift & Plant Shoppe: Visit the new location for The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe for special discounts on all Christmas clearance and more! Our plants have been taken to the greenhouses for protection during these cold and freezing temperatures. As soon as the weather stabilizes, the plants will return to the Plant deck at the Gift Shoppe. Thank you for your patience.
Need a Great Gift Idea for friends and family: They will love a Mercer Society Gift Membership and you will give twice – to your recipient and to The Mercer Society. Special benefits come with membership, get all the details on our Membership Page!
At long last, The Mercer Society is delighted to launch our new website. We hope you are going to enjoy it as much as we enjoyed designing it. We also hope you will find it easy to navigate, getting all the information you need to either become a member of The Mercer Society, enjoy Mercer Botanic Garden, help us with our philanthropic projects through our Donate now button and get complete details on all our special events.
The Mercer Society, in 2016, debuted our signature brand, seen here. The stylistic ginger represents a plant, found at Mercer Botanic Garden and perfect for our sub-tropical climate. We selected this ginger as our logo as the tri-color pleats represent the collaboration of The Mercer Society, Harris County Precinct 4 and the Community. These three distinct units all blend together in a harmonious beautiful work of botanical art and collaboration.
Our logo is based upon the Curcuma ‘Laddawan’, an excellent hybrid created by crossing the woodland loving Curcuma cordata with the sun loving curcuma alismatifolia. The result is clusters of pleated leaves with a towering inflorescence of pink bracts carrying cream colored flowers with yellow flush. This hardy perennial starts to bloom in late June and continues to bloom again and again until the cool weather of fall signals it into its winter slumber. It awakens when the spring sun begins to warm the soil.
Eighty-five ladies gathered on Mercer’s Courtyard Garden, May 12, for The Mercer Society’s inaugural tea service held in joint celebration of National Public Gardens Day and Mother’s Day. Tasty tidbits, fun prizes, great conversation, delightful entertainment, good company and absolutely beautiful weather made the day and the event a “must do” again.
Mrs. Janet Cagle and daughters, Elizabeth and Victoria co-chaired the festivities awarding prizes for The Most Fashionable Bonnet, Best Blooming Bonnet and the Most Creative Bonnet. The ladies in attendance were serenaded to by Double Infinity, an a cappella quartet, part of The Statesmen Chorus. And, Hector Silva Studio set up his camera in a delightful outdoor garden studio where the ladies were treated to photos made to capture the memory of this delightful day.
Sincere thanks and appreciation to all our sponsors: A&B Designs, Cacao & Cardamom Artisan Chocolates; Carrabba’s Italian Grill; CatSpring Yaupon Tea Company, Double Infinity A Cappella Quartet; Great Harvest Bread Bakery; H-E-B; Hector Silva Studio; Lawler’s Cheesecakes; Nothing Bundt Cake Bakery; Orchid Express and Leasing; Paper Trends; Sara Wise Strategies; The Hat People; The Mercer Gift and Plant Shoppe and all our table Underwriters.
Mark your calendar now! We plant to repeat this lovely day again next year on National Public Gardens Day, May 11, 2018! You do not want to miss it.
Plants were not the only hit of March Mart, but they were the main attraction!
At the March Mart VIP Preview Reception and Sale Event on Thursday night, guests noshed on a variety of tidbits, one of which we feature here. The dessert table featured a decadent delight we renamed “March Mart Irish Cream Cheesecake” in honor of the occasion. The recipe follows:
For the crust:
2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (use whole cookies with filling)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup Irish Cream Liquour
For Chocolate Ganache:
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
12 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Mix together Oreo crumbs and melted butter, press the mixture into a 9″ springform pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, set aside to cool.
*Once the crust is cooled, wrap pan with two layers of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan, make sure it is tight and secure so no water gets in during the baking process!!
*With electric mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth.
*Add cornstarch and continue to mix until fully incorporated, decrease the speed to low and add eggs one at a time incorporating well, then add vanilla extract and the Irish Cream.
*Pour batter into prepared pan, place into a roasting pan, filling the roasting pan about a quarter of the way with hot water, bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes, rotating once halfway through the set time. (basically until the cheesecake is set around the edges and slightly loose in the center).
*Remove springform pan from the water bath and set on a cooling rack to cool, once cooled, remove aluminum foil and refrigerate (at least 5 hours or preferably overnight). Once completely cooled, run a thin knife around the edge and remove the ring of the springform pan.
*Over a double boiler melt the chopped chocolate until completely smooth with no lumps, stir in heavy whipping cream (from the fridge). The mixture will be very thick and creamy so you can easily spread it on top of the cake and also on the sides without dripping. Use just 2/3 of the ganache and set the cake in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to harden ganache layer. Remove the cake from the freezer and reheat the remaining ganache but this time it should be smooth (but not too thin) so you can pour it over the cake to make a smooth and shiny surface. Enjoy!
*To keep the shine of the ganache, allow it to cool at room temperature then store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
****To make these into mini cheesecakes you will need a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms. The recipe remains the same except: reduce baking time to 20 minutes, checking to make certain the cheesecakes are set around the edges. When adding the ganache to the surface, the first layer can be spread on the top but the remaining layer is best applied by dipping the mini cheesecake tops into the melted ganache (the ganache will drip down the sides but that is the desired appearance, then allow to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Continue to follow the recipe above. especially the enjoy part! (Makes approximately 36 mini cheesecakes).