“Fun with Ferns” declared “ferntastic”!

“Ferntastic” would best describe “Fun with Ferns”, the first in the summer garden club workshop series, held on Saturday, June 17 at Mercer Botanic Garden. Nearly two dozen attended the two hour workshop Saturday morning as Mercer Volunteer and tropical specialist, Jere Noreager, explored the fascinating world of staghorn ferns. Following an exploration of the staghorn fern, attendees then mounted their own specimen to take home.

Darla Harris, owner of the Fern Plantation located in Houston, walked attendees through several options for growing a rabbit’s foot fern. At the conclusion of her program, everyone had their own clay brick filled with a rabbit foot fern and sphagnum moss to take home.

Upcoming workshops in the series include “Gingers in your Garden” July 22, “Garden to Vase” August 26 and “Intro to Basket Weaving” September 16. All workshops are two hours, beginning at 10 a.m. To register, please visit our events page or call 713-274-4166 for more details. Seats are filling fast, so make your reservation today.

Fern’s Favorites!

Mercer’s resident authority on all that is unique and special about our Gardens, Fern is Mercer’s beloved canine mascot who was rescued at Mercer four years ago. She can tell you the location of every squirrel and bunny resident. She also will help you find the best blooms and the best bench for a little quiet meditation. When you plan your next visit, spend a little extra time… perhaps you will see her on one of her walks in the garden.

Check back as Fern will direct you to the best attractions and events in bloom each month.

It’s July and Fern recommends:

It’s the month of red, white and blueHappy Fourth!

Happy Summer!  The  hottest craze of the summer is at the Mercer Gift Shoppe – Fidget Spinners have arrived!  

The Summer Red Dot Plant Sale is underway in the Mercer Society’s Gift and Plant Shoppe, Look for the Red Dot…many plants are marked with a red dot, the selections are varied and the choices are ideal for summer gardeners.  Stop by soon, at these prices, the red dot specials won’t last long!

Gingers in the Garden.  Ginger Specialist, Ceil Dow is getting ready for a spectacular Ginger workshop on July 22 from 10:00 to 12:00 in the Mercer Visitor Center.  See the events page for more details and to register for this “must attend” workshop.

Plants to see in the Garden – The gardens are dressed in glorious summer colors. To avoid the summer heat, come early in the day or enjoy a lovely stroll in the evening. The colors are breathtaking, you do not want to miss their summer show.

See you in the Mercer Garden!

– Fern

Hello world!

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.

Blooming Bonnets Tea a delicious success!

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.

Summer Event for Kids gets kid thumbs up !

This Summer we have a full calendar of events for all our children. Find out more about our monthly events.

The first session of The Time Tunnel was a huge success and the second session got the official kids thumbs up. More events with children in mind are being planned for the fall, so watch this space for more details!

Kids… enjoy the summer, stay well hydrated and see you in the garden with mom and dad.

 

March Mart Irish Cream Cheesecake

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:

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

*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.

*Enjoy!

****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).