Things to Do in St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden is an acclaimed arboretum in St. Louis. Known formally as Shaw's Garden after Henry Shaw, founder of the first Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden and a National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1859, the garden was established to discover and share knowledge about plants and the environment in which they live to preserve and enrich life.
Acting as both a center for botanical research and science education and an oasis for the city for over 158 years, the Missouri Botanical Garden features 79 acres of beautiful horticultural displays, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, and a geodesic dome conservatory. Other features include a children’s garden, playground, and pioneer village, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids. The Garden also features the original 1850 estate home of Henry Shaw, a fountain area and a water locking system similar to that of the Panama Canal, and an Osage camp. Photo: Dmitry V. Petrenko/Fotolia
Missouri Botanical Garden features a variety of different gardens, including indoor conservatories and demonstration, formal and international gardens, and magnificent horticultural displays.
Conservatories include the Climatron® - a stunning geodesic domed conservatory that has become the symbolic image of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, the geodesic dome structure covers half an acre and showcases an ever-changing, impressive display all year long. Linnean House is a brick conservatory built in 1882 and the oldest display greenhouse in America, and the Shoenberg Temperate House is a spacious conservatory that shows a variety of flora unique to the world’s most temperate regions.
Formal Gardens include the Lopata Azalea/Rhododendron Garden, the beautiful Blanke Boxwood Garden, the Samuels Bulb Garden and Heckman Bulb Garden, which features flowering bulbs and bulbous plants, and the inspirational George Washington Carver Garden that honors the life and accomplishments of the extraordinary scientist. The Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden: A Missouri Adventure is a children’s garden designed for family fun, play and learning with a variety of activities and adventures. The Heckman Rock Garden and Kassabaum Dwarf Conifer Garden features an array of flowering bulbs, and shrubs from rocky environments, and hardy conifers for the Midwest.
The Courts and Family Gardens include the perennial and seasonal Bakewell Court Garden, the Cohen Court Garden, filled with unusual cacti, succulents, and herbaceous plants, and the Isabelle Baer Garden with two beautiful fountains. The Swift Family Garden boasts breathtaking views of the Linnean House, the Jenkins Daylily Garden features over 1,800 varieties of daylilies and witch hazels, and the Dry Streambed Garden has an open, meandering dry stream bed with rare and endangered, and other ornamental plants.
Located near the Lehmann Rose Garden is the Holly Field, which features a unique collection of American hollies, including red and yellowish-orange fruited varieties, while the Shields Hosta Walk is filled with stately trees, flowering bulbs, witch hazel and magnolias, and the enchanting Marie Carr Taylor sculpture, the ‘Four Seasons.’
The Goodman Iris Garden features hundreds of cultivars of bearded iris, as well as Japanese, Spuria, Louisiana, Siberian species, and the Knolls provides a scenic vista between Henry Shaw's Mausoleum Garden and the Milles Sculpture Garden.
The Milles Sculpture Garden is home to three large reflecting pools that were built in 1913 and display several works by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. The lakes are filled with tropical and giant Victoria water lilies and are surrounded by tall bald cypress trees that frame the picturesque setting. The Gladney Rose Garden is shaped like a giant wheel and displays hundreds of hybrid roses, while the Lehmann Rose Garden contains an array of historic cultivars, floribunda and shrub roses, miniature roses, modern hybrid tea, and test roses, along with a small pool and fountain at the south end of the garden.
The Zimmerman Sensory Garden delights the senses with an engaging sensory experience of aromatic herbs and scented flowers, trickling fountains and tantalizing flowers and herbs.
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Photo: Rusty Dodson/Fotolia
In addition to the 79-acre Garden in south St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden is also home to two other attractions, namely the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and the Shaw Nature Reserve. Located outside the city limits, in Chesterfield's Faust Park, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House was founded in 1995 to increase appreciation and awareness of butterflies and the natural habitat in which they live.
Established in Gray Summit in 1925, the 2400-acre Shaw Nature Reserve was founded as a refuge to protect the Missouri Botanical Garden's collection of plants and seedlings from the heavy smoke pollution that occurred during the 1920s. Planned as a haven, the Nature Reserve has grown into one of Missouri’s premier educational, research, and habitat restoration sites.
Photo: Tommy Brison/Fotolia
The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in St. Louis and is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. The Garden hosts many annual cultural festivals, including Chinese Culture Days and the Japanese Festival, which showcase each culture’s beautiful gardens, as well as their arts, crafts, music, and food.
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Contact: 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110, Phone: 314-577-5100
Things to Do in St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden
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