“Nature’s Green is Gold…Nothing Gold can stay” Robert Frost
Today is a chilly, snowy day in Kansas City. It isn’t even winter yet, and already we have snow and ice. These frigid temperatures can wreak havoc on my Irish Melancholia. So let us escape back to warmer days and climes. Last summer, I visited the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St Louis. It was a warm, peaceful day: beautiful, verdant and lush. So if these pre-winter gray days have got you blue, why not return with me to a sunnier time.
Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis is one of the oldest and the second largest Garden of its kind in North America. Covering almost 80 acres this vast complex actually consists of several smaller gardens that meld together. There are Japanese, Chinese, Ottoman, Biblical, Shakespeare, German and English Gardens. The Gardens also feature the “Climatron”- the world’s first geodesic dome that houses a lowland rainforest.
The world’s first and for a long time most massive geodesic domes. The Clmatron holds and interior rainforest and tropical garden with a surprising Turkish garden in the center.
In the middle of the dome’s Jungle garden is a Turkish Garden. This was unexpected but flows seamlessly with the exterior.
The Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden at the largest in North America, I have always found Japanese Gardens relaxing. I’m still may be a bit partial to the one in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but this one would definitely be a strong second.
The Chinese Garden
While much smaller than the Japanse garden, the Chinese garden does have a serene pagoda and moon gate.
The English and Italian Gardens
There are also several smaller gardens including the Shakespeare Garden (which features all the plants and flowers mentioned in the Bard’s many works. And a Biblical Garden that features plants and flowers mentioned in the Bible.
There is a lot more to see here, a pioneer village, a garden featuring plants cultivated by George Washington Carver, a German garden and Butterfly Garden. The admission is 12.00 for adults and 8.00 for children, but this really is a one of a kind place. There is a smaller and much less expensive Botanical Garden in Forest Park (The Jewel Box) which is only one dollar, but I would definitely believe you will get your money’s worth here especially in the spring and summer. There are also festivals throughout the year including a Japanese and Chinese festival and the holiday light show which are equally worth visiting.