A long-ago sunny day at the Missouri Botanical Gardens

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                   “Nature’s Green is Gold…Nothing Gold can stay”     Robert Frost

Today is a chilly day in Kansas City. 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 winter gray days have got you blue, why not return with me to a sunnier time.

The glassworks of renown sculptor Dale Chihuly are featured prominently throughout the gardens, These glass suns made the brilliant day even sunnier.

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 Climatron

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.

One of the first gardens you encounter as you enter the park, the dome offers a warm respite during the colder months.
Looking back from the dome to one of the park entrances.
Statuary art in the center of the lily pools. The decorative glass bulbs are from Chihuly.
The rainforest garden is lush and a great place to daydream.


         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 Japanese 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. slbb15

The Shakespeare Garden

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.  

2 Replies to “A long-ago sunny day at the Missouri Botanical Gardens”

  1. I do follow your posts, and generally find them quite informative and helpful. To that end, then, as a long-time resident of St. Louis and supporter of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, I would like to offer three important corrections to your account. (By the way, on the whole, this is a good overview of the gardens. They have their own website, too, which covers features.)

    First, in your coverage of the Climatron you state that there is a Turkish Garden in the middle of the Climatron’s jungle garden. This is not really accurate. Actually, on the North side of the Climatron, there is a separate, but attached building called the Temperate House (https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/conservatories/temperate-house.aspx) That is what you are calling a Turkish Garden. It does connect with the Climatron. You can see the Temperate House (formerly the Mediterranean Garden) entirely through the entrance from the Climatron, but it has its own entrance also on the second level.

    Also, the Missouri Botanical Gardens does not have a Biblical Garden. It does have many plants that were mentioned in the garden. The picture you show is actually of the Bakewell Ottoman Garden (https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/media/fact-pages/ottoman-garden.aspx) There is also a link to a list of all the Biblical plants (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/notable-plant-collections/biblical-plants.aspx)

    The “English Garden” is actually the Cherbonnier English Woodland Garden, and is more importantly just that, a woodland garden. (https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/media/fact-pages/english-woodland-garden.aspx) Again, the pictures you show of the Woodland Garden are not actually in that garden, but are further along on the general path that goes from the Woodland Garden past the Doris Waters Harris Victorian District (https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/media/fact-pages/victorian-district.aspx)

    This is an enormously complex and actually huge collection of gardens, and naturally impossible to cover in a brief overview. I hope you accept these suggestions in the spirit of doing justice to the Missouri Botanical Gardens

    1. Very much so, thanks for the corrections, I am heading off for bed but will re-caption these correctly in the morning. I chalk that up to trying to write from memory. I think in the future I should bring a portable tape player or small notebook to jot notes, I always appreciate your comments on this blog and think it is important for me to be as accurate as possible. Darryl/GG

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