Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri - A National Historic Landmark!

The Climatron Conservatory at the Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri

The Climatron Conservatory
The Climatron Conservatory | Source

Missouri Botanical Garden


An attraction well worth seeing if you are ever in the St. Louis area is the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is also a National Historic Landmark!

Our friend Mary, who is an avid gardener took my mother and me there when we visited her fair city in October of 1998.

The garden was developed by Mr. Henry Shaw who originally came to St. Louis in 1819. Originally an Englishman, he loved the gardens that he knew in Chatsworth and also at Kew and was inspired by them.

He was able to retire at the age of 40 after having made a great amount of money in outfitting settlers with necessities prior to their trek out West.


St. Louis Botanical Gardens

View on opposite side from the Conservatory
View on opposite side from the Conservatory | Source

Henry Shaw


He opened his garden to the public in 1859, and to this day, it is utilized for research and education as well as a glorious place to leisurely spend time wandering among the collection of diverse plantings.

Mr. Shaw generously donated his home and garden to the City of St. Louis and everyone is now able to enjoy the fruits of his love and labor.

St. Louis Botanical Gardens

Huge water lily pads!
Huge water lily pads! | Source
Water lilies in bloom
Water lilies in bloom | Source
Bromeliad in bloom within the conservatory
Bromeliad in bloom within the conservatory | Source

The Climatron Conservatory


When first entering the garden one's attention is drawn to viewing a long rectangular reflection pool of water filled with water lilies. It is also the perfect display site for many sculptures.

Numerous additional sculptures are discovered as one walks throughout the spacious grounds.

Numerous different types of lilies are seen anchored in this water. Many were in bloom.

One large type of water lily has a diameter of 4 to 6 feet across! You can see this in one of the photos that I took.

At one end of this reflection pool is the entrance from which one enters the garden.

Opposite it, is the Climatron Conservatory which was one of the first geodesic domed conservatories built in the United States.

Inside this domed structure is a tropical forest complete with flowing water and even a waterfall.

Numerous plants that thrive in this warm and humid environment are to be seen and enjoyed.

Blooming orchids and bromeliads punctuate the masses of lush green and speckled tropical plants of every type description.

Mixed among this collection is a surprising collection of brightly colored birds that call this environment their home.

Butterflies complete this snapshot of what might be found in nature.

Botanical gardens in St. Louis, Missouri

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The Temperate House - Botanical Gardens in St. Louis

Photo taken inside the Temperate House
Photo taken inside the Temperate House | Source

Moorish Garden


Inside what is called the Temperate House is a garden featuring plants that grow in warm and dry regions.

Some of these plants include the carnivorous varieties.

Moorish in design, orange, blue and white tiles were utilized to form an eye pleasing pattern of creation around a central fountain.

Blooming begonias in pots add color to the other lush surroundings.

Our friend and guide, Mary, is seen looking through the doorway into this portion of the temperate garden.

It was a bright and sunny day.

St. Louis Botanical Gardens

Look at that beautiful tile work
Look at that beautiful tile work | Source

St. Louis Missouri Botanical Gardens

Henry Shaw's country home and final resting place at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.

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Henry Shaw's 1851 country homeStatue of Henry ShawHe is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden.
Henry Shaw's 1851 country home
Henry Shaw's 1851 country home | Source
Statue of Henry Shaw
Statue of Henry Shaw | Source
He is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden.
He is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden. | Source

Tower Grove House

Henry Shaw enjoyed residing in his "country" home surrounded by his gardens.

His home is called the Tower Grove House and it is furnished with Victorian furniture authentic to the time.

The house is open for tours.


Henry Shaw so loved this spot on earth that he made provisions for it to be his final resting spot.


A mausoleum was constructed with glass windows and the sculpture sitting atop his coffin makes it look as if Henry is comfortably looking outside at his beloved garden.


Mr. Shaw died in 1889.

The Japanese Garden - St. Louis Botanical Gardens

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden | Source

Japanese Garden



The Japanese Garden consists of 14 acres including a 4 1/2 acre lake.

Among other things to be found here...

Wooden walkways and other paths

Traditional plants

Waterfalls

Bridges

Koi also known as carp

Ducks

It is a peaceful and serene place within the botanical garden in which to spend time.

St. Louis Botanical Garden Japanese Festival...

St. Louis Botanical Gardens

One of multiple sculptures in the garden
One of multiple sculptures in the garden | Source
The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden | Source

Want to see even more of the garden?

Distinct areas within the garden environs...


There were many different areas in which one could spend time within this garden.


There is even a tram that can be taken through parts of these recreational grounds.


A Maze has been created where one can wander through the designed and trimmed hedges.


There is the English Woodland Garden. Imagine walking on shaded paths beneath tall and medium sized trees with a babbling brook accompanying one. Wildflowers and other shade loving plants are dispersed throughout this natural setting.


There is the Chinese Garden. Just like one would expect to see, the bridge, moon gate, pavilion, rocks and water do not disappoint one's expectations.


The Lehmann Rose Garden consists of a profusion of colorful beauties showing every color and hue imaginable. It is actually an award-winning test garden.


Sculptures are interwoven throughout the Missouri Botanical Garden. They add interest to the natural features of this impressive garden.


We spent many hours there and could not begin to see it all. The total area to be seen consists of 79 acres!



If you like gardening and enjoy visiting different ones as you travel, my suggestion would be to allow an entire day (or even more time) to see all of this historic one in St. Louis.


Having the status of a National Historic Landmark...the Missouri Botanical Garden is well worth all the time you can spare to stroll through the magnificent grounds absorbing some of the well planned beauty that excites all the senses.

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Missouri Botanical Garden, St Louis, MO 63110, USA
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Wonderful video showing many areas of the garden and it's mission

© 2009 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 28 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello esmonaco,

I hope you get to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden someday also. It is a gem! Glad to know that you enjoyed this hub.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Greetings Ruth Cox,

In many of the gardens that I have visited, pieces of art are often mixed into the arrangements of plants. Some have more than others. The combination mix of artistry is really nice.


esmonaco profile image

esmonaco 20 months ago from Lakewood New York

Thanks so much for the tour. This looks like a beautiful place to visit, I hope I can make there someday.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Audrey,

This botanical garden is huge! We only had about a half day to spend there and did not see it all. If you ever get a chance to visit, plan a full day. You will not be disappointed. It is a beauty!


Ruth Cox 20 months ago

Your photos of the Missouri Botanical Garden confirm a thought I've always had about botanical gardens just about anywhere... The art work is as appealing as and so complementary to the plant life.


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