April 25th, 2021 | Updated on June 27th, 2022
Do you love living plants and flowers? Is there a botanical garden in your area? Botanical gardens are wonderful places where you and your children get to learn about and experience nature.
You are likely to find unusual or rare plants, plants from different countries from around the world, herb gardens, exotic flower beds, desert gardens among other interesting botanical sites.
Apart from the botanical displays, you will also find interesting classes going on that are presented by naturalists, botanists, and even master gardeners and these classes can be very helpful to you especially if you are planning on starting your own themed gardens.
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Here are 4 important things to know when visiting Missouri’s top botanical gardens.
1. The History Behind the Garden Is Very Fascinating
The Missouri botanical garden was founded over 150 years ago and since then, it has been an attraction site for both international and local visitors. The history behind this beautiful garden is simply amazing.
It all began in 1819, when a young 18-year-old Englishman by the name Henry Shaw, landed in a little river town of St. Louis.
Riding on his horseback on mushy grounds and Indian burial mounds he came across the most beautiful, uncultivated piece of land without trees and fences that he had ever seen.
If there was a man who ever loved a piece of land, it was Henry Shaw. But at that time, he chose to focus on his business of selling cutlery and hardware.
As Henry Shaw’s fortunes grew, he resolved that one day, he would give back to his adopted city. And he did. When Henry Shaw was nearing his 40’s, and had a successful career in the hardware industry, it was time for him to retire and pursue his childhood passion; botany.
He built the Tower Groove House which was his home and proceeded to plant the most beautiful garden around his estate.
That garden today is known as the Missouri botanical garden. In 1859, the garden was opened to the public.
Today, 158 years later, the Missouri botanical gardens are a historic landmark in the US, and it prides itself as being one of the richest in architectural heritage and botanical research.
2. The Missouri Botanical Garden Consists Of At Least 10 Iconic Gardens
The Missouri botanical garden is a 79-acre piece of land that consists of beautiful horticultural displays that include conservatories, formal gardens, demonstration gardens, international gardens, notable plant collections among others.
One of the most iconic gardens is the Chinese garden. The Margaret Grigg Nanjing friendship garden will definitely linger in your memory for a long time. Designed by architect, Yong Pan, this garden is a clear demonstration of extraordinary craftsmanship.
One of the places you will love visiting while here is the hand-carved white marble bridge that sits across the pond. The pond has five stones that are strategically placed to symbolize the five sacred mountains of China.
The traditional plantings, many of which were grown from seeds that originated from China include pine, bamboo, hibiscus, peonies, and citrus.
Other notable gardens at the Missouri botanical gardens include; the beautiful Japanese garden, the English woodland garden, the ottoman garden, and the Strassen fest German garden.
3. At Missouri’s Botanical Gardens, There’s Plenty More to Do Than Just Watching Flowers and Plants
Apart from the botanical tourist attractions, you will also love the workshops and gardening sessions for both adults and kids.
If you are a science enthusiast and you would love to work in a botanical garden, you can always look for job opportunities or work as a volunteer.
Apart from that, cultural shows happen all year long so be sure to plug in and enjoy your favorite cultural events. You can also make a reservation for a wedding event and portrait photography.
Shop and dine at the garden gate shop and the café flora. While there, be sure to buy a gift card for your loved one.
4. Dress Comfortably and Be Ready to Have Fun
Finally, when visiting the Missouri top botanical gardens remember to dress comfortably and appropriately for the season you will be visiting.
The entire Missouri botanical garden has beautiful footpaths that are comfortable for walking, but for the best experience, ensure that you wear low-heeled shoes.
If the weather is sunny, you can always wear a hat to protect your face from the elements. Don’t forget your face mask and remember to observe all the covid 19 guidelines required by the garden’s management.