Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis: A National Historic Landmark

Updated on August 30, 2018
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

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

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a national historic landmark in St. Louis. Our friend Mary, an avid gardener, was happy to show my mother and me this amazing garden in October of 1998.

The garden was developed by Mr. Henry Shaw, who came to St. Louis in 1819. As an Englishman, he loved the gardens that he had known in Chatsworth and Kew and was greatly inspired by them. Mr. Shaw was able to retire at the age of 40. He had made a great amount of money outfitting settlers with necessities prior to their trek out west.

He opened his garden to the public in 1859. 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Water lilies in bloom at the St. Louis Botanical GardensSculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical GardenSculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical GardenView on opposite side from the Conservatory at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.My mother and friendly host Mary are next to those large water lilies in the Missouri Botanical Garden.Numerous sculptures in the Missouri Botanical GardenWater lilies in the Missouri Botanical GardenA waterfall in the Climatron of the St. Louis Botanical Gardens
Water lilies in bloom at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens
Water lilies in bloom at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens | Source
Sculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical Garden
Sculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical Garden | Source
Sculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical Garden
Sculptures and water lilies in reflection pool near the Climatron in Missouri Botanical Garden | Source
View on opposite side from the Conservatory at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.
View on opposite side from the Conservatory at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens. | Source
My mother and friendly host Mary are next to those large water lilies in the Missouri Botanical Garden.
My mother and friendly host Mary are next to those large water lilies in the Missouri Botanical Garden. | Source
Numerous sculptures in the Missouri Botanical Garden
Numerous sculptures in the Missouri Botanical Garden | Source
Water lilies in the Missouri Botanical Garden
Water lilies in the Missouri Botanical Garden | Source
A waterfall in the Climatron of the St. Louis Botanical Gardens
A waterfall in the Climatron of the St. Louis Botanical Gardens | Source

The Climatron Conservatory

When first entering the garden, one's attention is drawn to viewing a long rectangular reflecting pool 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.

Many different types of blooming water lilies are seen anchored in this water. 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 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.

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo taken inside the Temperate House - Our friend Mary in the Missouri Botanical GardensBeautiful tile work in the Temperate House part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens
Photo taken inside the Temperate House - Our friend Mary in the Missouri Botanical Gardens
Photo taken inside the Temperate House - Our friend Mary in the Missouri Botanical Gardens | Source
Beautiful tile work in the Temperate House part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens
Beautiful tile work in the Temperate House part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens | Source

Henry Shaw's Legacy

Henry Shaw enjoyed residing in his "country" home surrounded by his gardens. Now they are all a part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens which all visitors to this lovely place can enjoy. What a beautiful legacy Mr. Shaw left behind him!

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sculpture of Henry Shaw at the Missouri Botanical GardensThe 1851 Tower Grove House, Henry Shaw's residence on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden.Henry Shaw is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden. - St. Louis Botanical Gardens.
Sculpture of Henry Shaw at the Missouri Botanical Gardens
Sculpture of Henry Shaw at the Missouri Botanical Gardens | Source
The 1851 Tower Grove House, Henry Shaw's residence on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The 1851 Tower Grove House, Henry Shaw's residence on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden. | Source
Henry Shaw is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden. - St. Louis Botanical Gardens.
Henry Shaw is buried here in a glass enclosed mausoleum surrounded by his beloved garden. - St. Louis Botanical Gardens. | Source

Japanese Garden

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

Among other things to be found here are the following:

  • 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.

The Japanese Garden - St. Louis Botanical Gardens
The Japanese Garden - St. Louis Botanical Gardens | Source

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.

  • Seasonal festivals add to the excitement and fun of visiting these gardens.
  • 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 gardens as you travel, my suggestion would be to allow an entire day or even more to see all of this historic one in St. Louis.

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 of the senses.

Have you ever visited the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri?

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Click thumbnail to view full-size
The maze at the St. Louis botanical gardensOne of multiple sculptures in the garden in the St. Louis Botanical Gardens
The maze at the St. Louis botanical gardens
The maze at the St. Louis botanical gardens | Source
Source
One of multiple sculptures in the garden in the St. Louis Botanical Gardens
One of multiple sculptures in the garden in the St. Louis Botanical Gardens | Source

Wonderful video showing many areas of the garden and its mission.

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Peggy Woods

    Comments are welcomed.

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      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        7 months ago

        Thank you.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Robert,

        We all seem to have multiple things to do these days. I am also juggling several things at once. Will look forward to your future travel articles.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        7 months ago

        I'll have to put it on my list. I have many projects I'm working on.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Robert,

        I would enjoy that and I am sure others would as well.

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        7 months ago

        Maybe I should think of another travel log from the present or the past.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Robert,

        Happy to be able to introduce you to the spectacular Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. You introduce me regularly to things in your part of the country. Nice exchange!

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        7 months ago

        Great pictures. This is another hub about an interesting place I didn't know existed. Thank you.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        18 months ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        Wish you could spend some soothing hours in that beautiful St. Louis garden right now. So sorry to hear that things are not going well for your precious family. Sending prayers your way!

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        18 months ago from sunny Florida

        The next time I visit there I will know what to look for :D

        Just want to let you know you are precious and so very much appreciated.

        New things going on with my girl and my boys both of them....I posted a short update...so much is going on I have little time to come here to visit Angels are on the way to you and yours. ps

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        3 years ago from Houston, Texas

        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 imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        3 years ago from Houston, Texas

        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

        Eugene Samuel Monaco 

        3 years 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 imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        3 years ago from Houston, Texas

        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!

      • profile image

        Ruth Cox 

        3 years 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.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        3 years ago from California

        This looks like a fun outing!! I love botanical gardens!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Lastheart,

        Hope your travels take you to St. Louis someday so that you can see the lovely Missouri Botanical Garden in person. Thanks for your comment.

      • Lastheart profile image

        Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

        5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

        Peggy W This is an interesting article. I love these places. I will have this one in my agenda if it is in God's will my visit there. Thanks!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Deborah,

        If we lived closer, we would definitely like spending more time in the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is so large that one could linger in favorite spots such as you do and just absorb some of the beauty. Nice! Thanks for your comment.

      • DeborahNeyens profile image

        Deborah Neyens 

        5 years ago from Iowa

        I love the Missouri Botanical Gardens! I try to visit every time I'm in St. Louis. My favorites are the Japanese Garden and the English Woodland Garden.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello girishpuri,

        The Missouri Botanical Gardens cover so much ground that despite spending about half of a day there, we did not see it all. So if you ever plan a visit there, be sure and allow more time to see this spectacular site. Thanks for your comment and vote.

      • girishpuri profile image

        Girish puri 

        6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

        Hope to see Missouri gardens someday, but your presentation is so real, i m almost there, thanks, voded awesome.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello RedElf,

        You are most welcome! The Missouri Botanical Gardens are so gorgeous. Hope you get to see them in person someday. Thanks for your comment.

      • RedElf profile image

        RedElf 

        6 years ago from Canada

        Such beautiful pictures. I have read of these gardens, and now your photos make me feel as if I have actually been there. Thanks so much.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Little Nell,

        I've never visited Kew Gardens but obviously to gain national historic landmark status, the botanical garden in St. Louis is truly special. All I can add is that it is spectacular and beautiful and we did not even get to see every nook and cranny of it as it is so large. I would definitely like to revisit it someday. Thanks for your comment.

      • Little Nell profile image

        Little Nell 

        7 years ago from Somerset, UK

        This looks like a garden to rival Kew Gardens in London and the new Eden Project in Cornwall.

        wonderful, thank you for sharing this.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        7 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Deborah-Diane,

        So glad that this hub about the Botanical Garden in St. Louis could bring back happy childhood memories for you. I'd love to spend more time there someday as it is so large and so beautiful. Thanks for your comment.

      • Deborah-Diane profile image

        Deborah-Diane 

        7 years ago from Orange County, California

        Wonderful Hub. I grew up in St. Louis and remember going to the Botanical Garden as a child. This Hub brought back many memories.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello 2patricias,

        Always happy to have links being shared between fellow hubbers. I do it all the time. Will go to take a look at your hub now and see if I can't do the same. Thanks!

      • 2patricias profile image

        2patricias 

        8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

        I've just added a link from our Hub on the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

        Your hub is so beautiful - I love all the photos. Next week I will take a look to see if there are other relevant hubs to link to ours - if that is okay with you.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Lady_E,

        Happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about the beautiful and historic Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, Missouri. If you ever get a chance to visit it, let me know what you think. Thanks!

      • Lady_E profile image

        Elena 

        8 years ago from London, UK

        Great Hub. Thanks for the info.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Vacation Rentals at Lake Ozark,

        You definitely MUST put the Missouri Botanical Garden on your "to do" list of places to see. Getting National Historic Landmark status tells you something, but seeing it in person is such an enjoyable experience that if you like gardens you will want to spend much of one entire day there. Our hostess wanted to also show us Grant's Farm the same day so we got a sense of both, but could have spent much more time in each attraction. Thanks for the comment.

      • profile image

        Vacation Rentals at Lake Ozark 

        8 years ago

        This is the second hub I have read about the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Having lived here most of my life and not been to visit them, they are a high priority on my list. Living at Lake of the Ozarks, which is just a few short hours away, this is a must see for me. My next trip will be to see the beautiful Botanical Garden!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello loveroflife,

        You've got that right! Besides that, the Missouri Botanical Garden is also a national historic landmark...so definitely worth seeing. Thanks for your comment.

      • profile image

        loveroflife 

        9 years ago

        The Missouri Botanical Garden is another wonder in the "Show Me" State.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        9 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hello Paper Moon, It truly is a gorgeous place. Nice that you got to see it in person. Thanks for commenting.

      • Paper Moon profile image

        Paper Moon 

        9 years ago from In the clouds

        Oh my...I just returned from the botanical garden. It is truly a gorgeous place to loose ones self in. Nice hub!

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