The Saint Louis Botanical Gardens

One of the few gardens in the United States to achieve National Historic Landmark status, this is also the oldest American botanical garden that has been in continuous operation. A gentleman by the name of Henry Shaw founded it in 1859, providing a place of serenity and beauty for many generations of grateful visitors during the last 150+ years. What an exceptional legacy!

At the time of our visit (May 13, 2012), a special Chinese display was being set up at the botanical gardens. Although it will not be complete until May 26th, we were able to view (and enjoy) much of it. The vibrant colors and rich history of the Chinese displays are charming, as you can see in the photos below:

As striking as the Chinese displays were, I was most struck by the intrinsic beauty of the park itself. With every footstep, every corner turned . . . there were picturesque vistas . . . beautiful lakes, exotic foliage, and interesting & unexpected sculptures.

Also of particular interest was the “Climatron”, which houses over 800 species of unusual botanical specimens, many of which are special hybrids.

As much as I would have loved to extend my visit at this magnificent Botanical Garden, we had other things still on our agenda, and we had to make some decisions as to what else we could fit in here. We collectively chose to spend the majority of the time we had left in the world-famous Japanese Gardens. They are truly spectacular, evoking a sense of tranquility that is seldom achieved in this hectic day and time.

There are many lovely structures on the grounds . . . some of which were private residences. Tours are an option, but our timetable did not permit us to partake of those during this visit.

There are so many interesting things to see that I am not sure anyone can ever see them all in one visit, but it sure is fun to try!

And, last but certainly not least . . . the Atrium features some very interesting cafes and some of the best gift shops I visited. I could have sincerely done some budget damage if I had been equipped with more time & money! In addition to housing these intriguing, well-stocked gift shops, the atrium is also lovely in its own right and houses some beautiful art, such as the glass sculpture shown below:

We truly enjoyed our visit, and I hope that you have enjoyed your on-line visit, as well!

Last modified on: May 17th 2012.