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One of the Various Gardens at the Missouri Botanical Garden


The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in St. Louis, Missourimarker. It is also known informally as Shaw's Garden for founder Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist.

Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United Statesmarker and a National Historic Landmark. The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education of international repute, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis, with 79 acres (31 hectares) of horticultural display. It includes a 14-acre (5 hectares) Japanese strolling garden named Seiwa-enmarker; the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory; a children's garden, including a pioneer village; a playground; a fountain area and a water locking system, somewhat similar to the locking system at the Panama Canal; an Osage camp; and Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home. It is adjacent to Tower Grove Parkmarker, another of Shaw’s legacies.

During the past 25 years, the gardens and facilities have been upgraded under Dr. Peter Raven, the Garden's director and chief executive. The 2003 annual report lists more than 100 individuals under research, a third of them with PhDs.

The Garden is a place for many annual cultural festivals, including the Japanese Festival and the Chinese Culture Days by the St. Louis Chinese Culture Days Committee. During this time, there are showcases of the culture's botanics as well as cultural arts, crafts, music and food. The Japanese Festival recently began to include sumo wrestling, adding this sport to taiko drumming and kimono fashion shows. The Garden is known for its bonsai growing, which can be seen all year round, but is highlighted during the multiple Asian festivals.

Major garden features include:
  • Tower Grove House (1849) and Herb Garden - Shaw's Victorian country house in the Italianate style, with a tower over the central entry way.
  • Victory of Science Over Ignorance - Marble statue by Carlo Nicoli; a copy of the original (1859) by Vincenzo Consani in the Pitti Palacemarker, Florencemarker.
  • Linnean House (1882) - Said to be the oldest continually operated greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. Originally Shaw's orangery, in the late 1930s it was converted to house mostly camellias.
  • Gladney Rose Garden (1915) - Circular rose garden with arbors.
  • Climatronmarker (1960) and Reflecting Pools - the world's first geodesic dome greenhouse; lowland rain forest with approximately 1500 plants.
  • English Woodland Garden (1976) - aconite, azaleas, bluebells, dogwoods, hosta, trillium, etc., beneath tree canopy.
  • Seiwa-enmarker Japanese Garden (1977) - chisen kaiyu-shiki (wet strolling garden) with lawns and path set around a central lake (4.5 acres). Designed by Koichi Kawana.
  • Grigg Nanjing Friendship Chinese Garden (1995) - Designed by architect Yong Pan; major features were gifts from sister city Nanjingmarker, and include a moon gate, lotus gate, pavilion, and Chinese scholar's rocks from Tai Humarker.
  • Blanke Boxwood Garden (1996) - walled parterre with a fine boxwood collection.
  • Strassenfest German Garden (2000) - flora native to Germany and Central Europe; bust of botanist and Henry Shaw's scientific advisor George Engelmann (sculpted by Paul Granlund)
  • Biblical garden featuring Date palm, pomegranate, fig and olive trees, caper, mint, citron and other plants mentioned in the Bible.
  • Ottoman garden with water features and xeriscape.


From 1991 to 1993 the chairman of the Garden Trustees was William H.T. Bush (younger brother of former President George H.W. Bush).

For part of 2006, the Missouri Botanical Garden featured "Glass in the Garden", with glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly placed throughout the garden. Four pieces were purchased to remain at the gardens. In 2008 sculptures of the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle were placed throughout the garden. In 2009, the 150th anniversary of the Garden was celebrated, including a floral clock display.

Popular culture

Douglas Trumbull, director of the 1972 science fiction classic film Silent Running, stated that the geodesic domes on the spaceship Valley Forge were based on the Missouri Botantical Gardens Climatron dome. (Commentary accompanying the DVD release of the film.)

See also



References

  1. William H.T. (Bucky) Bush - bushodonnell.com - Retrieved January 28, 2008




External links



Image:Missouribonsaigarden.jpg|Bonsai showcased at Missouri Botanical GardenImage:Missouri Botanical Garden - Climatron with artworks by Dale Chihuly.JPG|The Climatronmarker with artwork installation by Dale ChihulyImage:Missouri Botanical Garden - Plan, drawn 1974-1977.jpg|Site plan, as of 1974-1977Image:Missouri Botanical Garden.jpg|Tower Grove House


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