You know spring is really here when you can see it in the blooming flowers. What better place to see flowers in bloom than the Missouri Botanical Gardens? Set on 79 acre, the garden that was founded in 1859 is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation.
The garden was founded by Henry Shaw, an Englishman that came to the St. Louis, just a river town at the time in the spring of 1819. At the young age of 18, Shaw saw something in the lush prairie that moved him. Purchasing land as his hardware and cutlery business flourished he expanded his investments to include agricultural commodities, mining, real estate and furs. Retiring at the young age of 39, he used his wealth to purchase more ground and develop the property around the country home he built. Visiting England, Shaw witnessed the Great Exhibition in 1851 and came home with plans to develop a garden.
Through his association with Dr. George Engelmann, a German physician-botanist they developed the garden and used the property to include a herbarium and research facility. The garden opened to the public in 1859.
Today, the garden is filled with a variety of plants where visitors can find a quiet place to reflect, or walk the paths and enjoy the beauty of the sculptures, bridges and fountains. The garden is as much about art as it is about plants. I love the history and the changes that makes each visit different than the last one!
There is a fee for admission and if you choose, tours are offered daily. Log onto http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/visit.aspx and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s www.ExploreStLouis.com website to learn more!