May 23, 2011

Missouri Moments

A week in St. Louis flew by.  Fleeting impressions of our moments in Missouri:

Meeting our good friends and traveling companions, and staying at an old Victorian B&B next to Lafayette Park: comfortable, warm, welcoming.

A Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, won in the bottom of the ninth on a spectacular bases loaded hit: exciting, jump up and down thrilling.

The arch: did you know you can take a claustrophobic sealed tram car up to the top and scan the mighty mighty Mississippi from 630 feet in the air at the top of the arch?  Did you know it sways in the wind??

The expedition: Lewis and Clark and their party of explorers departed on May 14, 1804 from the very spot we stood on at the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers, right there, right where we stood: awesome, historic, impressive.

The garden: that's what we really came to see.  That's what you garden bloggers want to know about.  That's where I spent three full days of our Missouri getaway, and enjoyed every moment: beautifully laid out, well tended, rich with plants and garden delights.

I'll post more about the Missouri Botanical Garden in the future, but for now, in keeping with my desperate attempt to capture all the Missouri moments that are racing around in my memory and in my photo editor, here are some random impressions of MoBot:

Flashes of color from the wild Dale Chihuly glass sculptures were echoed in the crazy exuberance of irises of every kind and color, planted in impressionistic masses.

For all the color and splash, there were many quiet groves and places to hide.  My favorite was the sassafras woods, a natural grove growing where Henry Shaw built his home in 1866 with its Victorian turret, and established the garden, naming the area Tower Grove.  Shaw is buried here in a stone mausoleum hidden in the sassafras trees.  I want to be buried in a sassafras grove.

There were other quiet spaces too -- an English woodland garden, a grand sublime Japanese garden, a tiny enclosed Chinese garden, a bird garden with viburnums everywhere, flowering and getting ready to set berries.  Even a moss garden, entirely given over to soft, shady, fuzzy groundcovering moss. 

I want to tell you more, especially about the educational aspects, the home gardening exhibits, the way the garden flowed and the ease of getting around its 79 acres.  And specific plants that called to me and posed for pictures and strutted their stuff.  That's coming.

For now, I have laundry to do, I still need to unpack, and my photos are disordered.  I'll leave you with this, from the beautiful garden space dedicated to George Washington Carver:


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful trip in every way - that is a wonderful quotation and your photos of the gardens are really beautiful!

  2. Sounds like you had a great time. The chihuley glass is always a brilliant addition to a garden. Getting into one of those tubs to ride up to the top of the arch is quite the chore. I felt like I was getting into a dryer drum. UGH.. Can't wait to see more.

  3. What a fabulous place! I don't know about that trip up the arch ... even with a significant pile of money as an incentive, I don't think I would be at all interested!

    The gardens look amazing. Your photos were just terrific and all that Dale Chihuy glass sculpture must have been an absolute highlight of your visit. Loved the look of both the woodland and Japanese gardens ... and the Sassafras woods does indeed look like a very special spot.

  4. Can't wait to see more.
    Yes, the arch sways but it's worth the trip up!

  5. I love LaFayette Park. I stayed at a B&B described as a Pink Lady when I went to visit my daughter. Great city although I wouldn't want to live there. I'm glad you're back, Laurrie. I missed you!

  6. Looks like a fabulous trip - wow! I would have swooned to see all those irises. Glad you had fun. :)

  7. Looks like a great trip, Laurrie. The garden photos are fantastic--now I must put MOBOT on my must-see list! We visited St. Louis several times when my kids were younger, but ballgames and the zoo, not to mention Six Flags, were always their number one priorities to see:) I remember going up in the Arch when it was first built; I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do it again.

  8. The arch reminds me of an amusement park ride I went on many years ago. Not an experience I'd ever want to repeat. I've sassafras referred to as mitten tree. Seeing the shape of their leaves I now see why. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.

  9. I was at MoBot 19 yrs ago and haven't forgotten what a wonderful place it is!! I always check their site for plant info. Sounds like your vacation was wonderful. :o)

  10. Mobot is definitely a special place ... so much to see, to learn, and to soak in. I plan to go back again someday. BTW, we were in St. Louis at the same time ... should have planned a CT bloggers visit to Mobot!

  11. Thanks everyone! We did have a wonderful little vacation.

    Lisa, I cracked up at your description of the tram car to the top of the arch - it really did seem like we were getting into the clothes dryer drum!

    Joene, we were probably within shouting distance in St. Louie!

  12. All of those irises... wow...

  13. Laurrie, Sounds and looks like you had a great trip. I love the glass balls floating in the water.

  14. Sweetbay, I completely thought of you when I saw the iris garden!

    Jennifer, those Dale Chihuly glass balls were in the shape of onions. Floating onions --- it made me smile.

  15. What a place to go! I can tell you had a great trip. The Botanical garden is sure worth a visit.
    I guess it's been more than 20 years since I was in MO last time. Maybe toward the end of the summer we can take a few days off and I think I will bring up the idea of going to MO to my hubby. ;)
    Can't wait to see more pictures...keep them coming please!


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