Tag Archives: Chinese garden

St Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden

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The Missouri Botanical Garden is considered by many as one of the top botanical gardens in the world. Garden founder Henry Shaw originally came to St. Louis in 1819 to sell hardware and cutlery, eventually amassing a fortune. Long interested in botany, his travels abroad inspired Shaw to build a garden in St. Louis like the great gardens and estates of Europe. The Missouri Botanical Garden (known as Shaw’s Garden by many in St. Louis) opened to the public in 1859. Today, it’s one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark.

Its over 79 acres includes a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, a Chinese garden, rose garden, English Woodland Garden, Ottoman Garden, the Climatron conservatory, one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids and Garden founder Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home.

A few highlights:

Victorian District.  The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, opened in summer 2008, stretches from the enclosed Victory (of Science over Ignorance) sculpture to the eastern wall, back to founder Henry Shaw’s original city townhouse. (Photo: The Doris Harris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District, courtesy: Missouri Botanical Garden

Kemper GardenThe Kemper Center for Home Gardening provides education and resources for Midwestern home gardeners through partnership with University of Missouri Extension. There are 23 display residential-scale gardens, including a city garden; butterfly garden; secret garden; family vegetable garden; fragrance garden; ornamental displays for landscaping, lawns and shrubs; rock, shade and flower trial gardens; children’s garden; herb garden; garden for attracting birds; and  demonstration gardens.

Strassenfest German GardenThe Strassenfest German Garden features native flora of Germany and central Europe, in a woodland setting of herbaceous perennials, as well as deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.

The Fragrance Garden features some of the best fragrance plants for the St. Louis area on display, including examples of shrub and antique roses.

The Children’s Garden is open Mar. 30 through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110, (314) 577-5100. Open daily, closed Christmas Day.

Website: Missouri Botanical Garden

Huntington Gardens

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Huntington, California

Huntington Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a research and educational center founded in 1919 by railroad and real estate magnate Henry E. Huntington. The renowned Huntington Library Collections houses among its treasures a Gutenberg Bible (ca. 1450–55); the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (ca. 1410); original letters of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as early editions of Shakespeare.

TripAdvisor recently ranked the Huntington Botanical Gardens as among the top 10 public gardens in the U.S. The Gardens began in 1903 when Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch. Huntington relied heavily on his superintendent, William Hertrich, to develop the plant collections.

Today there are about 120 landscaped acres and more than a dozen principal garden areas with more than 14,000 different varieties of plants open to visitors.

Featured gardens include: Desert, Japanese, Subtropical, Herb, Jungle, Palm and Rose Gardens, as well as one of the largest collections of camellias in the country.

HuntingtonchildgarddwgThe Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden has the themes earth, air, light, and water. Its interactive sculptural elements are sure to delight children, with based on, with a fog grotto, magnetic sand, pebble chimes, prism tunnel, and other attractions.

The Huntington’s Chinese Garden, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, or Liu Fang Yuan, eventually will be one of the largest classical Chinese gardens outside China. The words liu fang, or “flowing fragrance,” refers to the scent of flowers and trees, including the pine, lotus, plum, and other native Chinese plants found here.

CGterracejadeAccording to the Huntington, “A Chinese garden can be compared to a scroll painting composed of carefully arranged scenes. . . As you stroll through its pathways and pavilions, new vistas are revealed as if a scroll were being slowly unrolled. In the garden, as in a painting, several key elements play an important part in creating balance and harmony in the composition.” In the garden, water symbolizes change and rocks, the eternal, combining to create harmony, balancing nature’s yin and yang.  Plants may represent the seasons (peach blossoms for spring, pine for winter), while others stand for attributes such as purity (lotus) or uprightness (bamboo).

Located near Pasadena in the city of San Marino. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA  91108

Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day. [ info ]

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