Missouri Botanical Garden

In early August, my family and I visited my sister in St. Louis, Missouri.  As I always do when I travel, in addition to the tourist spots, I visited gardens.  St. Louis has many parks, and the residents seem to enjoy planting gardens.  I wasn’t as envious of beautiful flowers not damaged by burning sun and drought this year as I have been in previous trips to the Midwest, though; mine aren’t scorched this year either. 

We visited the Missouri Botanical Garden, founded in 1859, a 79-acre refuge inside the St. Louis city limits.  On the day we visited, the little legs that walked with us had already visited the Gateway Arch, and they were tired, so I saw about a third of the garden.  That third was larger than the garden that adjoins Riverbanks Zoo, in Columbia, but perhaps after the Riverbanks garden has operated for over 150 years, it will be as large and as elaborate.

I especially enjoyed the Ottoman garden, with its Asian influences and formal design.  The Sensory Garden, with plants with scents and textures, was an adventure for my children. 
Rose Garden

My sister visited the gardens in the spring, and said the bulb gardens, with thousands of bulbs, were stunning.  When we visited, the perennials that rested beneath the tulip blossoms when she saw the garden were showing their appreciation for the pampering the gardening staff provides.  No deer enter the gardens to munch on the flowers, and I saw no signs of Japanese beetles—perhaps they do not live that far north. 
Beautiful ponds, decorated with oversized water lilies that made perfect beds for frogs and fairies, punctuated the garden. 

I enjoyed the contrasting colors, especially along the Spink Pavilion with the beds lined with ornamental peppers, plants with bright colors, and even colored okra.  The okra was beautiful and edible, and I am going to grow some next year. 
Beautiful, and edible, okra!