Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
Poplar Bluff, Missouri
April 14, 2008
From journal Springbreak in St. Louis
by Coach Bear
July 9, 2002
My wife, Anna, and I decided to visit on a hot July afternoon. Other than the heat, the visit was luxurious and beautiful. We toured most of the areas of the park during our walk. There were different styles of gardens in each of seven different sections (maybe I missed one or two sections). The water lily pond had varieties of flowers from all parts of the world. I didn't realize that there were so many different species of that flower. Then, we went into the climatron. There were two large sections, one for the rain forest and one for the temperate. We spent more than 45 minutes walking through this one large building.
No visit to these gardens can be complete without looking at the Japanese Garden. This Japanese Garden is named Seiwa-en, which means the garden of pure, clear harmony and peace. It was designed with great care by the late Professor Koichi Kawana to ensure authenticity. We were told that this 14-acre garden is the largest Japanese strolling garden in the Western hemisphere. There is a four-acre lake, which is complemented with waterfalls, streams, water-filled basins, and stone lanterns. Dry gravel gardens are raked into beautiful, rippling patterns. There are four islands which rise from the lake to form symbolic images. Several Japanese bridges link shorelines to the islands. My wife was delighted in feeding the giant "koi" (Japanese carp). We were enthralled by cherry blossoms, azaleas, chrysanthemums, peonies, lotus, and other flowers as we walked through this beautiful area. We could have spent longer, but the heat was really getting unbearable.
Not only was there a Japanese garden, but there were Chinese gardens, an English woodland garden, and a Strassenfest garden in the international area. There was an area for experimental gardening that we saw with beautiful examples of how home gardens might be planted, an area with a vegetable garden, a children's garden, and an aroma garden. We walked through several other areas as we returned to the front entrance. Some of the areas have slipped my mind.
Beyond that which I have written, there are many other parts of this delightful place. Two hours are plenty to get a start, but I know that we need to visit again on our next trip to see some of the other areas of this huge estate. Those who want to visit this place need to be ready for a floral overdose. It is worth buying the yearly membership, just to visit here often and see all that there is to offer.
From journal A Return Home to St. Louis
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
November 4, 2003
From journal Desoto Getaway
August 1, 2002
When you arrive at the gardens, you are given the choice of taking a tour with a tour guide (only given at 1:00 so arrive early) or you can go on a self-guided tour. We preferred the self-guided so that we could go at our own pace and see or skip whatever we'd like.
As a background to this garden, it was opened to the public in the 1950's and to this day, is used as a research facility "to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environments, in order to preserve and enrich life".
The Climatron Conservatory (a bubble like looking structure) houses a variety of plants and animals with the appearance of the rain forest. Housed in the dome are banana trees, waterfalls and even animals such as tropical birds, quail and doves. There are beautiful flowers and palm trees among the paths leading through the exhibit. There are so many varieties of plants, flowers and trees in the conservatory it's not possible to write about them all. This is an exquisite place designed for many beautiful pictures. Don't miss this while at the gardens.
The Shoenberg Temperate House - another jaw dropping site of beauty. This building was constructed rather recently, in 1990. The theme of the Temperate House is that of a warm, dry climate from the Mediterranean and southeast U.S. There are seven gardens within this structure, my favorite being the Moorish Garden. There is a balcony just above this garden which allows for a nice view. The flowers in this garden are purple and white and surround a fountain and blue and white tiles are laid around the fountain. We are told flowers bloom all year, but for the best show, the spring is the time to visit. There is also a section entitled the Biblical Garden boasting 30-40 plants that are mentioned in the Bible.
The outdoor sections of the gardens host many beautifully looking and smelling flowers. However, for something out of the ordinary, the gardens has a maze made of hedges. On your mark, get set, go...see who can make it through to the end first! And don't cheat by cutting through one of the hedges like one of our kids did! There's a rose garden, lillies, iris, tulips, crocus, a Japanese garden where you can walk across the water on a bridge (the cherry blossoms are exquisite here), and other international areas with plants native to those areas and I couldn't begin to name.
There is so much to see here, make sure you plan enough time to be able to take it all in.
From journal Much to do in St. Louis
Lexington , Kentucky
June 12, 2007
From journal Missouri Botanical Gardens