on April 14, 2008
WEAR COMFORTABLE WALKING SHOES! With that said this is a beautiful place to visit, even on a cool, dreary day before spring. We had intended to visit here for several years just had never found the time, so decided it would make a good spring break trip. We arrived at the entrance to find a lady who after introducing herself told us that she received several free admissions with her yearly membership and offering to give us two of them. This was wonderful as it saved the $8 entrance fee for each us and it included the orchid show that was on exhibit, which would have been an extra $3 per person. The orchid display was based on classic storybook tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Peter Rabbit, and Johnny Appleseed. It was one room, located inside the main building, with a winding path through the indoor garden of over 2000 species of plants. I know very little about orchids, but the brochure told us that many rare and unusual varieties where on display. I do know this much they were beautiful and had the most wonderful fragrance. After enjoying the blooms we headed outside to wonder around the near 80 acres of various style gardens. Our first stop was in the Climatron and Temperate House which offered tropical settings for the more exotic plants. Upon exiting we found ourselves in front of the Children’s Garden which had the look of a frontier fort out of the old west, including a covered wagon and buggy, which we had to stop and take pictures at. From there we headed off to the Japanese garden that included a large pond filled with huge gold fish and numerous ducks. At one of the walking bridges a food dispenser was available to purchase a handful of kibbles, for a quarter, to feed the fish. Unfortunately the ducks were quit a bit quicker at gobbling up the food than the fish. After making our way through the English Woodland Garden we ended up at the summer home of the founding father. The home was open for a self-guided tour and offered a little history on how the gardens came to exist. At the back of the house we worked our way through a small, hedge lined maze which I’m sure would be a delightful adventure for a small child. From there we took the path through the rose gardens to get back to the entrance, unfortunately this time of year there were no roses but I can imagine the fabulous sight this would offer when they are in full bloom. Apparently we missed the Linnean House where most of the other flowers blooming at this time of year were on display, I later read about it in the brochure after we had left the gardens. Missouri Botanical Garden is open year around from 9-5 daily, except December 25th. There is a small café in the main building if you would like to have lunch, as well as machines through out the garden for cold drinks. A gift shop is available before exiting to pick up plants, gardening supplies, and souvenirs. While I’m sure some of the proceeds go to support the gardens I thought the prices here were on the expensive side. We had a very enjoyable visit and I’m glad we finally took the time to come, however I believe later in the year would be a much better time for viewing the plant life.
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