MossEarly in the morning, before crowds arrived, I managed a walk and found moss.  That wouldn’t seem strange if you knew me.  A few days before I was thinking about moss and how beautiful it can be.

This was a crisp morning.  I passed photographers.   Professionals come and go as early as possible.

Passed a lone walker bundled in warm clothes.  We silently nodded to one another.

In the far south east corner, where shade would give protection, fields of Moss spread out.  Seemed a True Treasure.

Garden Getaway

 It’s Time for a Garden Getaway.

garden-greetingEvery visit offers new delight.

Up a hill to the Mediterranean Garden

Looking for fun – Found a Splashing Fountain

Splash in the FountainManaged Not to Soak Myself

Can you see the pointed shelter in the distance?

Special Moments Celebrated in the GardenIt’s set up for a wedding.

I watch for magic

Garden getaway - Magical Resident Watch Do you suppose the magic being living in this tree would like muffins?

to-english-woodland-gardenEntrance to the English Woodland Garden.

fairy-flowers Field of lavender crocus.  A lady exclaimed “Look!  Fairy Flowers!”  Oh, yeah .  . . That’s what I was thinking, too.

These feel like family to me

familyThese are “Dawn Redwood” Trees.  They come from China.  I suspect they are related to the Redwood Trees in California.

Henry Shaw’s House

 Heading towards the front gate

entrance-to-childrens-gardenGuardians wrangling strollers approach the Children’s Garden.  I’ll avoid pathways.

rock-river-bedThere’s a dry-rock-river bed hidden in a field.  Who thinks to create a dry rock river?

tall-flowersThese Red Flowers must be 8′ Tall.  Sentries reminding folk to be polite.

dwarf-connifer-gardenWater lilies on one side, and Dwarf Conifer Bed on the other.

I often enjoy a Garden Getaway

I hope you have favorite places to visit.  Surely you’ll find plenty of posts about “The Garden.”

I’ll leave you with Water Lilies and Chihuly.


love & love,


Center for Home Gardening

I like to pretend the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is my home.

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center The outside is nice.  The entire Center for Home Gardening is on 8.5 Acres.  There are countless projects to see, plenty of ideas to try in your own garden.  Specially trained Master Gardeners are on duty to answer questions.  There is a walk-in Plant Doctor service . . Honest!  if you bring in a sample from your ailing plant. an expert will help with information, tips and advice.  There are classes and oodles of free pamphlets filled with information about anything garden.

This is NOT why I pretend, tough.

There’s a Great Room that always sparks my imagination.

Cozy Corner in the Kemper CenterCozy corner especially nice in winter.  It’s peaceful and quiet on any kind of day.  (But, warming by the fire on a chill day is excellent.)

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper CenterThe walls are windows all around.  Plants preferring different types of light teach us their sunlight preferences.

Center for Home GardeningHere are some morning sun plant-people.

Center for Home Gardening North WindowHere is the North Window.  Do you suppose these plants yearn for winter?

Look!  A Tree Living Inside!

Happy Evergreen Lives Insideisn’t this wonderful?  A little forest tree, right inside.

West Window Home Garden CenterHere are plants happier to see the sun set.  (West Window)

Center for Home GardeningFacing South, these are mostly cactus-plants.

Outside, there are lots of home gardening ideas.  before we set outside, let’s check out the tree once more . . .

Center for Home Gardening‘bye for now, baby tree!

Center for Home Gardening Outside Ideas

Center for Home GardeningJust stepping out the front door, water features, plantings, in pots or yard, gathering spaces . . .once there was an entire section dedicated to planting around mailboxes.  It was festive.

Center for Home GardeningThere are ideas for urban living.  Here’s an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

Center for Home GardeningComplete with Grill

Center for Home GardeningHere’s a peek at a teeny urban garden.  There’s seating, a water feature, statuary, super cool trees.  The possibility of a quiet paradise in the middle of crowded city spaces.  (click on photo for expanded view)

Let’s begin walking towards the front gate, okay?

Center for Home GardeningA shaded walk about allows protection for us and shade plants.

center for Home GardeningThese portals give inviting glimpses into other types of garden areas.  Does your yard look like this?

I’m ready to head home.

Missouri Botanical GardenLet’s pass the Chinese Garden along the way.

‘bye for now!


Henry Shaw

Henry Shaw is the person who gave us the property that became Our Gorgeous Botanical Garden.

"Welcome to the GardenHenry Shaw was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, July 24th,1800.  He attended Mill Hill School in London as long as his parents could afford to send him.  Then he traveled with his father for business.

Henry proved to be good at business and when challenges came up it was often Henry Shaw to the rescue.

Henry traveled from New Orleans to the little French Village of St. Louis in 1819.  He decided to stay and establish a business of his own.  Henry’s uncle, James Hoole, gave the support needed to start a hardware business.  Henry Shaw turned out to be a great investment.

Photo of Henry Shaw

Henry Shaw; from a watercolor painting at the Missouri Botanical Garden, by permission of the Director.

His business outfitted pioneers traveling westward. By the time he was forty Henry Shaw was one of the largest landowners in St. Louis. He began to travel and explore his interest in botany.

In 1851, he commissioned George I. Barnett to build his homes.  One of them is the “Tower Grove House,”  pictured here.

Henry Shaw Country Home Shaw dedicated land around his home toward the study of botany.  The garden became so extensive He opened it to the public in 1859.

Henry Shaw Home/Back ViewHenry Shaw died August 25th, 1889.  He left a legacy of beauty, education and hope for everyone to enjoy.

Our garden is one of my favorite places.  I hope you have a chance to visit in person someday.  People come from all over the world for research.  Countless gatherings, classes, exhibits, cooking demonstrations are offered BUT, for me the best part is wandering the grounds, soaking in the beauty.

.  One frigid afternoon, I zoomed from a college class in time to meet a lady with a passion for tree trunks.  We were freezing, looking at variations in tree trunks.  Trees have never looked the same to me.  I do NOT recommend punishing yourself like that – BUT, I have developed a healthy respect for trees ever since.

Almost Spring

“Shaw’s Garden” – Day Before Spring

Chinese Garden

The first day of Winter was surprisingly warm and seemed a great day to visit The Chinese Garden.  It’s official title is “The Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden.”  Lovingly referred to as “The Chinese Garden.”  It is one small part of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  You can expect to find many posts about “The Garden” because it is one of my absolute favorite hangouts in St. Louis.

Missouri Botanical Garden/Nanjing Friendship GardenThe lush summer look has already disappeared, it’s easy to spot the two guardians along the path.  They grant us passage, with warnings, this is not a place tourists tread right now because construction is going on “behind the scenes.”  So, we can look around undisturbed.

"scholar garden" Missouri Botanical GardenThis garden is referred to as a “Scholar’s Garden.” It’s smaller and informal, a place people can come to share ideas, read and reflect . . . here’s our first peek inside . .

Extrodinary Craftsmanship / Chinese garden? Missouri Botanical gardenThe garden was built in Nanjing, then in 1996 five experts arrived from China to oversee the actual creation of our Friendship Garden.

Missouri Botanical Friendship Garden

This marble bridge was crafted in Nanjing China, assembled in St. Louis by experts from Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Urban Parks in 1996.

Inside there are marble bridges and beautiful stone mosaic walkways.

nanjing garden Missouri Botanical Garden

The entire blue stone walkway includes delicate inlay mosaic.

our hostThis fella kept close watch.

I could image reading, or writing at this stone table . . maybe sipping tea, listening to sounds of the day . . . peaceful, yes?

I could image reading, or writing at this stone table . . maybe sipping tea, listening to sounds of the day . . . peaceful, yes?

Nanjing Friendship GardenThese stones are nifty.  In this case they are called “Tai Hu Stone,” which tells us where they are from, but doesn’t explain what terrific garden companions they are.  Stones like these are often used in gardens, they are made of limestone, which is softer, so the elements have been able to leave their mark, color changes, holes and shapes give each stone unique character.  They seem to “speak” about place and time.  They can also be referred to as “Scholar Stones.”  One story referred to them as “Philosopher Stones,”  which makes me grin.  There are a few of them standing in this garden.  They are a nice presence.

Saying GoodbyePerhaps it is time to say goodbye for today, with a promise to return again in the future.

Thank you for visiting.

Missouri Botanical Garden – 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110

Old Post Office Plaza

The Old Post Office Plaza has good reviews online.  City Planners have looked for ways to create inviting spaces in the city, this project is one of several that speak to me.

Torso of Icarus“Torso di Ikro”  (The Torso of Icarus) by Igor Mitoraj.  The overall “theme” is the story of Daedalus and Icarus escaping from Patmos.
Old Post Office Plaza STLThis is referred to as “The Labyrinth” in keeping with the overall theme.  I like all the places to sit and enjoy the moment.  It’s built so you could feel alone, or enjoy time with others.  Kinda perfect for all kinds of stuff, reading, snacking, relaxing, just catching a moment . . .

Old Post Office PlazaIsn’t this a beautiful fountain?  There are steps leading right down to it, the water is clear and spills out like peaceful magic.    Such a Lovely garden Across from the Old Post OfficeTrees along the border of the Plaza, I don’t know what Master Gardener picked the landscaping, but they sure did a great job.  Standing in downtown St. Louis and feeling as if we are in some secluded sanctuary.  I admit that Fall is my favorite season, so the coloring, along with perfect weather, sure helps lift my spirits.  100_2095Here it is, the “Old Post Office,” right across the street.  When it opened in 1873 it was four blocks from the riverfront and people complained it was “too far west.” (The census reports suggests St. Louis is now 66 sq miles, much farther west than citizens in mid-1800’s imagined.)  A lot of ideas have been used to preserve this gorgeous building, using it as a focal point in the city, giving it new purpose and beautiful surroundings seems to be working.  I’m glad.

Hope Plaza

Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza is one of the jewels in my everyday life.  I pass this enchanting place several times a year on the way to medical appointments.  I am always grateful to find this pond.  Doesn’t matter what the weather is like, this place always offers comfort, hope and peace to the people passing by.  It is part of BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Studies, Students, Medical Miracles and Advances are found inside the surrounding buildings. – When the new expansion was planned, this bit of art and natural wonder was created and placed right where all of us would discover it and be lifted in spirit.

a place to heal, a place to be lifted

The summer resident ducks aren’t here today, but a sense of calm and people with smiles are always close.  In winter, the Pond is covered with a thick layer of ice and the walk way will have packed snow.  In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year, there is always stunning beauty in this place.

Hope Plaza - Pond and the doors to higher education

Hope Plaza is dedicated to Ellen S. Clark, a well loved and respected woman who encouraged others to be their very best.  She inherited a rare condition that took her life.  She worked tirelessly to offer education and understanding about stem cell research.  Even after she’d left this life, her family made sure her work continued.

Ellen S. Clark and her husband worked with designers to offer this gorgeous memorial.  Two of the most recognized artists are Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Andrew Gutterman of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. of Boston.  There is an eighty foot diameter Infinity Pool, with water flowers in season, ice in its proper time, ducks when they decide to attend, trees and . . Hope.

“It’s designed to be a calm place of refuge in the midst of a bustling medical center,” said Hank S. Webber, an executive vice chancellor at Washington University.

a place of peace

Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza, 320 S, Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110

You don’t need to have an appointment to visit.  Get off metrolink at the Central West End, walk up the flight of stairs on the west end of the platform and turn right.  You’ll be satisfied with the side trip.

Be Well