Search This Blog

Friday, June 23, 2006

Missouri Botanical Gardens - St. Louis, MO

The famous 630' Gateway Arch is at LaClede's landing on the Mississippi River, and it is the nation's tallest monument.

This is the courthouse where the slave Dredd Scott was tried in the 1850's. In a nutshell, he and his wife sued for freedom in 1846. Because their freedom was denied, more fuel was added to the conflict which led to the Civil War. Our hotel was right above the fountain area. It was a gorgeous view!


The fountain you see when you first enter the grounds to the Botanical Gardens is Chihuly's Polyvitro Crystals, made of polyurethane material, and they are large and hollow, which allows him to use a larger scale than glass.

These two whimsical things were in the Children's Garden, and I just love them! I think you might see something like this in my Crazy Dog garden before the end of the year! You can see the edge of the garden railroad, too, that Hubby would like to have somewhere at our house as well.

This little water feature in the Children's Garden was so darned cute! It was tucked away into a little hidden corner in a maze - almost like a reward for finding Mr. and Mrs. Peacock by sound.
This is the peek at some of the glass as you begin to enter to the Rose Gardens - there is a matching gate with the sun radiants on the other side of the garden, too.
Here I am at one of the gates.

Most of the Chihuly installation was inside the Climatron which is the domed building just behind the reflecting pool. The glass pieces floating in the pool are called Walla Walla Onions with pointed tips that resemble their namesake, the famous sweet onions of eastern Washington State.
Inside the Climatron are all sorts of tropical lowland rain forest plants. It's kept quite humid inside, and there are birds flitting all around as well. It was build in 1960 and it was the world's first geodesic dome greenhouse.

We took over 100 pictures, so I am only going to share a few of them. Remember, his work is copyrighted, and he gives permission to use the images for educational and noncommercial use. I didn't look at the program until we got home, and now I see that in all the cases, I was able to identify what the meaning of the glass was to represent. See if you get the same feeling from the work.

This series is named after the traditional art of Japanese flower arranging.

This piece was sitting across from a little stream on the bank. I took the picture, standing behind the waterfall. It parodied some of the plants on the same hillside - unknown names.

Sea Urchins


Machhia - This series is named after the Italian word for "spotted".

Mexican Hats - These were tucked into the wall by the fish area, and I almost missed them. They have little three dimensional pieces of glass stuck onto them called "jimmies".

It had gotten very uncomfortable in the Climatron after we were in there for about an hour and a half, so we ventured outside to walk the garden grounds. There was lots of shade and it was just so beautiful! It covers 79 acres with gardens, fountains, and greenhouses, so we just couldn't do it all! But we were able to spend another two hours walking around and talking about all the gorgeous flowers. We walked through the Sewa-en, one of the largest Japanese gardens in North America, the Victorian area, which also has an original country home, a garden maze and the founder's (Mr. Shaw) mausoleum, the rose garden, the children's garden, the center for home gardening, and the day lily garden. A wonderful, wonderful day!

Fields of lilies make me smile.

These were my favorites.

Henry Shaw came to St. Louis from Sheffield, England in 1819, establishing a very successful hardware importing business to equip many settlers heading west. The garden was opened to the public in 1859.

This is Mr. Shaw's Mausoleum - isn't the rose in his hand touching? It is such a lovely resting place.

Hubby says, "Thank you Mr. Shaw for a beautiful garden, and a wonderful day!"


paula, the_quilter said...

I have always liked Chihuly's work. Thank you for sharing part of the installation at the botanic gardens. /paula

Judy said...

Oh Sharon, It's truely wonderful amazing work!! The glass is so striking and beautiful!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Tonya R said...

Wow wow wow. What an incredible way to get to see these great pieces - much more interesting than in a sterile white-walled building... Excellent

sharon b said...

Oh, Sharon, I am so homesick.. These photos are so beautiful. I want to go see this for myself. I'd even leave my 3 dogs home to do this.. Wonderful shots and wonderful words. Thanks for letting me see this.. Sharon in Florida

Nellie Bass Durand said...

I've been talking about your trip to that exhibition in the botancal gardens to my husband and friends all week and I'm delighted to see your wonderful photos. Thank you.

My favorie view of the arch is standing right next to the base looking up along the curve. Of course, looking down from the top is wonderous as well.

Ann said...

Sharon, thank you for the pictures of the art glass display at the Botanical gardens. I've been wanting to go there for a couple of years now, and that just makes me want to go all the more. Do you know how long the glass will be there? St. Louis is only a couple of hours away, and my dd and sil live just outside of St. Louis, so sounds like a trip we need to take soon!

Dawn said...

Wow that garden is spectacular! I've never been to St. Lois but child #3 wants to go down for a college visit, so now I know I MUST got visit the garden while we are there! It is amazing!

Rae said...

How beautiful. Makes me wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing your trip.

JudyL said...

Thanks for the pictures. I've never been to St. Louis. I think we need to plan a trip there.

Judy L.

The Calico Cat said...

Thanks for sharing - I sooooo love Chihuly!

BTW We call the sprinkles that you put on ice cream "Jimmies." I have no idea why, but we do!

The Calico Cat said...

the walla walla onions are on the cover of his website...


Carolyn said...

Thank you for the beautiful pictures...sounds like a glorious day!


ForestJane said...

Thanks for the virtual tour!

If I ever get up that way, I'll make sure to see the gardens. :)

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I really enjoyed your photo tour of such a beautiful spot, the flowers, the art, the history - everything! You are a great tour guide - thanks! I am happy you guys had a wonderful day!!!