Visit the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden was founded in 1859 and is a United States National Historic Landmark. Their founder, Henry Shaw was inspired in 1851 by the magnificent grounds at Chatsworth, and returned to St Louis to develop the property surrounding his country home to resemble the great gardens and estates in Europe. Mr. Shaw’s unusual gesture foresaw the age of American philanthropy and the creation of the tremendous U.S. public parks by several decades.
This garden is now a global leader in botanical research, science, and conservation. Its displays provide an oasis of beauty in the city of St. Louis. The Garden encompasses 79 acres (31.97 ha) of horticultural displays that includes an extensive bulb collection, a 14-acre (5.66 ha) Japanese garden, and large collections of rare and endangered flora from around the world.
During the 70th Annual International Lily Show & Symposium, we will have the opportunity to visit the Garden’s Production Greenhouse Complex. The greenhouse complex is rarely seen by the public and includes a whole acre under glass. This complex is composed of a series of 18 greenhouses that are connected to a large central hallway called the Head House. The plants in each greenhouse have different environmental needs. Temperatures, humidity levels, and light levels vary greatly from greenhouse to greenhouse. Even the soil and fertilizer used may be very different.
The aquatic nursery occupies half of a greenhouse area. Water lilies and other aquatic plants housed here bloom magnificently in summer throughout the Garden's water features. Three of the greenhouses are devoted solely to the Garden's extensive orchid collection. The Garden has roughly 7000 orchid plants, composed of approximately 280 genera. Four more production greenhouses are dedicated to spring and summer bedding plants and flowering Holiday Show plants. The annual Holiday Show and the annual Orchid Show make use of the foliage plants found in three additional greenhouses. In three more greenhouses the Horticulture division also works with the Research division in caring for tropical plants collected by researchers. Representing the opposite extreme in humidity, the desert greenhouse is the temporary home of many unusual and rare varieties of cacti and succulents from around the world. From orchids, to research plants, to desert plants, this tour will give you a behind the scenes tour of the unique and unusual environments within the MBG Production Greenhouse complex.