Victorian Backyard, Stumpery, and origami sculpture: Missouri Botanical Backyard, half 2

June 24, 2021

It’s Pollinator Week, so I’ll kick off Half 2 of my go to to Missouri Botanical Backyard (MOBOT) with this bee-attracting patch of coneflowers behind one of many administrative buildings.

What a reasonably little backyard of echinacea, allium, and amsonia in a hidden-away spot.

Victorian Backyard

In distinction, the high-traffic areas within the Victorian District embody among the backyard’s oldest constructions, together with Tower Grove Home, the nation residence of MOBOT founder Henry Shaw.

A traditionally correct Victorian backyard shows geometric beds of colourful annuals and shrubs in a red-brick plaza.

A white marble statue of Juno, acquired by Shaw in 1885, holds court docket within the heart.

One other Victorian staple was the pincushion backyard, so named for its round form. Various spherical beds in a strip of garden had been prepped however unplanted. However a pair had been already achieved, like this gorgeous star-shaped design of turquoise and rosy-hued succulents. Received lots of succulent cuttings? Right here’s your answer!

On the fringe of the Victorian District, an onion-domed observatory tower (the higher story was closed) makes a good-looking viewpoint amongst stately specimen bushes.

Origami sculptures

Jennifer and Kevin Field’s origami sculptures, a part of the short-term exhibition Origami within the Backyard, entertained us all through the gardens. Right here’s an equine variation on rock-paper-scissors.

Different origami horses had been prancing throughout a garden.

Historic houses and Shaw’s mausoleum

Tower Grove Home was in-built 1849 as Henry Shaw’s nation residence, and it’s the place he deliberate the botanical backyard after retiring together with his hardware-store fortune. At this time it’s a museum, however as a result of covid it was closed throughout our go to.

Shaw constructed his personal mausoleum only a few dozen yards away…

…and posed for the marble effigy that lies inside. Shaw died in 1889.

A gatekeeper’s cottage, Herring Home, stands close by on the backyard’s former entrance.

An enthralling cottage backyard surrounds it, however it’s closed to guests, so I might solely peek over the hedge.


One other Victorian design, coming again into favor — I’ve seen just a few on my backyard travels — is the stumpery. I actually loved MOBOT’s Stumpery, a shady woodland backyard that includes previous logs, sections of tree trunks, and upturned root balls.

Scrolled cross-sections of tree trunks resemble curled strips of paper amongst ferns and hosta.

A bony log on the finish of 1 path appears to face in as a bench.

Displayed on a slope, upturned and tentacled tree roots seem amid lush foliage. My images actually don’t do these justice. They give the impression of being greater and extra dramatic in actual life and are fairly stunning as pure sculpture and a reminder of bushes which have handed on.

Grove of daybreak redwoods

A powerful group of dwelling bushes alongside one other path offered welcome shade on this scorching day. These giants are daybreak redwoods.

Their reflections within the mirrored home windows of an adjoining constructing create the phantasm of a double colonnade.

The mirrored home windows additionally make an irresistible selfie spot.

English Woodland Backyard

Within the English Woodland Backyard, we sat within the shade for some time, having fun with inexperienced dappled daylight.

After we emerged, an origami squirrel gathering an origami acorn greeted us.

Up subsequent: The gorgeous and serene Japanese Backyard. For a glance again on the Climatron conservatory, Ottoman Backyard, and different gardens close to the doorway, click on right here.

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