May 27th ~ St. Louis, MO
Our weather was hot and humid, but we were not to be deterred. Since it was a holiday weekend, finding an RV park in St Louis the previous evening became difficult. We ended up staying about 60 miles west of town, so after a lazy morning, a bit of a drive and a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we finally arrived in St Louis.
Henry Shaw founded the gardens. He was an Englishman who came to St. Louis in 1819, made a fortune operating a hardware store and retired at age 39. This allowed him to travel and pursue his love of botany.
He opened the garden to the public in 1859, making it the nations oldest botanical garden and a National Historic Landmark.
Upon entering the building, you are immediately fronted with the glass artwork of renowned artist Chihuly.
We spent the afternoon simply wandering from garden area to garden area. Somehow we missed one of the highly recommended sections, the Japanese Garden. We also felt that due to the rough/wet spring they had, some of the sections were left unplanted or not at their prime.
Even at that, we still had some magnificent blooms to enjoy, buildings to admire, restful benches where we could take in our surroundings, and flowers to smell.
Many pictures were taken (surprise, surprise). Hope you will enjoy seeing some of my favorites from the day:
Fun Facts: (derived from MBG literature)
- More than a third of medicines in the U.S. contain a plant-derived ingredient. In the developing world, three out of four people rely on remedies made from plants.
- More than 25 percent of our modern medications derive from plants, yet less than two percent of all plants have been tested for medical applications.
- Each year, more than 1,900 volunteers donate more than 150,000 hours.
- With scientists on six continents in 35 countries, the Missouri Botanical Garden operates one of the largest plant science programs in the world.
- The Garden maintains one of the world’s largest herbaria (a library of plant specimens, currently numbering 6.3 million) and one of the world’s best botanical libraries.
- In collaboration with other institutions, the Garden is spearheading the development of a World Flora Online – a complete listing of all known plant species on Earth.
After exploring here, it was time to move on. I had looked up the best place to get a picture of the St. Louis Arch and had the coordinates for Malcolm Martin Park all loaded into Google Maps, then Tim decided to check for height restrictions. Sure enough, at the entrance to the park there is a limit of 10 feet. Well, Ellie Mae needs 12 feet.
It was hot and sticky, we were tired, and did not want to unhook our tow car, Jethro, so decided to simply snap a shot on the way past. We had both already been up inside the arch years earlier, so we were OK with this solution.
We have driven to the Midwest for the primary reason of attending our nieces wedding on June 1st. We were on the last leg of the “outward” part of our journey as we entered into Illinois. We will be spending a few days with Tim’s extended family this week before getting into the wedding festivities.
The Cross at the Crossroads
When we passed Groom Cross a few days back, it had been billed as the largest cross. Well, Effingham, Illinois was NOT going to be outdone. They built a cross two feet taller (198 feet) so they can now claim the “tallest cross in the USA”.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we have reach Illinois, safe and sound and can now relax a few days, enjoy time visiting with Tim’s extended family, and eat some great “home-cooking”.