It was a Thursday like today. A few weeks ago, I think. Sunny with a bit of a chill in the air. I was working in my office that afternoon when my husband came home from being on the road all week. Popping his head between French doors of white he peeked in to say, “It’s a beautiful day! Let’s get away!”
Hopping into our car, we headed north on highway 44 towards downtown St. Louis. Soon a bright green exit sign led us toward the St. Louis Botanical Gardens where something new will always surprise you with beauty and wonder. Nature never ceases to amaze me there. Life is always springing forth no matter the season with new blooms in colors never seen before.
Truth be told the gardens are filled with history dating back to 1859 when Henry Shaw moved his residence, Tower Grove House http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/victorian-district-tower-grove-house/tower-grove-house.aspx to his gifted acres that are now the Botanical Gardens. He was a botanist, a man of science, a visionary with a pure love for all given to us by God and the world above. He studied plants and their surroundings, loving them more than life itself. Before he passed away, he commissioned his mausoleum to be built on the grounds amid his beloved trees and vines of ever-changing flowers. Even in death, he never wanted to leave his cherished gardens. Anyone making a trip to St. Louis, owes themselves a visit to this most enchanting world.
Surprisingly, the day that we drove into the parking lot workers of all sorts were setting up for an annual Chinese Festival that runs all summer long. It is a beautiful exhibit, helping pay homage to China and the magnificent Chinese gardens within the Botanical Gardens. Huge, bright and colorful displays were being set up, all lit from within, welcoming us as we walked inside. Greeting us at the entrance depicted two, giant elephants rising up on their back hooves. Most people don’t realize this magnificent presentation is made entirely of individual porcelain plates, painstakingly laid one by one in perfect position. One mistake and the entire display falls to pieces….
Anticipation prickled my arms. I couldn’t wait to walk among the beautiful flowers or delight at the bright Chinese splendors of 2015. Once out in the open air, my eyes darted this way and that. So much to look at. Blooms in all colors of the rainbow and others that I’d never imagined. Fields of Irises with bees buzzing and bushes of peonies drooping with huge powder puffs of color nearly dusting the ground.
Besides the precious gifts of nature, by far I was mesmerized by man’s creation of art. The fabulous Chinese presentations! They were bright, ornamental, colorful and fun! Children and adults alike giggled at airy animals playing in the grass or gazed at beautiful displays while wondering what secrets tall gentlemen whispered through the cool breeze of willow trees?
So, if you get a chance please visit the St. Louis Botanical Gardens this summer. In the light of day your eyes will gaze upon nature never dreamed of before. And, when dusk begins to settle upon China, lanterns will light, soaring your senses to heights of magical travel. Wishes of wonder will float through airy trees, whispered by little ones holding your hand.