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Show #11/1111
Theme Gardens-Missouri Botanical Garden


Kemper Demonstration Gardens
THERE ARE MANY WAYS FOR VISITORS OF THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN TO GET IDEAS AND INSPIRATION. The Kemper Demonstration Garden is one area. There are 23 home demonstration gardens and their purpose is to show home gardeners different gardening ideas which in turn will provide inspiration for their home gardens. Jim and Joe visit several.

Click here for more info

Bird Garden
JOE LIKES THE IDEA OF THE GIRD GARDEN. Garden Smart receives many web site inquiries about how to attract birds to the garden. One can certainly buy bird feeders but plant material works equally well. This garden displays plants that provide birds shelter and food. One first notices that it has deciduous and evergreen shrubs and berry producing Hawthorn and Holly trees. Additionally, it has Lobelia cardinalis, Campsis x tagliabuana Trumpet creeper and Salvia divinorum which lure birds to the area in the summertime. As well they have Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' Winterberry, common name Winterberry. It is a deciduous Holly and is loaded with berries in the winter and that is important for birds needs. It's a great ornamental plant, because it lights up the landscape with the bright berries in the wintertime and is a versatile plant because it grows in full sun, even partial shade. The Blue Spruce is a great backdrop to the red berries of the Winterberry. A great contrast. When creating a bird garden sources of food and water are important, but, so is shelter.

Click here for more info

Fragrance Garden
THE FRAGRANCE GARDEN HAS BEEN PLANTED WITH A FULL SPECTRUM OF AROMATIC PLANTS. Rosa 'Graham Thomas' Shrub roses, Lonicera Honeysuckle, Lilium longiflorum Easter Lilies, Chionanthus virginicus Fringe trees, Magnolia grandiflora and Viburnum davidii are all included. They also have incorporated an evergreen hedge and a bordering brick wall that guard against direct wind, both help contain the fragrance.

Click here for more info

City Garden
THE CITY GARDEN IS SMALLER BUT A GREAT PLACE TO GET IDEAS. Particularly so, because smaller gardens are becoming much more common these days and all the more reason it's important to select the right plants and trees. Here they have Cercis canadensis 'Covey' Weeping eastern redbud. It's branches are going down rather than out, its very ornamental. They have softened the walls with vines and made great use of the vertical spaces. As the season progresses some of the areas will be filled with vegetables, thus it will be a productive area. They've made good use of containers even filling some with tomatoes, which makes use of the limited space. Many of the newly bred plants are great for smaller spaces. The Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple is an example.

Click here for more info

Plants Of Merit
JOE NOTICES SEVERAL OTHER PLANTS. The Hydrangea anomala subsp. Petiolaris Climbing hydrangea does well in shade but they are also happy in sun, they're happy to climb a wall and in this case it softens the wall and fills the space. It has a great flower, although often slow to flower, especially in the south but once it does it can't be beat. The Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight' Japanese hydrangea vine with its light leaf color and green veins really lights up the area. And, its flowers are attractive and is an aggressive climber. It is a "Plants of Merit." Plants of Merit are those selected by a regional group of horticulturists in the midwest for plants that perform beautifully but are not very well utilized. It's a good selection.

Plants Of Merit


Click here for more info

Japanese Garden
Jim and Joe next visit THE JAPANESE GARDEN OR SEIWA-EN, A GARDEN OF PURE, CLEAR HARMONY AND PEACE. This is one of Jim's favorite gardens if not his favorite. Jim thinks this garden is always interesting, it's always beautiful. The light is different and striking. In the morning, mid-day and in the evening, it's always changing throughout the day. Thus the views are always different. Also, seasonally some gardens can get a little tired looking in the summer or some gardens are not interesting in the winter. This garden is wonderful year round. It is 14 acres, 4 acres in lake which is the central feature, it then has meandering paths that go all around the lake. This is considered a wet strolling garden. As one goes around the trails there are hide and reveal gardens, a common characteristic of this type garden. The plants seem to just come out and reveal themselves when one rounds a corner. It may be Azaleas in full bloom as is the case this day. But most of the time these gardens are designed to be monochromatic, the emphasis is not on the flower.

Click here for more info

Chinese Garden
THE CHINESE GARDEN IS DIFFERENT THAN THE JAPANESE GARDEN. The most notable difference is that the Chinese garden emphasizes structure and texture through hardscapes and stonework. There is a lot of hardscaping in this area. Typically a Chinese garden will be encircled with walls. Here there is a stream with big stones. The big stones at the head of the stream represent the mountains and the water coming forth represents life. The stream is pretty rough on the upper end yet calm and peaceful at the lower end. Kind of the yin and yang. This garden is patterned after a Chinese scholar's garden which is why one sees muted colors as opposed to a Chinese Imperial garden which would have brighter colors on the pavilion and stone.

Click here for more info

The Woodlands Garden
THE WOODLANDS GARDEN PROVES THAT MANY PLANTS WILL GROW IN SHADE. This area is flourishing, it's doing very well. Mid spring is the perfect time to visit a woodlands garden. Everything is up, the canopy of the trees hasn't leafed out yet so it gives the plants an opportunity to get their energy, the warming soil allows them to emerge, build fortitude, so that when everything leafs out they're ready to go, strong throughout the summer when the canopy is much thicker.

Woodland Garden Factsheet Woody Plants


Click here for more info

Plants For Sun Versus Plants For Shade
JOE AND JIM NEXT TALK ABOUT PLANTS THAT LOVE SUN VERSUS THOSE THAT LOVE SHADE AND WHICH WILL DO BETTER IN THE DIFFERENT CONDITIONS. In a woodlands garden there are varying levels of light, from deep shade, where not many plants will grow, to much more sunny conditions. Hedera helix English ivy will grow most anywhere but Joe doesn't want to promote it. But, Asarum canadense wild ginger is a good choice for deep shade. For dappled light Heuchera maxima and Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly' foam Flower are great choices. The more light the Tiarella gets, the more flowers it will put on, but it is very happy in dappled light. Another good choice for the area is Hosta.

Click here for more info

Jim's Take Away
Jim believes that the Camellia story says a lot. He believes that gardeners need to push the envelop a little. PLANTS ARE FORGIVING. Work with them, try new things. Jim believes that this will increase ones gardening pleasure, making gardening a more enjoyable pastime. He always says - "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Click here for more info

 


LINKS:

Missouri Botanical Garden

Drury Hotels - St. Louis

Garden Smart Plant List



Complete transcript of the show.


St. Louis is a beautiful city with a great history and a great gardening story. It was explored by the Spanish in the mid 1500's, was settled by the French in 1764 when they declared it would be one of the finest cities in America. It was named after King Louis IX of France. St. Louis first prospered because of its proximity to the Mississippi River and its location on high ground. As a trading post in the 1850's it was thriving and as a port was second only to New York as far as traffic. In 1837 the first hotel, the Planter House was constructed, then in 1844 the park system followed. Still today, St. Louis prides itself on quality of life and hospitality.
Henry Shaw had a lot to do with the development of the city. He was born in England, came to the states and entered the hardware business. He had done so well that at the age of 40 he retired and started touring the world. He went to Europe, saw beautiful gardens and realized that St. Louis needed a beautiful garden, in fact one of the best in the world. So he set out to do just that. He allocated 1,800 acres of land adjacent to his property, became personally involved and for the next 30 years built what today is known as the Missouri Botanical Garden. And, it is indeed one of the premier gardens of the world and is known world wide for not only its gardens but for its research.
Designing your own garden can be a little overwhelming. Where does one start? By narrowing the focus to themes and by doing some plant research ahead of time the job can be somewhat easier. The Missouri Botanical Garden provides some excellent examples.
Jim Cocos is the Vice President of Horticulture at the Missouri Botanical Garden. His interest in horticulture started as a little guy at home with his dad and vegetable gardening. He went to the University of Missouri, got a degree in horticulture, had his own business for a number of years in the landscape contracting business, went to Savannah, Georgia as the city horticulturist and was fortunate to be able to come back here in this position. Jim didn't spend time here as a child but his grandfather worked here in the 40's and 50's. His grandfather taught Jim's father the tricks of gardening and Jim's father then passed them on to Jim. And, here he is today. He realizes every morning how fortunate he is to be in this environment and looks forward to coming to work each morning.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS FOR VISITORS OF THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN TO GET IDEAS AND INSPIRATION. The Kemper Demonstration Garden is one area. There are 23 home demonstration gardens and their purpose is to show home gardeners different gardening ideas which in turn will provide inspiration for their home gardens. Jim and Joe visit several.
Top


JOE LIKES THE IDEA OF THE BIRD GARDEN. Garden Smart receives many web site inquiries about how to attract birds to the garden. One can certainly buy bird feeders but plant material works equally well. This garden displays plants that provide birds shelter and food. One first notices that it has deciduous and evergreen shrubs and berry producing Hawthorn and Holly trees. Additionally, it has Lobelia cardinalis, Campsis x tagliabuana Trumpet creeper and Salvia divinorum which lure birds to the area in the summertime. As well they have Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' Winterberry, common name Winterberry. It is a deciduous Holly and is loaded with berries in the winter and that is important for birds needs. It's a great ornamental plant, because it lights up the landscape with the bright berries in the wintertime and is a versatile plant because it grows in full sun, even partial shade. The Blue Spruce is a great backdrop to the red berries of the Winterberry. A great contrast. When creating a bird garden sources of food and water are important, but, so is shelter. Picea pungens 'Fat Albert' Colorado Blue Spruce is a cultivar that's slower growing, a little smaller and importantly provides very important shelter that the songbirds need from predators like hawks and other animals that might attack them. Joe likes the color of the Blue Spruce, knows it won't grow all across the country but there are certainly alternatives with other evergreen conifers.
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Weserbergland' Fountain Grass provides 2 important needs for birds. The 1st is nesting material provided by the grass itself. And, nesting material can be hard to find in some seasons of the year. In fact, oftentimes birds won't find much else is around for building a shelter. The 2nd is the seed head which will pop up in late summer and is full of seeds that birds enjoy. This grass is placed next to a water source and that is, again, an important element in a bird garden. In our gardens ornamental grasses are attractive in winter providing that nice upright structure when quite possibly nothing else is around.
Top


Oftentimes when we design gardens our first inclination is to go for visual appeal but it's equally important to stimulate the other senses in our designs. THE FRAGRANCE GARDEN HAS BEEN PLANTED WITH A FULL SPECTRUM OF AROMATIC PLANTS. Rosa 'Graham Thomas' Shrub roses, Lonicera Honeysuckle, Lilium longiflorum Easter Lilies, Chionanthus virginicus Fringe trees, Magnolia grandiflora and Viburnum davidii are all included. They also have incorporated an evergreen hedge and a bordering brick wall that guard against direct wind, both help contain the fragrance.
Joe notices an American arborvitae Thuja occidentalis 'Tiny Tim.' He doesn't associate that with a fragrance. Jim believes that it's a subtle thing. Typically in the hotter months it provides a bit of subtle odor but also one can take a little pinch of the foliage, squeeze it and it reminds one of the holidays. A Christmas tree smell.
The Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' Lilac bush has plenty of fragrance. When in bloom it fills the entire garden space and is wonderful. It has a short lived bloom but a great looking plant when in bloom.
Two other great fragrant plants are Viburnum carlesii 'Compactum' Koreanspice viburnum and Rhododendron x Native azalea. The Viburnum carlesii is a showstopper. Jim has some planted outside his office and he's noticed as guests walk by they will stop in their tracks to figure out what is creating the wonderful aroma. It's a great plant, has year round interest, fragrance in the summer, berries in the winter and it has beautiful fall color. The Native Azalea is another great plant. This plant is getting ready to open up and when it does it has a nice sweet fragrance and is highly ornamental in bloom in the spring.
Top


THE CITY GARDEN IS SMALLER BUT A GREAT PLACE TO GET IDEAS. Particularly so, because smaller gardens are becoming much more common these days and all the more reason it's important to select the right plants and trees. Here they have Cercis canadensis 'Covey' Weeping eastern redbud. It's branches are going down rather than out, its very ornamental. They have softened the walls with vines and made great use of the vertical spaces. As the season progresses some of the areas will be filled with vegetables, thus it will be a productive area. They've made good use of containers even filling some with tomatoes, which makes use of the limited space. Many of the newly bred plants are great for smaller spaces. The Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' Japanese maple is an example. It's a versatile tree, won't get too big, yet is big enough to really screen the entrance to this garden. Even though this is a small space it becomes a separate room and provides a sense of intimacy.
The Pinus kwangtungensis Pine is a surprising addition to this small space garden. This one is about 14 years old and with proper pruning they've kept it tight and bound. It is a very nice feature in this garden.
Top


JOE NOTICES SEVERAL OTHER PLANTS. The Hydrangea anomala subsp. Petiolaris Climbing hydrangea does well in shade but they are also happy in sun, they're happy to climb a wall and in this case it softens the wall and fills the space. It has a great flower, although often slow to flower, especially in the south but once it does it can't be beat. The Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight' Japanese hydrangea vine with its light leaf color and green veins really lights up the area. And, its flowers are attractive and is an aggressive climber. It is a "Plants of Merit." Plants of Merit are those selected by a regional group of horticulturists in the midwest for plants that perform beautifully but are not very well utilized. It's a good selection.
Plants Of Merit
Joe also likes Epimedium x rubrum Bishop's hat. Its a great ground cover that thrives with neglect, it's drought tolerant, is a ground cover that's happy in the shade and the leaf color is striking. It has a lime green look but with a red tinge that makes it special. A great performer. The Wisteria brachybotrys 'Shiro-kapitan' Silky wisteria is always nice to include for fragrance and adds to the overall feeling of a city garden. Joe had not noticed it until he smelled it, then turned around and saw how pretty it is.
Top


Jim and Joe next visit THE JAPANESE GARDEN OR SEIWA-EN, A GARDEN OF PURE, CLEAR HARMONY AND PEACE. This is one of Jim's favorite gardens if not his favorite. Jim thinks this garden is always interesting, it's always beautiful. The light is different and striking. In the morning, mid-day and in the evening, it's always changing throughout the day. Thus the views are always different. Also, seasonally some gardens can get a little tired looking in the summer or some gardens are not interesting in the winter. This garden is wonderful year round. It is 14 acres, 4 acres in lake which is the central feature, it then has meandering paths that go all around the lake. This is considered a wet strolling garden. As one goes around the trails there are hide and reveal gardens, a common characteristic of this type garden. The plants seem to just come out and reveal themselves when one rounds a corner. It may be Azaleas in full bloom as is the case this day. But most of the time these gardens are designed to be monochromatic, the emphasis is not on the flower. In fact centuries ago Japanese monks would pull off the flowers because they felt they excited the senses and they didn't want that, instead they wanted to calm the spirit. A Japanese garden is all form, structure and texture. And, that is why everything in this garden is hand pruned because the form of the plants is so important.
The guys look at several plants. In a Japanese garden, in the height of spring, one can count on vibrant color from 3 plants. The Azalea, of course, the Prunus sp. Cherry trees and the Malus x Crabapple. Many don't realize that Azaleas can do well in full sun, at least in certain parts of the country. If one prepares the soil, makes sure they have good drainage and proper fertility, they'll perform very well. Azaleas in a Japanese garden make perfect sense because they're native plants to Japan. Their form and structure work very well in this garden. The Quanson cherry tree is prolific and lined along the pathway. It's a steady performer year after year and has a beautiful bloom. It's not a long lived tree but beautiful and worth any aggravation. The Malus x Crabapple tree is also in full bloom and beautiful but in the winter one sees the structure and form and that is a critical element in a Japanese garden. There are many new varieties being introduced, some that are disease resistant and many different sizes are now available. It used to be that Crabapple trees were a difficult tree, not so anymore.
Top


THE CHINESE GARDEN IS DIFFERENT THAN THE JAPANESE GARDEN. The most notable difference is that the Chinese garden emphasizes structure and texture through hardscapes and stonework. There is a lot of hardscaping in this area. Typically a Chinese garden will be encircled with walls. Here there is a stream with big stones. The big stones at the head of the stream represent the mountains and the water coming forth represents life. The stream is pretty rough on the upper end yet calm and peaceful at the lower end. Kind of the yin and yang. This garden is patterned after a Chinese scholar's garden which is why one sees muted colors as opposed to a Chinese Imperial garden which would have brighter colors on the pavilion and stone.
Top


Our Garden Smart web site receives many questions about plants that will grow in shade. In fact many say they'd garden if only they didn't have shade. THE WOODLANDS GARDEN PROVES THAT MANY PLANTS WILL GROW IN SHADE. This area is flourishing, it's doing very well. Mid spring is the perfect time to visit a woodlands garden. Everything is up, the canopy of the trees hasn't leafed out yet so it gives the plants an opportunity to get their energy, the warming soil allows them to emerge, build fortitude, so that when everything leafs out they're ready to go, strong throughout the summer when the canopy is much thicker.
Here the top canopy is the large trees - Ash, Hickory, Maple, Elm. Then there is the center level, the understory trees - Redbud, Crabapple, Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Magnolia and Viburnum. They're in bloom and although in the shade really light up the Woodland Garden. As one moves down from the understory trees one finds the shrubs and perennials that are great in a woodland garden. Joe and Jim have a tough time choosing favorites because they have over 1,000 in here but Arum italicum is a good one. It has lush looking foliage in early spring and it's really nice to see it popping up after a hard winter. It will die down when the heat comes on but robust in the spring. It has an interesting shape to the leaf and the glossy foliage is great. Stylophorum diphyllum Celandine Poppy lights up a woodland garden, it has a yellow flower, naturalizes easily because it has an ovary that forms underneath the flower and it is chocked full of literally thousands of seeds and they spread readily and take root quickly. It's a great way to naturalize your garden with yellow flowers. And, it's not invasive. Brunnera macrophylla Siberian bugloss is so bright that one almost needs sunglasses. It has bright, blue flowers that almost look electric. They work well in pure shade and the foliage stays attractive all summer long. In contrast the Dicentra spectabilis Bleeding Heart will melt down as summer approaches but it reemerges strongly in the early spring, puts on beautiful flowers, then they go away but next spring it will come back stronger than ever. Another favorite plant is Anemone tomentosa Wildflower. It has interesting foliage and spreads and fills out those shady areas in a woodland garden. It will put on a white flower in the summer and it lasts until about the first frost. Jim likes a Missouri native Packera aureac Golden ragwort. It has bright yellow flowers that will really light up dark places in your yard.
Woodland Garden Factsheet
Woody Plants
Jim opines - one of the things a gardener must understand is that sometimes conditions change in a garden. Here they lost a number of big, mature trees resulting from some heavy storms. Some areas that previously were shady are now full sun. They had to move their hydrangeas for that reason. Fortunately they moved readily and they've done well, none were lost. They're performing well but if they had been left where they were, since they scorch in the sun, they wouldn't have performed well at all.
Top


JOE AND JIM NEXT TALK ABOUT PLANTS THAT LOVE SUN VERSUS THOSE THAT LOVE SHADE AND WHICH WILL DO BETTER IN THE DIFFERENT CONDITIONS. In a woodlands garden there are varying levels of light, from deep shade, where not many plants will grow, to much more sunny conditions. Hedera helix English ivy will grow most anywhere but Joe doesn't want to promote it. But, Asarum canadense wild ginger is a good choice for deep shade. For dappled light Heuchera maxima and Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly' foam Flower are great choices. The more light the Tiarella gets, the more flowers it will put on, but it is very happy in dappled light. Another good choice for the area is Hosta. In St. Louis they can get by with it in full sun because of the northern latitude but as one goes further south that won't work, it will burn up. But with dappled light no mater where one lives it's a real winner. A good shrub for dappled light is the Rhododendron, as are Boxwood and Yew, they're good performers.
The guys next look at plants that do well in full sun. In this area there had been a huge beautiful Elm. They lost it but rather than cry they approached it as an opportunity. They now have ferns. Often we think of ferns as shade loving plants but there are some varieties that really like to be in the sun or will at least tolerate some full sun. Athyrium filix-femina supsb. Asplenioides Southern lady fern is thriving here and seems quite vigorous. Another that likes full sun, even in the south is Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn fern. It does well in this situation as well as in shade. Another plant that people may be familiar with is Monarda citri. It is a full sun plant, the bees love it, it will bloom in summer, probably around June and does well in this environment. Filipendula ulmaria Queen of the meadows is a bright golden yellow and does well in full sun. As it gets shadier the color will revert to a deeper green but is still a great looking plant.
Jim shows Joe some plants that just a few years ago he would never have dreamed would have grown in St. Louis. For example, Camellia japonica 'April Tryst' a few years ago would not have been grown outside here. But because of good plant breeding they now have several varieties of Camellias that they're now trying and they're doing well. In fact several weeks ago it was full of blooms.
Jim believes that the Camellia story says a lot. He believes that gardeners need to push the envelop a little. PLANTS ARE FORGIVING. Work with them, try new things. Jim believes that this will increase ones gardening pleasure, making gardening a more enjoyable pastime. He always says - "nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Joe thanks Jim for his time and the tour, This has been a most enjoyable and beautiful garden tour.
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LINKS:

Missouri Botanical Garden

Drury Hotels - St. Louis

Garden Smart Plant List

   
   
 
   
   
   
   
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