Last week, my best friend, who lives in Wisconsin and whom I don’t get to see often, was in town for my youngest’s First Communion. She was able to come a few days early and I planned a whole day that I deemed Best Friend Fun Day, a day I made up so that my bestie and I could have the entire day, just us, to do fun best friend things! She teased me a bit the first few times I said that, but she came around and was saying it herself later. We’re making it a thing. LOL
She’d never been to the Missouri Botanical Gardens (MOBOT for short), and it’s one of my favorite places, and I knew she’d love it, so off we went!
If you’ve never been to the Missouri Botanical Garden, you need to go! Founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw, MO Bot Garden houses several curated gardens like the Japanese and Children’s Gardens, Linnean House – the oldest continuously operating greenhouse west of the Mississippi River, the Climatron Geodesic Dome Conservatory, newly restored Sachs Museum, Chihuly glass sculptures all over, and more! There are always tons of things going on too, like their evening concerts every summer, the Garden Glow during the holiday season (I wrote a previous post on that here!), and all kinds of classes and events!
Construction has finished and the new entrance is open! It’s very modern and airy but fits with the natural aesthetic very well! We had so much fun and spent a whole 4 hours strolling the gardens and we didn’t even get to see everything! Both Linnean House and the Sachs Museum were not open during our visit this time, sadly, but we WERE able to get to go inside Tower Grove House on the grounds! History nut that I am, this is something I’ve always wanted to see, but HBW Hubby and kids don’t have any interest, so I’ve not been able. Luckily, I was there with my BFF and not them, so we were able to go inside and it was so cool!
Did you know that the bathroom installed in the house is one of the earliest examples of indoor plumbing? The bathtub was made of sheet metal inserted into a wood surround that by today’s standards looks almost primitive, but back then was the height of luxury! Many of the items in the original part of the house belonged to Shaw and date back to his time living there and designing the gardens, mid to late 1800s. If you want a good giggle, read the plaque that hung outside the bathroom.
While we were there, they were setting up the new Chihuly installations and we got to see some of the individual pieces up close. The amount of detail that goes into each of these pieces is astounding! Just beautiful! The men installing them, who work directly with the artist, said that many of Chihuly’s pieces are inspired by the natural world, which I think comes through in his work.
Dale Chihuly installed several pieces many years ago, but this year he added to the display. You can go at night for them to be all lit up as well, something I’d like to see. Here are a few of the pieces you’ll find around the gardens.
Of course, I can’t talk about the gardens without talking about the flowers! The tulips were out and several other cool weather bloomers, like the many shades of ranunculus – my personal favorite flower! It was a little early for the roses and peonies, though a few hardy specimens decided to grace us with their beauty. One such peony even had a little visitor. Can you spot it in the picture?
After oohing and aahing for four hours, our stomach notified us that it needed sustenance. We took ourselves out for lunch at City Park Grill, just one of the many unique restaurants in the Tower Grove area. And it was so good! The buffalo chicken nachos were ::chef’s kiss:: perfection! I’m hungry again just thinking about it!
The Tower Grove area is perfect for girls days, if you’re looking for cute shops and unique places to eat. No chains here! Our Best Friend Fun Day was a success, so grab your bestie and get out and have one of your own!
Until next time, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!
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