NEW VICTORIAN GARDEN IN PROGRESS
AT MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
The construction of a modern version of a historical Victorian garden from the nineteenth century is in progress at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Kresko Victorian Garden will feature massive displays of colorful flowers and foliage in 27 geometric beds surrounding a statue of Juno, a white marble statue by Carl Nicoli, which was acquired by the Garden's founder, Henry Shaw, in 1885.
This garden will be an outstanding example of the height of fashion in England at the time Shaw was planting his gardens in St. Louis. The style of landscaping was introduced in the early 1800s when new and colorful flowers were coming to England from different parts of the world. English gardeners vied with each other on designs, color combinations, and variations on theme. Elaborate and colorful combinations of flowers, foliage, and succulents were combined in "plant tapestries," the combinations referred to as "carpet bedding."
The Kresko Victorian Garden was designed by Environmental Planning and Design of Pittsburgh in consultation with Brent Elliott, librarian of the Royal Horticultural Society and one of the world's foremost experts on the gardens of the Victorian era. Designers were able to review the archives of the Missouri Botanical Garden to incorporate ideas Henry Shaw used in his original Victorian Garden shortly after the Garden opened in 1859.
Due to cold weather, displays are not possible until spring, but construction of the concrete formal paths and brick-lined beds will be completed this fall. Colorful flowers and foliage are planned year round. This coming spring visitors will see bedding plants of many types and colors, followed by mixtures of flowers and foliage plants in summer. In fall, the beds will be replanted with chrysanthemums in a vast array of colors, sizes, and shapes. Today, more varieties of flowers and foliage are available than were possible in Victorian times. Improved selections and innumerable colors allow visitors to enjoy an even more beautiful Victorian garden than Queen Victoria herself could.
The Kresko Victorian Garden is part of the Historic District at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is located next to the Kaeser Maze and Piper Observatory, just east of the Tower Grove House, Henry Shaw's country home. Construction of the garden was made possible by a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Kresko and their children.