National Garden Clubs, Inc.
National Garden Clubs, Inc. is headquartered on 6.2 acres at the south end of the Garden. This land was purchased from the Garden in 1955, but remains open to the public. National Garden Clubs is the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world with nearly five hundred clubs in fifty states and the District of Columbia.
The Knolls provide a scenic vista between the Milles Sculpture Garden and Henry Shaw's Mausoleum Garden. The landscape features slightly undulating topography and artfully placed clumps of trees and shrubs. Mother and Child, a bronze created in 1929 by Belgian Marcel Rau, is displayed on the southwest side of the Knolls.
Dry Streambed Garden
Within the Knolls, visitors find the Dry Streambed Garden, which contains a small pond featuring hardy water lilies and a dry stream garden, framed by colorful daylilies, ornamental grasses and shrubs, and many endangered species which are held for the Center for Plant Conservation.
Climatron Axis and Milles Sculpture Garden
The Milles Sculpture Garden lies south of the Samuels and Heckman Bulb Gardens. This sculpture garden consists of three large reflecting pools which span the axis from the Spink Pavilion to the Climatron.
The pools feature seven bronzes by Swede Carl Milles: Sunglitter, male and female Orpheus Fountain Figures, Three Angel Musicians, and Two Girls Dancing. Tropical water lilies, including the giant Victoria water lily, may be seen growing in the pools. The water lilies' peak display is in August. Display beds along all sides of the lily pools brighten the area with flowers, including tulips, pansies, and unusual summer annuals.
Heckman Rock Garden
The Heckman Rock Garden features alpine plants and bulbs or those having similar growth habits, including the rose campion, pasque flower, and Missouri evening primrose. Peak season of bloom is spring and early summer. Cora, a life-sized bronze by St. Louis sculptor Don Wiegand was installed in the Rock Garden in 1993.
Spoehrer Plaza and Latzer Fountain
One step outside the Ridgway Center is Spoehrer Plaza, centered by the spectacular Latzer Fountain, created in 1982 by American Geoffrey Rausch. Sawtooth oak trees, flower beds, and container displays surround the fountain, as do inviting benches.
The Bakewell Court Garden ushers the visitor from Spoehrer Plaza to the entrance of the Linnean House. The garden contains plantings of annuals and perennials which change with the seasons.
Swift Family Garden
Opposite the Linnean House, the Swift Family Vista and Perennial Garden includes three lily pools and a perennial border. The pools are planted with tropical water lilies and other water plants in early summer. The water lilies bloom throughout the summer; peak season of bloom is early August.
The Swift Family Perennial Garden is comprised of a perennial border and several arbors. The perennial border is symmetrical on either side of the Gladney Rose Garden entrance. The arbors are planted in perennial vines and feature magnificent hanging baskets from spring to fall.
Exiting the Linnean House, visitors step into the welcoming Cohen Court Garden. The garden features plants with yellow flowers, fruit, and leaves. The garden's peak season of bloom is summer.
The path through the reflecting pool leads to the Baer Garden. The garden is paved with soft rose and blue-gray limestone and features two fountains. Pleached trees, azaleas, and colorful annuals enclose the garden. The peak season of bloom extends from spring through autumn.
Zimmerman Sensory Garden
A bend in the path reveals the Zimmerman Sensory Garden. This garden was designed for the visually impaired, with Braille signs, raised beds, and textured plants, but is enjoyed by all visitors. Bell Tree, a large sculpture created in 1986 by Americans Paolo Soleri, William Severson, and Vernon Gross, provides pleasant sounds and intriguing forms for touching. The Shell Fountain gurgles in a small alcove of the Zimmerman Scented Garden.
George Washington Carver Garden
The one-and-a-half acre Carver Garden is designed for peaceful contemplation and learning. Entering from the south, visitors proceed down a path lined with inspirational inscriptions from Carver's writings and speeches, emerging at a central reflecting pool. Benches and a small amphitheater surrounding the water provide a quiet place to relax. The garden is landscaped with fragrant viburnums, hydrangeas, callery pears and sweet potato vines to give a secluded, intimate feeling. The focal point is a life-size bronze of Carver by acclaimed African-American sculptor Tina Allen of California. The six-foot statue shows a mature Carver of about 65 years old, wearing a lab jacket and a wise, gentle expression as he stands holding a small plant to the sunlight.