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Shaw hires James Gurney as Head Gardener.

James Gurney - Head Gardener under Henry Shaw standing in the Arboretum

Shaw was fortunate in his hiring of James Gurney in 1867 to be the head gardener. Gurney had been trained as a horticulturist in England, and in St. Louis he took over the task of running the day-to-day operations of the Botanical Garden. He was famous for his cultivation of the large leafed Victoria water lilies, still seen in the Garden today. He was also called on by Shaw to work in Tower Grove Park, and in fact, after Shaw’s death, Gurney became the superintendent of that park.


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