One of my favorite places to visit in St. Louis is the Missouri Botanical Garden, known by many of the locals as Shaw’s Garden. During my visit today with my good friend Beth, I decided to focus on garden structures and art. Small touches in the home garden often make the difference between a nice garden and a garden with real character, never lacking at MoBot.

This palm is striking against the geometric patterns of the Climatron. It was late morning and the sunlight took away the color of the palm and made this shot look like a black and white photo. Watch the light in your gardens to see how different it looks as the daylight changes.

The Floating Onions were kept at the garden after the Chihuly exhibit last year. In the evening, lights make the onions glow, a very different look when compared to daytime. Remember to use lighting in your home garden for evening enjoyment.

I didn’t think that this fence and archway could ever be improved, but the addition of the Chihuly glass takes it over the top!

This is a view of the Climatron, as you come around a bend in the path. Built in 1960, it replaced the Palm House that was built in 1914.

Boy With a Flute, one of the special sculptures tucked into the garden. He gives this section of the garden a quiet feeling. Imagine the lilting tune from the little boy. A small water feature can add music to your garden.

Found in the Temperate House, you come upon this courtyard as you come around a thick planting, a delightful surprise. It is a wonderful example of color that can be included in a garden with materials other than plants. We sat here for quite awhile. Despite many other visitors to the building, this area is very serene and private. I’ve been tempted to try to paint my patio to to match the tile here, but that might be pushing my luck with my dear husband’s understanding ways about my garden habits.

This lovely hillside has lots of low plants with leaf texture as well as flowers, very pleasing. The stone draws your eye down the slope, tempting you to wander to the next path.

Yes, even the Botanical Garden has dandelions!

It makes me happy to see that I’m not the only one.

As you can see from this small tour, there is more to a garden than the plants. Adding small surprises, a decorative fence or even a large stone will give your garden personality!

No visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden is complete without lunch on The Hill for the best Italian food in the city. Yum!