Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Jewel Box

On a recent trip to St. Louis, we stopped at Forest Park and one attraction was "The Jewel Box", listed on the National Historic Register.

Do you ever dream of owning a 50 foot tall greenhouse, numerous reflection pools, statuary and lush landscapes? Visiting public gardens is a way to bring large ideas into the average home owner's garden and budget. Using these professionally accomplished gardens as your inspiration can make a good vacation.

The Jewel Box has recently had a $3.5 million restoration. Built in 1936 in an Art Deco style, it had fallen into disrepair and the plants/grounds were untended. Today, The Jewel Box grounds are just starting the return to it's former splendor.

It's a beautiful building and site - only to get better as the plants become more comfortable in their new beds.

The entire (1,293 acres) Forest Park is landscaped and the zoo, especially, has many enjoyable portions that have been designed to give a natural setting for the animals, butterflies, and sea inhabitants.

It appears St. Louis has embarked upon an urban renewal that includes inviting landscapes. Lush and professionally accomplished, it is obvious they spend quite a bit of money planting and tending these displays.

My mother lived some of her youth in St. Louis and we attempted to find the area. Much of those urban brick bungalows are now part of hard times and some are in gang destroyed areas. But, the areas that are only on hard times have city landscaped and planted green spots. They have rest and viewing areas for residents and guests.

Apparently, the City government has realized the beauty of flowers and landscaping can make a difference to both citizens and visitors.
If you tend to plan your vacations around the horticulture of an area, then St. Louis is a close and easy place to include. My advice is don't plan it the same day the Cards host the All Star game and President Obama throws the first pitch. In spite of the additional crowds in St. Louis for the game, families with children were out in numbers at the tourist sites. It was crowded, hot and humid, but both parents and children were happy and enjoying the great exhibits. Everyone was treating others with respect, kindness and patience.

A friendly town waiting for your arrival.

No comments:

Post a Comment