National Geographic : 1990 Aug
was guided by the eminent botanists Sir Wil liam Jackson Hooker of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England, and Asa Gray of Harvard. But it was the St. Louis physician and botanist George Engelmann who per suaded Shaw to make his garden not just a display but a scientific institution as well. Shaw endowed the Henry Shaw School of Botany at nearby Washington University, donated land adjacent to the garden to St. Louis for a park, willed the garden to a trust and the bulk of his estate to its maintenance. It wasn't enough. The garden for a time got into the business of selling orchids. By the 1920s, coal smoke from the city became so oppressive that the gardeners couldn't see from one end of the greenhouses to the other. To save the huge orchid collection, they removed it to the arboretum, a large farm purchased farther west. For years the garden slid into neglect. By the 1950s, as glass was falling out of the greenhouses, a consultant recommended that the garden give up botanical research and turn over its herbarium and fine botanical Many paths at the garden lead to Seiwa En, 14 acres of "pure,clear harmony and peace" designed by landscape architect Koichi Kawana along classic Japanese lines (bottom). Equally soothing, per haps, at the turn of the century was the sight of a lady calmly playing the violin atop a giant water lily.