COMPILED BY MEGHAN LYNCH
Gardenland Express Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis, MO 800-642-8842 www.mobot.org
Stop by the Missouri Botanical Garden this holiday season to see nine model trains chugging along 2,500 feet of brass railroad tracks, laid among a miniature world. The horticulture staff plants hundreds of dwarf mugo pines, junipers, herbs, and mosses to landscape the tiny towns and farms along the trailways; they place holiday favorites like poinsettias and cyclamen around the display’s brick borders. The show celebrates a “Vintage St. Louis” theme this year, and its designers have created detailed replicas of structures from the 1904 World’s Fair, landmarks along local Route 66, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis airplane, and other icons of the Midwest.
Gardenland Express runs from November 23 through January 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for December 25 (the garden is closed for Christmas). From December 26 through 30, the display stays open until 7:00 p.m., with the extra festive touch of little twinkling lights on trains, buildings, and trees.
Plants in Culture United States Botanic Garden
Washington, D. C. 202-225-8333 www.usbg.gov
Curators at the United States Botanic Garden recently opened a new permanent exhibit in the restored conservatory. Titled “Plants in Culture,” it joins two previously installed permanent exhibits, “How Plants Work” and “Six Plants We Can’t Live Without,” in helping visitors appreciate plants in all their complexities.
“Plants in Culture” explores the roles plants play in expressions of culture-from religion to art and architecture to music and figures of speech-all around the world. Highlights include a reproduction of a medieval tapestry of symbolic plants, and the Garden of Ideas, where huge flower sculptures, planted in beds of polished glass mulch, support multimedia elements of the exhibit. “Plants in Culture” is a permanent installation in the USBG Conservatory’s West Gallery.