Behind the Scenes

Do you ever wonder what goes on Behind the Scenes at Missouri Botanical Garden? How is everything kept so beautiful? Where do the plants come from? Who makes all the informative signs that you see everywhere in the Garden?

The answers to these questions lie within the activities of the division of Horticulture. The Horticulture Division employs approximately 60 people.

Conservatories: The Climatron®, the Brookings Annex, the Temperate House, and the Linnean House are the Missouri Botanical Garden Conservatories. This unit consists of a manager and four staff members.

Floral Display: Missouri Botanical Garden's Annual Holiday Show, the Annual Orchid Show, and indoor plant displays are produced by an exhibit designer and one staff member.

Greenhouses: The Greenhouses accommodate plant propagation, plant production for indoor and outdoor use, research plants and special collections such as orchids, cacti and succulents, tropical plants and aquatics. This unit consists of a supervisor and seven staff members.

Kemper Center for Home Gardening: The Kemper Center staff oversees operations of the Center, exhibits and services,  the Plants of Merit program and the Horticulture Answer Service. This unit consists of a manager and six staff for the Center.

Outdoor Gardens are divided roughly into four sections, the North and South sections, the Kemper Home Demonstration Gardens and the turf maintenance crew.

  • North: The Northern section includes intensive gardens, aquatic gardens, rose gardens, scented garden, hedges, Chinese Garden, and others. This unit consists of a supervisor and eight staff members.
  • South: The Southern section includes the Japanese Garden, Victorian District, English Woodland Garden, Boxwood Garden, German Garden, President's Residence. This unit consists of a supervisor and nine staff members. 
  • Kemper Home Demonstration Gardens: Spread over 8.5 acres, 23 home demonstration gardens each have a different theme and are scaled to the size of residential yards in St. Louis. The Children's Garden is also maintained by this crew.  This unit consists of a supervisor and six staff members.
  • Turf Maintenance: This crew maintains over 30 acres of turf. This unit consists of a supervisor and three staff members.

Plant Records: Plant Records maintains a computer database of all the plants that are, or have ever been, in the Garden. They are also responsible for plant labeling and computerized mapping. This unit consists of a coordinator and two staff members.

Interns: Summer interns rotate through most of the above units from May to August. This unit includes an intern coordinator and usually five interns.

Of course, the above numbers do not take into account over 300 great volunteers!

Tasks vary according to season.  Click on the links to the right to learn more about seasonal changes at the Garden.