These hands-on programs have been developed for participants with a variety of ability levels. Each program is taught by a Missouri Botanical Garden staff member or trained volunteer who introduces the group to the topic, followed by a hands-on activity for all participants.

Program length: 45–60 minutes
Fee: $60
Participants: 10 participants minimum and 15 participants maximum (see facilities key below)

Please call (314) 577-9506 to make a reservation. See reservation procedures below. For liability reasons, please make sure that at least two staff members from your center are present during the program to assist participants with projects.


Chinese Lantern Festival

Includes sensory kit

Welcoming Dragon LanternDuring the summer of 2012 the Garden presented one of our largest and most successful exhibits ever, The Chinese Lantern Festival. Join us on a photographic exploration as we tour the various lanterns, constructed of silk, steel, porcelain and glass, as they were seen during the day as well as their spectacular showing at night. Participants will enjoy a slide tour of the Lantern Festival and a hands-on activity potting individual succulent plants.

Delight of a Chinese Garden

Includes sensory kit

Pavilion in Chinese GardenThe Garden’s Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden honors the sister city relationship between St. Louis and Nanjing, established in 1979 as the first such relationship between the United States and China. Participants will enjoy a slide tour of our fabulous Chinese Garden and a hands-on activity including potting individual succulent plants.

The History of Tea

Includes sensory kit

Camellia, from which we get teaWhite, Black, Green and Oolong are among the many types of teas. Learn about the fascinating history, botany and many uses of tea throughout the world. Create your own herbal tea in tea bags for your own enjoyment.

Container Gardening


Container gardenThis program can be designed to fit your needs! Hanging baskets and container vegetables or herbs are just a few possibilities. Our volunteers share tips and techniques for container plant care. Fee includes a talk, demonstrations and one planted container for your center OR a small hands-on planting activity for each participant (depending on availability). Bring your sick plants for personal advice!

Color of Nature


Bright pink flowerMuch of the color in nature comes from flowers. Learn about the effects of color and how flowering plants use color. Participants make a decorative corsage or boutonniere from fresh flowers to be kept or given as a gift.


Reservation Procedures

For Powerpoint Presentations and Hands-on Programs:
Call Carol at (314) 577-9506 at least two months before you would like to have the program presented.

  • As soon as a staff member and/or trained volunteer has been scheduled to present your program, a confirmation form will be mailed to you.
  • Please mail the payment when the confirmation form is received. Volunteers cannot collect payment at the time of the program.
  • If payment is not received two weeks prior to the program, the program will not be presented.
  • For cancellations five or more business days prior to program, a full refund will be issued. Refunds cannot be issued for cancellations less than five business days prior to program. A business day is Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • If the Missouri Botanical Garden must cancel a program, you will receive a full refund.
  • For liability reasons, please make sure that at least two staff members from your center are present during the program to assist participants.

Note to Senior Living Activity Directors:
The goal of the Garden’s Therapeutic Horticulture Programs is to provide the best quality and most meaningful programs to individuals of all abilities in the community. By keeping the number of participants smaller and the program length appropriate for your participants, we can offer a more meaningful and beneficial program for all individuals by catering to their specific needs. We have also created a Facilities Key to act as a guide to assist you in program selection. For assistance in choosing the best program for your group call Carol at (314) 577-9506.

Facilities Key
SCN = Skilled Care Nursing / Ideal number of participants: 10–15
AL = Assisted Living / Ideal number of participants: 10–15
IL = Independent Living / Ideal number of participants: 10–25 (hands-on 10–15)


Therapeutic Horticultural Programs at the Garden are made possible
through contributions by:

Friends and family of Dr. Samuel D. Soule
Dr. Oscar and Barbara Soule
Edward Chase Garvey Memorial Foundation
E. Reuben and Gladys Flora Grant Charitable Trust
Mary Anne Lucas Fund
Van Evera Foundation
Maritz Corporation