Rose Gardens

Roses always have been special to the Missouri Botanical Garden. When beginning his botanical garden, founder Henry Shaw wrote a small book on the emblem of his native England, “The Rose.” “Human art can neither colour nor describe so fair a flower,” he wrote in 1882. “[Its] beauty is composed of all that is exquisite and graceful.”

Gladney Rose Garden

Visitors to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s two rose displays can feast their eyes on over 1,500 individual plants encompassing 250 varieties.

The Gladney Rose Garden has been in existence since 1917, when it housed many old garden roses. It has evolved over the years to its present giant wagon-wheel shape. About 900 roses are displayed, including many varieties of climbing roses featured on the formal fence enclosing the garden.

The Anne and John Lehmann Rose Garden, established in 1976, has been called the more romantic of the two gardens, with a bushy mix of floribundas, shrub roses and other classifications. It is less formal than the Gladney Rose Garden, and contains about 600 roses representing 154 different varieties.

RoseShapleigh Fountain is set in a circular brick plaza 50 feet in diameter with three curtains of water that rise and fall.

The middle terrace beds hold a collection of "Old Garden" Roses, roses developed before 1867, known for their large blooms and intense fragrance, and some modern roses. The area has been reimagined as an Integrated Pest Management garden, implementing a wide array of bulbs, flowering perennials, and herb companion plantings in an effort to naturally deter common pests and diseases that afflict roses.

The upper level of the garden comprises mainly modern David Austin shrubs, as well as a wide assortment of flowering perennials and spring bulbs. The area, which has a playful and whimsy aesthetic, includes a wide variety of shapes and textures within the confines of an analogous color palette.

The lower, perennial border areas are a collection of wild-collected species roses. The west side of the species collection features roses originating in North America in a densely-planted, vertically-designed plant matrix emulating the prairie rose meadow archetype. The area contains mostly wild-collected, native perennials, grasses, and forbs from our own Seed Bank. These selections work in concert with the wild species roses and will emulate the natural environment of the roses contained therein. The east side of the species collection will includes roses collected from Europe, Asia, and The Middle East as well as wild-collected companions from those regions to create an opposite counterpoint to the North American side of the collection.