Picks and Pans Review: A World of Plants: the Missouri Botanical Garden

updated 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Charlene Bry, Marshall R. Crosby and Peter Loewer

Here is a chance to let your fingers do the walking through a Disneyland for garden lovers in this congenial tour of the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Begin among the blossoms in the Azalea-Rhododendron Garden, and on to the 32,350-square-foot geodesic greenhouse, the whimsical Rock Garden, with its rainbow of wildflowers, and the Desert House, home to a prickly array of cacti. There are plots to show off roses, herbs and Japanese design. A scented garden for the blind offers labels in braille. Pages in this oversize volume fairly burst with brilliant flowers and woody landscapes surrounding the Italianate villa that philanthropist Henry Shaw built in 1849. Then he turned his passion for botany into the forever flourishing spectacle that he bequeathed to the public. (Abrams. $39.95)

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