A Victorian Christmas at Tower Grove House

I love how seeing Tower Grove House at the Missouri Botanical Garden is decorated for Christmas every year. Some things are always the same, and yet there are elements of the design I somehow never noticed before…until I look back at my old pictures, and realize that I have previously photographed the very thing I thought was new! And there are always some things that are different. No matter how I look at it, though, even though it’s always vaguely familiar, it’s also always new and exciting to me!

Garden Glow 2017

We didn’t make it to the Member Preview Night of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Garden Glow this year, but we did finally get our chance to visit it this week. It’s such a beautiful event, and I love how they make little changes from year to year, so there’s always a surprise of some kind. One of the most noticeable differences was the color scheme of the Climatron…this year, it’s lit up in blue and white (instead of the green and white of the previous two years), and it looks gorgeous!

A Last Look at Christmas

On the 12th Day of Christmas, one last look at some of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Christmas decorations, covered in snow (finally!):

Gourdaments at the Kemper Center

The Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden once again has a big tree decorated with Gourdaments. What is a “gourdament?” you may ask:


Bunny had no trouble choosing a favorite!


Ladybug found her favorite quickly, as well:


There were others that I thought were particularly special:


The creativity needed to decorate each of them blows me away!

In addition to the gourdaments, there are other decorations on the tree, including a lot of natural adornments, candy cane mice, and the elusive Henry Shaw:

It’s a beautiful tree!


If you stop by the Kemper Center, you can vote for your favorite of the gourdaments…the real challenge is how to choose just one!

Christmas at Tower Grove House

When we went to the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden last month, we took the Christmas tour of Tower Grove House again. I was expecting it be pretty much the same as it was last year, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that quite a few of the decorations were different. I love how much attention went into decorating every room…even the bedrooms! It gives me something to aspire to for Christmas Future! I also love all the little details, especially the paper fans. Everything was so opulent and beautiful…more inspiration for the future!



2016 Wreath Auction

This is the second year that we’ve admired all of the wreaths available in the silent auction at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and I continue to be impressed with how creative and talented the people who made them are!


It would be impossible to pick a favorite, but I have to admit that the Peter Rabbit one, as well as the one in the frame, are especially well done!

Photo Editing

One of the challenges when attending the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden is figuring out how to best use the photo op stops. Night time photography is still a challenge for me in general, and trying to photograph people and Christmas lights together is particularly frustrating. I keep trying though, and I can usually come up with at least one decent picture.

When I was going through my photos from our visit a few weeks ago, I came upon one that I thought was pretty good, but I decided to try out the “auto enhance” feature in Photos, just to see if I could cut back on some of the glow on the children’s faces. I really don’t edit my photos much at all, beyond cropping, but I have used the auto enhance occasionally in the past, usually with pretty great results.


Version 2

I was not prepared for the difference I would get just from that one edit. I went from a warm red glow, to an almost normal picture with the click of one button. Of course, you pretty much completely lose the effect of the Garden Glow, so in the end, it wasn’t a successful edit, but it was interesting to me to just how the editing program would try to correct and balance the colors and light!

Gardenland Express

This is only the second year we visited the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pretty sure the theme would be different (it was), but how about the displays themselves? Would they be the same? (They weren’t.)



This year’s theme is “Home for the Holidays,” and focuses on four plant families from around the world, which include popular holiday plants. It was fun to see familiar buildings and flowers from last year arranged in new ways…it was like visiting an entirely new town!

Garden Glow 2016

On Friday, for the second year in a row, we attended the member preview night of the Missouri Botanical Garden “Garden Glow.” Some of it was the same as last year, and a few things were different, which I thought was the perfect combination. There were things we were really looking forward to seeing again (like the “light saber garden” and the tunnel of lights), but we also got to see some new things, too.



This is an incredibly beautiful and well-organized event, and now that we’ve been to it twice, I’m pretty sure it’s a new family tradition!