Forgo the map and explore, letting vivid sights and smells direct your way as you casually stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden. Most likely, they will draw you toward the left path by way of the Victorian Rose Garden. Its open yet strategic design recalls to you that the Queen of Hearts may pop from behind a bush and demand your head at any moment. Continue on and meander past the Tower Grove House — Henry Shaw's country residence — wondering what such a strong structure is doing in the middle this magical place. You then will find yourself on the way to the herb garden, where with each savory scent you salivate, wanting to pluck a fresh sprig of mint for nibbling. Soon, you'll pass through the German and Bavarian gardens, tangling through endless paths of flowers and foliage. But no matter which direction you head, you are bound to end in the Japanese Garden, where your transportation into another world is complete and you forget that a bustling city awaits outside the walls.
© 2017 Riverfront Times