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SHOW ME ST. LOUIS- You're invited to come out today, free of charge, to help celebrate the man who founded this national landmark. Henry Shaw had two wishes for the garden back then and both came true. It's hard to imagine the Missouri Botanical Garden looking any different then it does today.

"Before the garden was actually established this was just rolling prairie fields out here," explained Andrew Colligan, MOBOT Historian.

Shaw was from England. He visited many gardens in Europe and that's where he got the idea to start one near his new home in St. Louis, The Tower Grove House, where he settled in 1919.

"It's from that house that he began to develop the area surrounding it and that eventually became the very first in carnation of the Missouri Botanical Garden that opened in 1859," said Colligan.

The garden grew from there and today is known as the oldest botanical garden in continuous operation. Shaw died in 1889, but his legacy lives on.

You can celebrate what would have been Shaw's 214th birthday by visiting the garden free of charge today. Free family-friendly activities are happening from 10am-3pm. The garden is open until 5pm.

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