One Encounter, One Opportunity: Our Visit to the Teahouse Island

I’m kinda obsessed with the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Anytime someone comes to visit I want to take them to my favorite spots in the garden.  I think one of the main reasons that I love it is how it is always the same and constantly changing. For me it’s like walking through memories, especially memories of my kids. I can’t walk through the Climatron without reflecting on this sweet image of baby Brendan


Yesterday we braved the rain for our annual trip to the Japanese Festival.  I honestly prefer the garden when there aren’t festivals, when you can sit quietly and enjoy the beauty around you.  But festivals are fun too, and I really enjoy this one.  I think I’ve gone at least three times.  So me and the kids took aunt Susie to her first visit.  When we got to the cashier for our tickets, we quickly checked out the schedule and our helpful ticket-checker-outer let us know that there were still tickets available for the tour of the Secret Teahouse Island.  Brendan was SO pumped about this.  They only sell 20 tickets per hour and you can only buy tickets one hour before the tour.  We were determined to get on that secret island.

On the way to secure our tickets we ran into the spinning guy.

ImageWe grabbed a quick lunch and when we came out, another show was happening.  Katie and Brendan participated.


We headed passed the ice sculpture toward the woodland gardens.


There were so many activities going on, but we were focused on the secret island. (We did make some photo stops along the way of course) Photographing the garden during a rain is the BEST.  The flowers and plants look so happy and the colors are so saturated.  I still have not made it out to the garden after a fresh snow, that is something I hope happens this year.Image

We got our tickets at 2:00 for the 3:00 tour.  That gave us an hour to roam the Japanese Garden.


We met our guide, Fredrick, at the Plum Viewing Arbor.  He greeted us with a very sincere, “Welcome Honored Guests.”  He explained the concepts of Japanese gardening and beauty, “beauty always follows function.”

FInally we stepped over the bridge to the outer garden of the Tea House Island

ImageFredrick our educator/guide


Lantern set at the curve of the path.  The figure carved into the lantern could be a Christian Symbol. Christianity was against the law, but missionaries found ways of sharing their faith.  This could be an example of an apostle or even Jesus.


This is inside the inner garden.  The bamboo closed in around us and we were surrounded by peaceful greens.  I love this photo because you can see all those different shades, and how dynamic the trimming is.


Here we are entering through the gate into the Teahouse Garden.


Before having a tea ceremony, the honored guest would wash their hands.  The recent rain and the sun shining through the bamboo just made me feel so content.


The tea house!  It was so awesome.  I feel like I could just keep going on and on- but how about this- here is a link to my gallery where you can view all the photos from our visit.  I really recommend the extra $5 to see Teahouse Island.  I know it’s something that I will always treasure in my heart. I feel like I could keep sharing photos and stories, so please let me know if you’ve enjoyed this. Maybe I’ll add a part 2.

UPDATE: More photos and some video of Teahouse Island

What’s your favorite part of the botanical garden?  Have you been?

Please email me at if you are interested in using my photos to help publicize the Botanical Garden.  Thank you!

3 thoughts on “One Encounter, One Opportunity: Our Visit to the Teahouse Island

  1. Wow, gorgeous photos! I always love the way you photograph trees. I still haven’t been to the botanical gardens other than for wedding music–I always WANT to go, but then it seems too hot, or I’m “too busy” or something. Lame.

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