GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Monticello Sculpture Gardens is inviting guests back to campus this summer for a home-grown garden show full of optimism and hope after a rough year.
“Here Comes the Sun” is the theme for the college’s 9th annual curated summer garden show, full of bold, cheerful blooms and breezy grasses that are turning the college’s Godfrey Campus into a pollinator paradise. For the first time ever, the show was not only planted, but also designed in house by L&C Gardener Katie Piper.
“It was a lot of fun to design the garden show this year,” she said. “Working in the gardens every day, I understand the diversity of conditions we have on the campus grounds. It really helped guide the design process of choosing the right plant material for the right place. The team of support and creativity at Lewis and Clark is wonderful and all of our ideas together make for a great garden show.”
The Living Wall, a crowd-favorite located outside the Hatheway Cultural Center, will be full of bright colors and lots of texture.
“The fuchsia in this bed is a plant to admire up close, as it has a unique flower that hummingbirds love,” Piper said.
The Grove and Bosque will be bursting with bright pink, orange and purple blooms that attract pollinators – great opportunities to capture photos of winged visitors. The Fountain Court container gardens feature drought-tolerant foliage and butterfly-favorite flowers.
“Rivers of Color may be considered the highlight this year,” Piper said. “The raised beds may be described by some as a tropical prairie with overflowing grasses, foliage and blooms. Be sure to walk this garden, because tucked into the lush mix are unique specimens that should be viewed up close.”
Many pollinator, nectar and host plants were intentionally used in this year’s show. There are also beds on campus that are being converted to perennial gardens using many native plants.
“We want to highlight the importance of planting gardens that are beneficial to our local ecosystem,” Piper said. “Our display gardens are a great resource for visitors to learn about attracting pollinators to their yard and hopefully watch them in action!”
Free guided tours are available by request Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Interested parties should email Horticulture Manager Ethan Braasch at email@example.com to reserve a time.
“The tours run about an hour and highlight our gardens as well the sculptures and our historic campus’ history,” Piper said.
Self-guided tours are welcome anytime.
The best time to visit the gardens will be June through September, when the plants will look their best.
The gardens are supported by generous donations made by private donors and groups including the Village of Godfrey, Joan and Charles Sheppard, Tri-County FS, Inc., Ball Horticultural, Josephine’s, L&C Student Government Association, John Medwedeff, Alton Community Service League, Monticello College Foundation and its alumnae, and the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation, Dave and Sharon Braasch, and Joe and Linda Stevens of Market Basket. Technical assistance and permanent installations have been provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Godfrey Women’s Club, and the family of Mrs. Peg Schmidt.
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for the gardens, contact the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation at (618) 468-2011.
The Monticello Sculpture Gardens are a signature garden of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. For more information, visit www.lc.edu/gardens.