New restrictions in place for our region as of 11/18/2020. See for more details.

L&C Announces Solar-themed 2017 Summer Garden Show

Article by: Paige Allen,
GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College recently announced “Solar Flair” as the theme for its fifth annual themed summer garden show, to coincide with a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

For the first time, the garden show experience will include a curated exhibition of art by Michiko Itatani, which will be free and open to the public from Aug. 22 to Sept. 22.
Solar Flair will be a celebration of light, energy, lunar cycles and how plants connect with the cosmos. As always, the show aims to connect people with plants as part of the educational continuum of Lewis and Clark.

“Like in the past, the Solar Flair garden show will continue to educate people about the roles plants play in their daily lives,” said L&C Horticulture Manager Ethan Braasch. “The ultimate solar power, photosynthesis, will be beautifully showcased by out-of-this-world plants all across the Godfrey campus.”

This year’s theme is influenced by the solar system and culminates with the unique experience of a total solar eclipse that will be visible along a narrow track that runs diagonally from the northwest to southeast coasts across the continental U.S. — with St. Louis very close to the path of totality. It will be the first total solar eclipse to touch the continental U.S. since 1979, and the first to cross from coast to coast since 1918. The last time the line of totality passed through the Metro East, the year was 1442. The “ring of fire” will be visible from campus during the eclipse.

Featured in Solar Flair

  • Solis in The Grove, located outside the McPike Match & Science Complex, will feature a variety of intense red, orange and yellow-colored plants symbolically representative of the sun. Black-eyed Susans, petunias and ornamental peppers will dot the landscape.
  • Sun’s Rays on the Trent Bridge will feature bold, warm-colored petunias, geraniums and marigolds.
  • Planetary Pathway will lead visitors from The Grove to Fountain Court, and will be marked to represent the nine planets in the solar system placed at a scaled distance (1 foot = 4 million miles) from the sun.
  • Visitors traveling along the Planetary Pathway at Rivers of Color will see bright purple, red and silver plants with lunar names in the Sun, Moon and Bloom garden.
  • Sunshine Time, located near the Hatheway Quad, will feature a carpet-bedding garden that resembles a compass-rose, the essential tool in creating the sundial. Visitors will be able to learn about the history, use and evolving forms of sundials as a time-telling device.
  • The Hatheway Cultural Center will feature The Starry Night Living Wall, with flowers that illustrate the color palette Artist Michiko Itatani used in her “Cosmic Theater” series of paintings. Inside the Hatheway Gallery, a curated art exhibition of Itatani’s work will be open to the public.
  • At Midnight Magic, near the Hatheway West Terrace, visitors will learn that not all plants rise and shine with the sun through creative displays of plants that bloom at different times during the day – some even at night.
  • The Bosque will feature Stars of Navigation, using a select palette of dark foliage plants punctuated by bright orange and yellow blooms. Through this garden, visitors can experience the abstraction of our summer night sky constellations, specifically, the nine stars that Lewis and Clark relied on to navigate during the Corps of Discovery journey.
  • Solar Powered Plants will feature recognizable edible plants that track the sun’s progress across the sky, as well as celebrate the college’s efforts and achievement in sustainability. It will remind visitors that photosynthesis is the original solar power.
  • Near the Wade Hall entrance, Shadow of the Sun will showcase lush, fanciful flowers accented by exotic foliage plants that shy away from the sun. These shade-loving plants will thrive near the building and nearby 150-year-old oak tree.

The Monticello Sculpture Gardens, dedicated in Spring 2012, represent the college’s efforts to preserve the beauty of its historic Godfrey campus, which once was home to Monticello College (1838-1970), a school for women.

The Monticello Sculpture Gardens are a Signature Garden site of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and a botanical garden in their own right. In addition to seasonal and permanent plantings, the Monticello Sculpture Gardens also feature 14 large scale, mostly bronze, sculptures.

In 2013, the Monticello Sculpture Gardens introduced its first themed garden show with Menagerie in Bloom, which featured a special selection of colorful plantings that bore the names of real or imaginary creatures. In 2014, native pollinators frequented campus during BEE-Dazzled. The Garden of Eatin’ in 2015 featured a wide variety of edible plants, and Gardens Through the Looking Glass in 2016 simultaneously celebrated the rich history of Monticello College and Lewis and Clark Community College’s bright future in the presentation of two zones on campus – past and present. The show also coincided with the 150-year anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” books. 

The gardens have been supported by generous donations made by private donors and groups such as Joan and Chuck Sheppard, Hortica, Ball Horticultural, The Peg Schmidt Family, Monticello Alumnae, Monticello College Foundation, Godfrey Women’s Club, Alton Community Service League, Alton Godfrey Rotary Club and PRIDE Inc. 

To learn more about how to get involved or for more information on guided garden tours, contact Braasch at or (618) 468-3140, or visit To learn more about artist Michiko Itatani, visit