Photos by John Freidenberg
Schmidt Family Gardens
The outside of the William & Florence Schmidt Art Center is as colorful as the exhibits displayed within. Thanks to the partnership put forth by the SWIC Horticultural Department, Physical Plant and the Schmidt Art Center, the Schmidt Family Gardens is one of three areas on the Belleville Campus that has been honored by the Missouri Botanical Gardens as a "Shaw's East Signature Garden".
The initial design of the Schmidt Family Gardens by landscape architect, Robert E. Goetz, was brought to life through a new horticultural internship program. The program's first student intern, Dan Scally, worked part-time to design, plant and maintain the in-ground plantings and created more than 30 container gardens around the Schmidt. Dan first put in rock beds and potted flowers to pull people in from the parking lots. "I wanted to draw more people into the art center," said Dan. Many of his plant decisions were inspired by visitor and student comments on campus.
The gardens display a large variety of exotic and native plants like English Ivy blankets, forest grasses, butterfly bushes, bamboo trees and several other flowers in various sizes, shapes and colors. The vibrant colors of the Schmidt Family Gardens now become just a preview of what you will see inside the Schmidt Art Center.