Plenty of flowers, fish and more thrive at Shelter Gardens

5 months 20 hours 2 minutes ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:17:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
By: Randi Bass, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - One of the most colorful places in Columbia is hidden from plain view behind the Shelter Insurance building on Broadway. Shelter Gardens is a popular spot for weddings, family photos or just a nice stroll along winding pathways.

Shelter's website says the gardens house more than 15,000 annuals and perennials, along with 300 different kinds of trees and shrubs.

Van Betiner, who is from central Illinois, stopped by for a visit on his way to Blue Springs.

"We have a wedding this afternoon. We're traveling to Blue Springs and had some time to burn, we like gardens," he said.

Betiner and his wife Debbie said they love going to gardens.

"It's really pretty, I enjoy looking at the flowers I don't know, and I like some of the barks on the trees," he said.

Shelter Gardens is home to a replica school house, complete with desks, a chalkboard and chalk for visitors to write and draw with.

A plaque nearby tells visitors that the building is modeled after the Newcomer School in Brunswick, Missouri, where the foundations of the insurance company were formed.

Shelter Gardens is open rain or shine 364 days a year, with the exception of Christmas day.

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