St. Louis is in the midst of a yearlong celebration in honor of the 250th anniversary of its founding. One of the most delightful reminders of this milestone is the community-wide stl250 Cakeway to the West display. Each and every one of these 4-foot-tall centerpieces gives tribute to St. Louis rich history, as well as offers a glimpse into what’s ahead for our fair city and its citizens.

One of my favorite stl250 cakes is the one greeting visitors at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The centerpiece epitomizes what the Garden means to so many St. Louisans, from the iconic Climatron to the serene water lily pads and the beloved koi. The Garden not only is a local treasure, but it also has established itself as a worldwide leader in education, conservation and stewardship.

And, the beauty! There are no words to express the joy one feels upon being welcomed by a rainbow of azaleas, walking among the noble blooms in the Iris Garden, or strolling through the tranquility of the Japanese Garden.

In the pages of this Elegant Living edition, we present Garden lovers with a gift: a look inside the private garden of Peter Wyse Jackson, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden. PWJ, who has established himself as one of the world’s foremost and best-known botanists and plant conservationists, was appointed Garden president in 2010. He also is the author of several books, including the newly released Ireland’s Generous Nature: The Past and Present Uses of Wild Plants in Ireland.

PWJ was gracious enough to allow us into his home and share his own reflections about what makes his garden grow. Our feature begins on p. 66.