Drive along the edge of historic The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, near the Kingshighway Branch Library with rows of historic homes nearby, and you might notice a bright new feature in bloom. A stand of larger-than-life purple coneflowers brightens the neighborhood.
The custom-built shade structures provide sun protection for an outdoor classroom and park setting called the Brightside St. Louis Demonstration Garden
. Community group Brightside, known for beautification projects throughout the Missouri city, has created the garden to teach examples of various natural habitats and environmental conservation.
The carefully planned project includes a rain garden example of minimizing water runoff and will soon be in bloom with spring and summer flowers. Purple coneflowers are featured for being native to Missouri.
Local artisans were included in the project, like family-owned business Shade-Guard
that constructed the giant flowers, whose owners are raising their family in one of the historic homes nearby. Another local artist created the butterfly sculpture at the garden's entrance.