Ben Rau Memorial Garden History:
Rau Garden was established in the 1930’s after that area failed to hold water as a lake. The garden was built using W.P.A. workers, they installed all of the walkways and beds. At the beginning the area was established as a rose garden, but was later changed to a flower garden consisting of many different types of plants. All of these plants were grown in the greenhouse facility at Blanchette Park.
In September 1973 the garden was dedicated in honor of Benjamin Rau. After Rau’s death in 1974 the garden was renamed as Ben Rau Memorial Garden. Rau volunteered his services to the St. Charles Parks and Recreation Board from 1940 to 1973. He owned and operated Parkview Gardens, right across the street from Blanchette Park, and lived there for 78 years. His great love was flowers and he was a very successful businessman.
The garden was a lot different then. It consisted of flagstone walks and a slightly different bed configuration. For years this garden consisted of seasonal displays, which were changed 2 to 3 times per year, and many floral shows were featured. In 1987, after many years the flagstone deteriorated. The new garden was designed using concrete pavers. Since that time, the garden continues to change every year with the addition of new plantings. At the present time, there are over 50 different species of trees and shrubs, over 100 different perennial plants and we plant over 1000 annuals each season.