Garden Tours: Frederik Meijer Gardens

You ever go to a place and just stand there for a few moments, admiring it?

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park located in Grand Rapids, Michigan is one of those places for me. So much so that every year I get a membership.

The gardens opened after 13 years of planning and fundraising in April 1995. Money was raised by the West Michigan Horticulture Society and Fred and Lena Meijer were eager to support the dream.

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Michigan Farm Garden

The main attractions include:

  • Tropical Conservatory
  • Woodland Shade Garden
  • Carnivorous Plant House
  • Holton Arid Garden
  • Season Display Greenhouse
  • Victorian Garden Parlor
  • Amphitheater
  • Japanese Garden
  • Michigan Farm
  • Children’s Garden

Every season has something new to offer visitors. In the indoor gardens, even winter can be filled with flowers.

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Autumn in the Gardens
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The newly added Japanese Garden in the Fall

Scattered throughout the gardens are art sculptures from a variety of artists. Some of the sculptures are splendidly done while others make me wonder what the artist was trying to create. There is a little something for every art lover.

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The Bronze Horse

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After touring the indoor gardens, I like to go outside and walk the paved loop and boardwalk that surrounds the park. Along with visiting all the outdoor garden spaces, this is a fantastic time to spot wildlife such as bees, birds, butterflies, frogs, and I even saw a muskrat once.

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Events are held at the facilities throughout the year. One of my favorites is the Butterflies in early Spring. Hundreds of butterflies soar through the conservatory, landing on visitors and eating nectar. This is a great opportunity to introduce people to the importance and beauty of the butterfly.IMG_3115

A second event I try not to miss is the Christmas Around the World in December. During this time the gardens are filled with soft lights. Trees decorated with traditions from different countries and cultures line the hall. Stories of celebration are shared by visitors and staff.

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Decorations of the “Christmas Around the World” event in December

All year round classes are offered. Attendees can learn everything from basic gardening skills to photographing nature and flowers. I haven’t been able to attend any of these classes yet but the offerings are widespread.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens is a place where the community is ingrained in everything they do.

I love it here. Watching the seasons pass year after year reminds me of what joys can be found within the garden. It reminds me of the endless days of hard work, passion, and love that go into making these places so special.

The gardens are open Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The standard rate for an adult is $14.50. Rates vary for seniors, students, and children. Members are free.

More details and visitor information for the garden can be found on their website, Frederik Meijer Gardens.

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