One part of the newest slogan for Meijer Gardens is “Always Growing” – which is apt on the upcoming first anniversary of The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden, considering much of the landscaping of the garden is filling in beautifully in its second growing season under public viewing.
Even more than the Japanese Garden’s next-door neighbor, David Nash’s Sabre Larch Hill – which will take several years to show its true artistic pedigree as the patterned tree palette fills in – the tranquil growth of the oriental landscape is evident to even the casual observer.
To celebrate the oriental garden’s continued growth, and the first anniversary of its opening, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Tuesday, June 21, will offer a full day of family-friendly activities, music and dance performances, and demonstrations and lectures focused on horticulture and sculpture. All events are included in admission for the public.
The events, within and outside the oriental garden itself, include: showings of “The Journey Begins: The Making of The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden,” a 30-minute run time; several concert performances of “Ongaku: The Echoes of Japan,” featuring taiko drummers, singers and dancers from Japan; Ikebana floral design art demonstrations; lectures by Meijer Gardens chief art curator Joseph Becherer; lectures on Japanese garden horticulture by Meijer Gardens director of horticulture Steve LaWarre; as well as tours of the Japanese tea house.
The Japanese Garden, created by renowned designer Hoichi Kurisu, features sculpture by Anish Kapoor, Jenny Holzer and Guiseppe Penone, among others.
On that day, one will likely not even need to be in the amphitheater to hear and feel the drums providing a heartbeat to Meijer Gardens in general and the Japanese Garden in specific. While I may check out the drumming up-close, I plan to experience a moment inside the Oriental garden contemplating the view of Zhang Huan’s magnificent “Long Island Buddha.”
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