A Look Back on 2013 [Part IV]

We’ve reached the end of our 2013 recap! To see what else went on this year at Meijer Gardens, view Part I, II, and III of the series. The last few months have been busy ones as we planted thousands of chrysanthemums, set up our holiday displays and brought together 24 artists from around the world for our fall sculpture exhibition.  

Part 4
September–December 2013

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Chrysanthemums and More!
You know fall is here when Chrysanthemums and More! opens in September. Expansive mum displays, unconventional floral arrangements and the “mum wall” filled every inch of Meijer Gardens. Events like Mum Day, Giant Pumpkins and Hallowee-ones made the transition into fall fun for the whole family.

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Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass
 Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass was a group exhibition which showcased 24 works of glass by 25 artists from around the world and coincided with ArtPrize. The exhibition explored the creative, conceptual and formal aspects of contemporary glass sculpture and is still on display until January 5, 2014. One of the pieces, Watching by Daniel Arsham, made it on the ArtPrize Juried Short List! Stop by and see these pieces before they leave in January.

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America’s Garden of Art Book Released
After more than 2 years of work, we released a coffee table book titled, America’s Garden of Art. It features more than 230 new color photos, with essays by our president, chief curator and historian, and offers a complete description and depiction of Meijer Gardens throughout the seasons. Pick up a copy from the Gift Shop as a perfect collector’s item.

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David Nash & Alexandra Fuller for The Master Lecture Series
As part of The Master Lecture Series, we welcomed lectures from award-winning author Alexandra Fuller and internationally renowned sculptor David Nash this October. Fuller spoke on being raised for most of her life in Africa, and how it influenced many of her books, such as Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. Nash talked about his 40-year career and how he’s used trees as the resource for nearly all his sculptural pursuits. His lecture was in conjunction with his visit to create a site-specific tree sculptures for the Japanese Garden.

FMG-Holiday2011_0427Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
This year marked the 19th annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition! This exhibition focuses on the beauty of nature during the holiday season. Everyone young and young-at-heart can enjoy the Railway Garden, a unique horticultural display featuring 30 West Michigan landmarks recreated in natural materials, model trains and railways. There’s also more than 42 holiday displays to see and carolers, santa visits, family art activities and horse-drawn carriage rides to enjoy! It’s going on until January 5, 2014, so stop by if you haven’t already.

What a whirlwind of a year! Thank you for your continued support art, horticulture and education by being a member or guest of Meijer Gardens.

What was your favorite experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in 2013?

A Look Back at 2013 [Part III]

The summer kept us on our toes with 29 concerts, major Japanese Garden construction and dozens of weddings to coordinate. Here’s a recap of earlier this year in Part I, II and let’s take a glance at the hot (but fun) summer months.

Part 3
June–August

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Outdoor Summer Concert Series
It’s when you know it’s summer in West Michigan! This year proved to be the biggest lineup in our 11 year history of outdoor concerts. With 29 bands performing from June to September, it was quite the fun and busy summer for everyone! From returning acts like the Steve Miller Band and Lyle Lovett, to big names like Sheryl Crow, Harry Connick Jr. and Owl City, there was a concert for every music lover. It was a summer to remember.

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Japanese Garden Construction
The Main Gate is the first sight you see upon entering the Japanese Garden. Hoichi Karusu’s team of more than 30 Japanese carpenters worked their magic this summer starting construction on the main gate, waterfalls, Japanese Tea House, zig zag bridges and other main structures. Did you sneak a peek through the trees?

Riversedge Photography

Riversedge Photography

Hundreds of weddings
“I do.” Couples took their vows and/or danced the night away in one of our beautiful event spaces during the 139 weddings this year! We are honored to have been such an important part of these Big Days and hope to see many more happy couples in the years to come. Check out previous Meijer Gardens weddings by visiting our wedding Facebook page or Pinterest.

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“Thai Beauty” Bamboo Installed
Removed from the Tropical Conservatory this summer was the yellow groove bamboo or Bambusa vulgaris “vittata,” which made way for another bamboo species, Bambusa multiplex or “Thai Beauty.” Native to Thailand, this bamboo’s leaves are small, giving a more graceful and airy appearance. Read about why we installed new bamboo in a previous post. 

Meet the Staff & What’s Blooming
Do you always see our horticulture staff out and about? Want to know more about what they do? We interviewed a few outdoor staff from our horticulture team, asking what areas they tend, their favorite part of the job and how long they’ve been at Meijer Gardens (a long time for some!). Look out for more staff videos in the near future. We also filmed bite-sized segements of “What’s Blooming” around Meijer Gardens. Watch both Meet the Staff and What’s Blooming.

Stay tuned for the last recap of 2013!

A Look Back at 2013 [Part II]

We’re looking back again on the past year and all the fun that was had.

April and May were busy months. Why? Because we had more than 150,000 visitors see the Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition! Our staff and volunteers were kept busy making it an enjoyable (and educational) experience for all ages – from class groups to bridal ceremonies in the Tropical Conservatory. Along with Butterflies Are Blooming, these two months were filled with special announcements.

Part 2
April-May

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18th Birthday
We’re finally an adult! We celebrated our 18th birthday with comments and well-wishes from our Facebook fans.

12_Amphitheater Garden_Hebert12013 Outdoor Concert Series Lineup Announcement
What a doozie. We announced the biggest lineup EVER, with 29 concerts planned to hit the stage from June to September. Performers on the list included B.B. King. Sheryl Crow, Owl City, Harry Connick Jr., Smokey Robinson and Old Crow Medicine Show! What concerts were you excited to see?

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New Acquisition of Richard Serra piece
In May, we were excited to announce the acquisition of Equal Intervals, Equal Elevations by American minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra. Equal Intervals, Equal Elevations is a site-specific work, composed of four large, forged-steel blocks placed at equal intervals in the hillside. Have you seen it yet?

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Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan Opens
Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s work in Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan was our sculpture exhibition this summer. As a sculptor, painter, photographer and performance artist, his themes of physical endurance and spiritual tranquility, Chinese history, and Buddhism were expressed in his sculptures. Did you have a favorite piece? 

Meadow Burn
Every 3 years, a controlled meadow burn takes place in our Wildflower Meadow, which is home to Scarlatti by Marc Di Suevero. This year happened to be time for another meadow burn. We captured the event in a time lapse video, which ended up being shared on WZZM’s newcast. Look at all that smoke.

Stay tuned for more recaps of the exhibitions, announcements and excitement that surrounded 2013.

A Look Back on 2013 [Part I]

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2013 is winding down. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back on the past 12 months of horticulture displays, sculpture exhibitions, summer concerts, year-round learning and exciting announcements at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Part I
January-March

06_Orchid30The Orchid Show
A fan-favorite, the Orchid Show brought hundreds of exquisite orchids and displays to Meijer Gardens. Orchid vendors from across the Midwest were there and members of the Grand Valley Orchid Society were eager to answer questions. There were too many favorites to choose from, do you remember yours?

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture ParkConnected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont
From February through April, our winter exhibition,
Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont featured the Dutch sculptor’s impressive fluency with materials, as well as her command of the human figure. Celebrated for her figurative work, each piece was carefully rendered with textured surfaces, often encouraging thoughtfulness and introspection. Many of our members and volunteers said it was one of their favorite exhibitions!

Indoor Garden Ideas
During the winter months, our horticulture staff provided fun tutorials to do indoors, like forcing branches, creating dried floral arrangements and making terrariums. Did you end up trying any? 

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Butterflies are Blooming
Butterflies took flight on March 1! Thousands of tropical butterflies made their home in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. New this year was the Butterfly Ballet, an interactive butterfly story performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company. Our horticulture staff also answered FAQs about butterflies in a 3-part video series and we gave a glimpse at how the Butterfly Bungalow was set up.

SMB_2012_groupshotSneak Peek Concert Announcement
Members and guests were buzzing about who would be on the list for the 2013 concert season. We announced 4 acts from the lineup in mid-March: Montgomery Gentry, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Steve Miller Band and Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. Were you as excited as we were about the sneak peek?

Stay tuned for more recaps of the fun we had this year.
What was your favorite activity in the beginning of 2013.

Natural Beauty at Meijer Gardens’ Christmas and Holiday Traditions

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Smell the luscious evergreens in the covered entryway, take in the sights and sounds of the Railway Garden by weaving through the amaryllis, poinsettias, and cedar displays in the Seasonal Display Greenhouse, and enjoy the guest-favorite succulent wreath hanging in the Arid Garden.

You’ll soon discover this year’s Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World focuses on the beauty of natural materials.

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During your visit, anticipate a lush palette of horticultural favorites placed along the corridors and especially in the Railway Garden. The Railway Garden is home to more than 30 Grand Rapids landmarks made from earthly elements. From the Civic Theatre made of oak, chestnut and magnolia to the Meyer May House of red ruscus leaves, there’s beauty in every corner of this miniature city-space.

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Reflect not only the literal beauty of nature, but also on the authentic and natural elements adorning our collection of Scandinavian trees. These trees showcase generations-old tradition of crafting ornaments from organic materials found on the farm. Sweden’s tree is decorated with woven Julbock, a Christmas icon of the straw goat who carries the bringer of gifts. Explore Finland’s display of the Himmeli, a geometric mobile made of straw believe to ensure good crops and Denmark’s paper ornaments, shaped like a heart to express love and good will.

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Learn more about the cultural traditions and natural beauty found this holiday season at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park now until January 5, 2014 during Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. 

How Well Do You Know Meijer Gardens?

How well do you know Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park?

Try to identify the artist and title of each of these sculptures, which all reside in the Sculpture Park’s permanent collection. Submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post.

HowWellDoYouKnowFMGClaim bragging rights by naming all the pieces correctly!

We’ll share the answers next week. 

#FMGColor Photo Contest

Autumn brings new color and beauty to Meijer Gardens. As the colors change, we want you to capture them!

#FMGColorStarting today through October 31, take pictures of fall beauty at Meijer Gardens and post on Instagram or Twitter (Twitpic) using the hashtag #FMGColor to enter to win admission tickets or tram ride tickets. We’ll randomly select and announce a winner on November 1. Happy Hashtagging!