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 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.