New to the Railway Garden

This year we’re welcoming the world to our Railway Garden with the addition of five new structures that honor our five Sister Cities. Plants are used in a variety of ways in the Railway Garden to create a magical scene. Large evergreens serve as backdrops. Dwarf evergreens, planted next to buildings, provide the illusion of stately trees. And tropical plants, such as crotons, sebra plants and bromeliads, add bursts of brilliant color.

Below are photos of the five new Railway Garden structures that highlight our five Sister Cities:

Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan (Zapopan, Mexico)
This basilica is a monumental example of 17th century colonial Baroque architecture, and is one of the most visited sanctuaries in Western Mexico.

Town Hall (Bielsko-Biala, Poland)
This Neo-Renaissance building, built in 1897, showcases the 19th-century Vienna architecture of Emanuel Rost.

Palazzo Dei Priori (Perugia, Italy)
Established in Perugia in 1303, this magistrature was built in the city’s main square, and is affectionately known as the Palazzo Nuovo del Popolo, or “New Palace of the People.”

Independence Square Black Star Gate (Ghana)
This monument is part of Black Star Square, or Independence Square, which hosts Ghana’s Independence Day Parade each year on March 6, as well as other major public gatherings.

Chomeiji Temple (Omihachiman, Japan)
This temple is one of the 33 sacred Kannon temples of Western Japan. Visitors arrive by climbing 808 stone steps. It is said that this temple is responsive to the prayer’s petition for longevity.


Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World runs through January 3, 2016.

Natural Beauty at Meijer Gardens’ Christmas and Holiday Traditions


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.


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.


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.


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.