The Gardens Experience
The Horticulture Collection
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park integrates the experience of great gardens with great art. Our emphasis is on horticultural display(s) showcasing a beautiful array of plants appropriate for the Midwest and specialized plants from regions around the world. Within our indoor tropical conservatory over 500 tropical species from five continents of the world are displayed in a magical setting including waterfalls, steamy streambeds and majestic rockwork. See plants from North and South America and regions of Africa in our Arid Garden. Stroll into the Victorian Garden and relax on ornate furniture among plants used in the classic Victorian garden parlors during the turn of the last century. In one of the finest carnivorous plant exhibitions in the country, insect-eating plants are featured. Outdoors, our plant presentation ranges from planned and manicured, such as in the English Perennial and Bulb Garden, to natural and native, such as in the Sculpture Park, Woodland shade gardens, boardwalks and trail areas. Themed areas and specific plantings in the Children's Garden encourage experiential learning and the use of all five senses. Interaction is encouraged as children are welcome to use their senses by smelling and touching specific plants designed for interaction. Amid the sculptures of lifelike farm animals, the Michigan's Farm Garden focuses on gardening and horticulture as it would have appeared in the 1930's during the Depression era. With heirloom vegetables, flowers and orchards, reminiscent of that time period guests get an understanding of farms when they were truly self-sufficient.
Temporary Horticulture Exhibitions
Butterflies are Blooming, is our annual event that features hundreds of tropical butterflies from Central and South America and Asia flying free in the tropical conservatory, the largest tropical conservatory in the state. You can experience butterflies close up and can even see them emerge from their chrysalises' right before your eyes. Butterflies Are Blooming is the largest temporary butterfly exhibit in the nation occurring every March and April.
Another annual seasonal event is Chrysanthemums and More!, highlighting thousands of flowering chrysanthemums in both interior and exterior venues. Featured in this exhibition is our Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse where vertical columns of colorful chrysanthemums, a vibrant wall of chrysanthemums, chrysanthemum spheres and beds of colorful plants delight visitors. The largest display of its kind in Michigan, Chrysanthemums and More! is an annual celebration of autumn festivities.
Our year-end seasonal event is Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World, a marvelous exhibition beginning in November and running through the entire month of December and part of January each year. This exhibition includes over 40 trees and displays, over 300,000 lights both indoors and outdoors, choirs, horse and carriage rides on special evenings, as well as the Railway Garden which includes G-Scale model trains running over train track on seven-foot-tall bridges and through a village of buildings crafted of natural materials based on Grand Rapids area landmarks. This exhibition is a crowd-pleaser and the level of detail is spectacular!