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Submitted by Andrea Wolschleger, Public Relations Manager for Frederik Meijer Gardens: Adding an international garden has been part of Meijer Gardens master planning process for more than a decade and an ideal location was selected that includes water, elevation changes and quiet surroundings. Highly unique to the Japanese Garden, landmark works of contemporary sculpture by international masters will be included, offering thoughtful and thought-provoking aesthetics in keeping with the essence of the Japanese garden tradition and philosophy. New works of sculpture, by contemporary masters such as Anish Kapoor, Zhang Huan, David Nash, Masayuki Koorida, Jenny Holzer and Giuseppe Penone, among others, will be permanently installed within the Japanese Garden. This unique marriage of beautiful art in beautiful green spaces has long been a key element of the Meijer Gardens mission.
A Japanese garden is a garden style steeped in centuries of tradition. The three essential elements in a Japanese garden are rocks, water and plants. It is the plants that provide seasonal changes and color in the garden. Plants in a Japanese garden do not need to be native to Japan. While The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden will include plants that are native to Japan, it will also feature plants native to Michigan and other temperate climates throughout the world. All of the plants were sourced from nurseries in the United States. What matters most is how the plants are planted, how they are pruned and the way they are nurtured.
Four years in the making, the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden opened its magnificent Main Gate to visitors on June 13, 2015, welcoming a world of timeless tranquility. Tranquility, simplicity and beauty are the very essence of a Japanese garden. Meijer Gardens benefactors, Fred and Lena Meijer, had long appreciated the traditions and experiences of Japanese gardens, so in 2009 they asked about adding one to Meijer Gardens.
From the website: As a centuries-old, yet timeless horticultural presentation style, the Japanese Garden complements Meijer Garden’s mission and values, and allows exploration in unique ways to bring the art of the garden and the art of sculpture together. Adding such an international garden has been part of the master planning process for more than a decade and an ideal location was selected that includes water, elevation changes and quiet surroundings.
Highly unique to the Japanese Garden, landmark works of contemporary sculpture by international masters will be included, offering thoughtful and thought-provoking aesthetics in keeping with the essence of the Japanese garden tradition and philosophy.
The Japanese Garden begins with an artful design by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International. His work ranks among the finest Japanese gardens outside of Japan, including Portland Japanese Garden (Oregon), Anderson Gardens (Rockford, IL), Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden (Delray Beach, Florida).
Kurisu International, founded in 1972, is a landscape design/build firm whose unique gardens create “inner space” for inspiration and healing. Their approach is a whole-system design, a methodology deeply rooted in the specificity of place, people and purpose, and uniquely suited to draw out nature’s ability to meet humanity’s need for inspiration, restoration and healing.