Dragons, Faeries and Flowers at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

We had a lovely extended holiday visit with David’s daughter, Allie. On her last day here, she and I took a ladies outing to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Some people may recall David and me taking Momma Jane there a year ago to see the miniature city, lights and huge greenhouse. Their holiday display remains up through Epiphany, and I thought Austin, Texas based Allie would enjoy some warmth and greenery. Sure enough, we found lush decorations. We also lucked into a spontaneous and personal tour by an 87-year-old volunteer!

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This spry octogenarian pointed out the cacao tree with its cocoa filled pods, shown above. We also saw banana plants, an allspice tree (with very scented leaves!) and shade grown coffee bushes hiding under a canopy of palms. Allie and I realized we had taken no pictures together on her entire trip, so we attempted a selfie. After much confusion of the backwards movement required by me to center this orchid above and behind us, we settled on this one as good enough:

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Faery-sis Tania pointed out that we almost look like I’m pasted into the photo or in a slightly different dimension, which may be true, LOL. In any case, it’s a sparkly photo of Allie and does capture the fun faery adventure we had wandering among the orchids, palms, and sculptures.

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In celebration of Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, the greenhouse also featured a rangoli. Made of sand, rice flour, flowers, beans or lentils, rangoli reminded us of the more commonly seen Tibetan sand drawings:

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It was almost impossible to photograph the rangoli without children marveling over the design. They really loved it! This was the only shot I could get of the entire image, with just a bit of my red coat in the corner. πŸ™‚ The greenhouse also riffed on my native Bethlehem’s Czech inspired “Moravian Stars,” in this case, with colorful, flashing lights:

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Our feast for the eyes also included trips to the Cactus Room and the holiday display of a mini Grand Rapids made from all natural materials, nestled in lush houseplant greenery. We both loved Old Man Cactus …

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… and the intricate buildings with all the colorful and variegated leaves and flowers:

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The Victorian Room contained this mini greenhouse, once a common sight in homes …

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… and the amaryllis and other flowers and foliage just popped:

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Allie captured this one in all its glory:

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After our indoor exploration of holiday evergreens from around the world, as well as the indoor sculpture rooms, we decided to bundle up for a walk outside. We took advantage of the cold to explore the almost deserted Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. I’ve never ventured in before, because that spot is always very loud and crowded. Getting a peek inside revealed why. This is the coolest children’s garden I’ve ever seen! They’ve got imaginative sculptures and all sorts of forts and bridges, kind of like Robinson Crusoe meets Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood of Make Believe. Dragons, owl, bear, colorful wolf pack … a five scents garden with a sculptured nose …

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David’s a Chinese Year of the Dragon, so I gave him a virtual kiss:

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and greeted the other dragon so it wouldn’t get jealous:

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Of course, whenever I go anywhere, I see bunnies and/or unicorns for Tania, and this trip included a hungry bunny statue above the protected cabbage patch:

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We spent the rest of our time strolling through the Japanese Gardens, which look totally different at different times of year. The waterfalls continued to flow, and the serene views and sounds encouraged us just to be rather than stopping for photos. I’m so glad David and I became members of Meijer Gardens, because I love taking out of town guests there for an afternoon of beauty, nature and fun. Allie had admired photos from previous trips, so it was extra special to spend the day with her there on a work day for David.

We rang in our New Year with the Kalamazoo New Year’s Festival, as usual, but Allie encouraged us to mix it up a bit. Instead of just listening to music, we watched a magic show, ventriloquist, and an amazing juggler, followed by Kalamazoo’s mini ball drop at midnight and the huge fireworks celebration. Between the magic of New Year’s Eve and the sensory gifts of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, I feel full of gratitude, beauty and joy. A wonderful way to ring in 2019! I hope you enjoyed some of the beauty here — too pretty to keep to myself. πŸ™‚

 

10 responses to this post.

  1. Oh, what a wonderfully lush profusion of foliage and flowers! In the midst of winter! Always love your nature and garden posts.

    I must say you and Allie look very “twinning” in your selfie.

    Happy New Year and Epiphany!

    Sky

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Sky! Yes, we often get asked if we are sisters or twins, which I take as a big compliment. I’m 19 years older than she is, but we do have fun together! Happy New Year and Epiphany to you, too, Sky!

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  3. Always appreciate the bunny love πŸ‡πŸ’– a lovely faery garden 🌻 stroll while Faeries were strolling in the forest here πŸ§šβ€β™‚οΈπŸŒ²

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  4. Weeeeee! Yes, so many bunnies for T! ❀

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  5. There are two women I would approach with a yearning watchfulness.

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  6. Thanks, Bo! Actually, there was a woman caregiver accompanying a differently abled man who did just that. I suspected he was sensing the energies, as well as our smiles. He pulled his caregiver to join our private tour and then profusely thanked US for giving him the tour. Very sweet young man. πŸ™‚

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  7. Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.

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  8. Beautiful! A promise of warm weather!

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  9. Yes, our tour guide has volunteered in the greenhouse for the past 7 years, and she said she never needs to go out of town for a winter holiday. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] the following week, and we took advantage of a company paid flight for him with me tagging along. His daughter Allie lives in nearby Austin. We planned for Friday in Austin and a weekend in San Antonio with Allie and […]

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