Frederik Meijer Garden, A Cure for Spring Fever

Gallery of Tulips
Gallery of Tulips

April in Michigan, USA was unseasonably cold and wet this year. To cure my spring fever, a trip to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculptor Park provided a temporary relief from the drab weather! The popular tourist attraction didn’t disappoint. I was pleased to see large planters filled with traditional Spring arrivals in bright colors and the conservatory was warm, sunny and humid!

Meijer Gardens History in Brief

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculputre Park is a 132 acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. In its conception, fifteen years of planning became a realistic venture when in 1991 the West Michigan Horticultural Society approached Frederik Meijer about donating a parcel of land owned by Meijer, Inc. The company owns and operates the Midwest grocery chain department stores in competition with Walmarts. The first store was founded during the Great Depression by Hendrik Meijer who’s first employees included his grocery bagger son, Frederik, at the age of fourteen. The land for the gardens is but one of Frederik's many generous contributions to the region.

The distinctive signature of the park and gardens satisfies Meijer’s goal to unite the visual art of humankind and the visual art or nature. It has quickly become Michigan’s second largest tourist attraction with 600,000 visitors annually, and is funded almost entirely by private donations.

Coleus
Coleus

The Tropical Conservatory

Highlight of the now famous tourist site is Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory. It features a rocky landscape housing plants from around the world. Visitors set their eyes on coconut palms from the Pacific, exotic orchids from Central and South America, bamboo and banana trees from Asia and fig trees from India! During March through April the facility features the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the United States.

Blooming Bromelaid
Blooming Bromelaid

What is a Bromeliad

The most well known bromeliad is the pineapple. But this tropical plant family contains a wide variety including some very un-pineapple-like members such as Spanish Moss, which is neither Spanish nor a moss. Other members resemble yuccas or aloes while still others look like green, leafy grasses.

All bromeliads are composed around a base of leaves that spiral to form a rosette which may overlap tightly to form a water reservoir. This central cup also collects whatever leaf litter and insects happen to land in it.

A distinct feature of bromelaids is they can grow in a variety of situations, from the sunny beaches to the shady forest floor. Some can grow on rocks, trees and other plants. This capability to take their nutrition and moisture from the atmosphere has earned these bromeliads the name "Air Plants".

Bromeliads only flower a single time. Once the plant stops producing its flower, it will not make new leaves. It will, however, produce new plantlets called "offsets". These plants will feed off the mother plant until they are large enough to set roots of their own and survive as a separate plant. The mother may sometimes survive a generation or two before finally dying off.

Bromelaid in Bloom
Bromelaid in Bloom
Blooming Bromelaid
Blooming Bromelaid
Common Morpho (Central/South America)
Common Morpho (Central/South America)

The Common Morpho

The Common Morpho belongs to the family of Brush-footed butterflies. Insects, including butterflies, have six legs, but the front legs of brush-footed butterflies are reduced to small brushes. The common Morpho has iridescent powder blue wings when opened and a camouflage pattern on the underside. Unlike many of the other butterflies I saw during my visit, the Morpho immediately closes its wings soon as it lands on a leaf, seldom opening them. Either way, it is beautiful!

Small Postman (Central/South America)
Small Postman (Central/South America)

Longwing Butterflies

The Small Postman from Central and South America belongs to the family of "Longwing" butterflies. They are named for their long, narrow shaped wings. They taste terrible to predators and warn them with bright colors and distinctive patterns.

The Small Postman (Central/South America)
The Small Postman (Central/South America)
Sapho Longwing (Central/South America)
Sapho Longwing (Central/South America)

Other Meijer Gardens Attractions

The other main attraction is The Sculpture Program showcasing three temporary exhibitions annually. Among numerous permanent sculptures, one outstanding feature is the three story "The American Horse" created in homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s original commission by the Duke of Milan. There are also selected works by world renowned sculptors, Rodin and Degas, as well as more contemporary sculptors.

The facility hosts various garden themes including the Children’s Garden Center, the Woodland Shade Garden, the Michigan Farm Garden and many displays highlighting Victorian and seasonal gardens. There are nature trails meandering throughout acres of natural wetlands, woodlands and meadows.

Additional attractions include an outdoor amphitheater with summer concerts, a horticulture and sculpture library, and a Christmas exhibit embracing cultures of more than 40 countries with 300,000 twinkling lights.

More florals. All photographs were taken by me during my visit! Simply enjoy and cure your own spring fever if you live in the northern regions of the country where it's been chilly, wet and dreary! Better days are ahead!

Chihuly glass sculptors enhance the gardens and indoor settings!

Chihuly Sculptor Adorn Meijer Gardens Restaurant
Chihuly Sculptor Adorn Meijer Gardens Restaurant

The Glass Sculptor Genius

I first heard of Chihuly last summer when I visited the Krasl Art Museum in St. Joe, Michigan where I grew up. One of his exquisite glass chandeliers was showcased in the foyer. I must have starred at it for five minutes. It was so beautiful and a verifiable wonder.

Chihuly’s lifelong affinity for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings including several pieces exhibited at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculptor Park. His work is included in more than two hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including ten honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

This is a world class video well worth seeing!

All photos are copyright of "fossillady" 2011

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Comments 73 comments

Vicki Russell 5 years ago

Absolutelybreath taking and so beautiful!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you Vicki!!! :o) Hope you're having a great day!


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

This exotic treat was awesome Fossillady,Thanks.;)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....such vibrant breathtaking colors Kathi - but you are still the prettiest flower of them all - in my manly studly opinion - lol - it's true Canadian men are hot blooded but also they're art lovers and I always love the 'art' of your photography - and its subjects!


Charlinex 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing the joy of spring!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hello Acer, It's your treat for the day! lol

Hi Colin, my hubelicious, hot blooded, Canadian friend! lol, your comments are always, always a delight!

Thank you Charinex, think Spring cause the weather certainly is not! At least not here in the upper Midwest anyway!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

This hub is absolutely breathtaking. Thanks for sharing the joys of Spring.

up/beautiful


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I could barely concentrate on the words because the photos are so amazingly gorgeous. But please do not change anything at all. This is a perfect Hub.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Wow... I love this garden. Well done, Kathi. You have beautiful presentation among stunning pictures. I wish I can visit this garden in person someday. Thank you very much. You deserve to get my VOTE. God bless you.

Prasetio


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you Fay! We're due for a nice sunny Spring day!

Hello Hyphenbird, Thank you for your generous comment! Wow! I hope your day is filled with the joys of Spring

Hello Pras, my sweetheart hub friend! If I could, I would give you a big kiss for all your support! Hugs, Kathi


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I had been waiting all winter for your springtime pictures. They're all beautiful, but my favorite is the first picture of the small postman butterfly. I love it's black body with red accents. Truly awesome. I'm glad to see you have an online link for buying your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

You are able to capture such beauty with your camera..The flowers..The butterflies are amazing, no two alike. I want the chandelier, so beautiful..The blue color is perfect. Thank you Fossi...Spring has sprung and i love it.

Cheers


MysteriousOne profile image

MysteriousOne 5 years ago

Great hub ,Fossillady.....Awesome photography too!The video is well worth the time,too.. Thank you for sharing! Have a great Spring....even though here in Florida,it feels like Summer is here to stay!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hello Augustine, I just may have a few more Spring surprises on the way! Hope your days ahead are sunny and bright!

Ruby, my jewel, His chandeliers are so awesome! I can imagine the price for one! I feel your joy for Spring. I want to run outside and scream and jump in the water naked like hippie girl Nell! tee hee

Hi Mysterious One...so glad you stopped by! Thank you for your good wishes, right back attcha!! :o)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Now you've done it...I can't stop laughing...Woodstock..Wow!! Didn't we have the time of our lives? Seems like yesterday. Nell is probably watching the Royal wedding.

Cheers


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Wow, these photos are absolutely gorgeous Kathi! The color of the flowers and butterflies is so vibrant! This is a wonderful and informative hub, too bad I live so far away! If ever in MI I will know where to go! Good job!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

A beautiful and awesome hub! The photos are gorgeous - sharp, colorful and vibrant - a wonderful sight. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for the videos as well as the lovely photos.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Wonderful!

I especially enjoyed the clip about glass art. "Collapsability and pushing the limits..." - not knowing what is going to come out of it - I feel the same with writing - if I say the same thing all the time - there is no point in saying it. My writing takes me away from the point I started...

Up & awesome.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

I'm laughing with you Ruby!!! We need another adventure. Whatever happened to Docmo? He would give us a fun time!lol

Hi Kath, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice compliment! Hope you have a beautiful and sunny May!!

Hi Alica, That was my first time visiting the conservatory and now I want to go back when it's warmer and stroll the nature trails! Thanks for a nice compliments!

Hi Kallini, I like your comparison with the process of writing and the Chihuly's glass art! So true! I hope you have a warm and sunny May!


wibowo30 profile image

wibowo30 5 years ago

Hi, Kathi. I want to introduce my new account. If you familiar with prasetio30. That's me. I am the same person. If you don't mind please visit my hub. I hope our friendship never end. Don't worry, my old account still existed. Take care!


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

Wow, Fossillady, incredible images, the long wing butterfly is amazing. Such a beautiful, vibrant place, a feast for the eyes. Thank you for sharing and taking us there.

Warm wishes,

Fennelseed


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hi Pras, of course I recognize you and we will continue to be friends! It's always good to see you! :o)

Thank you kindly Fennelseed! I am so glad you liked it and may your month of May be filled with sunny bright days!! :o)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, this was amazing! not only your wonderful photos and history, but the video's! how on earth does he do that with glass? mindblowing! this was great, I loved reading it and watching it, and in answer to ruby, I was watching the wedding! ha ha but I have dried myself off from running naked in the water!! ha ha I have been to a lovely garden centre today, to look at all the lovely plants and flowers the weather over here has been amazingly hot for about a month now! how lucky is that? mind you, now I have said it, it will probably rain for a month! cheers nell


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

Gorgeous, flowers and butterflies, I rarely see butterflies anymore and I live where there are flowers most of the year. Great hub!


Obscure_Treasures profile image

Obscure_Treasures 5 years ago from USA

Too good!!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hi Jackie, It's unusual not to see butterflies with the flowers most of the year! I glad you enjoyed them in the photos! Take Care!

Hello Obscure Treasures, I really appreciate you comment! :0)


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

What a Beautiful, Breathtaking Treat for these Flu-like eyes of mine. I feel better all ready Fossillady and those Butterflies...My Oh My...and that you-tube Video. Flowers are so Sexual...Wow!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hi Nell, well, I imagine you'll be high off the royal wedding for a while! I'm happy for those two! Sounds like you've had better weather than we have here! Good thing it was nice for the wedding! Thank you for a great compliment, glad you enjoyed it!

Thank you B., I'm sorry to hear you've been under the weather. Hope you feel better soon! Flowers certainly are sexual, sensual and all that, but especially beautiful! Take care!


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

Hi Kathi ~ This is awesome. i love the way you make these photo hubs! Gorgeous pictures of flowers and butterflies. I especially like the coleus and the butterfly videos. Shall be thinking what to get from the store for the garden because of this hub. Hugs, Debby


MarkMAllen15 profile image

MarkMAllen15 5 years ago

Nice Flowers, Brilliant.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Kathi- your awesomeness grows ( out in a spiral like a Bromeliad - learnt something new there!) Absolutely magnificent pictures that aptly illustrate the wonderful site.

Your hubs are a sight for sore eyes. And a cure for spring fever. voted up!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you for stopping by Debby! Off to the garden center you go...lol! Happy shopping! :o)

Thank you Mark!

Hi Docmo, It's always a good thing to learn something new and I have certainly learned from your articles! Thank you for the generous and lovely compliments! Hope your Spring is sunny and bright! :o)


WillSteinmetz profile image

WillSteinmetz 5 years ago

This is amazing, very beautiful flower of the world.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you so much Will, sorry so late to respond, it's been crazy busy around here the past few days!


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

Hi Kathi, wow what a kaliedascope of colours. Fantastic hub and stunning photography. I was visiting with you and it sure warmed the cockles of my heart. x


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Great photos - lovely colours, the beauty of nature is so clear in these shots. Very inspiring!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

I love your expressions bluestar! Good to see you, I really appreciate you kind comment!

Thank you chs, it was surely an inspiring trip! Thank you for stopping by today! I recognize you from around the hub! Writing children's books is something we have in common. Now if only I could get published, how about you?


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Fossillady, epigramman recommended you to me! and what a treat!! I love this hub, your photography is breathtaking, spring came early in the UK, it's been so dry the flowers didn't last too long, they were beautiful while they did, thanks for sharing your cure for spring fever!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hi Movie Master, Epi is good at bringing people together! You're words are very kind! Sorry to hear about the spring flowers in UK drying up. We've had so much rain here in Michigan USA. Don't fret, soon summer will bring more! Pray for rain!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Fossi, Little did we know we were going to the Royal Wedding. We had a hoot !! I'm ready for Domco to take us somewhere only he can conjure up. Don't be surprised to be invited to something big in June..Martie said, " It's going to be a Mother of a party " I have this feeling it's her wedding, but it's only a guess. Get your party hat on and take us somewhere, maybe a flower garden, or heck, a dance would cool my scoot'n boots. LOL Take care my friend....Oh i forgot Petra wants to go with us, She told me she wanted to go anywhere, you know she just lost her husband.

Cheers Girlfriend


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Oh my gosh, that last sentence took me by surprise! I feel for her!

I'll see what I can do about a story, but it might to be awhile cause I'm so busy right now, yuck. I haven't been on the hub lately this past week. I've been waiting for Docmo to take us somewhere! The Royal Wedding was great! So Martie is getting married? Good for her. Take care girlfriend!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Fossi, I'm not sure Martie is getting married..I just have that feeling..I might be all wet..I have a feeling Docmo is going to take us somewhere out-of-this-world..He puts so much work into all of his Hubs, it's gotta be BIG.

See U Later Girlfriend


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Can't wait! I'm laughing already!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

This is so beautiful. Thank you ma'am!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

You're quite welcome, thanks for stopping by Micky!


Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 5 years ago from Ohio

Beautiful hub. I enjoyed your gorgeous photos.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you so much Kay


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

Kathi, I was having a blue day today and had to re-visit to gaze upon the fantastic photography again. xx


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Good to see you Blue and hope your days ahead are brighter!


Naomi's Banner profile image

Naomi's Banner 5 years ago from United States

Epigramman recommended your site to me as I am an artist. Interestingly enough the majority of my subjects are close ups of flowers, rocks etc. You are a beautiful photographer capturing the beauty with just the right amount of light. Keep up the good work. We might have to talk a little business over these pics!! E-mail me.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hello Naomi, thank you dearly for a nice comment! What did you have in mind, very curious?


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

What a beautiful hub and I am pushing all buttons for this one and bookmarking into my favourite hubs.

thank you for sharing and take care

Eiddwen.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you for the great compliment Eiddwen! I hope you have a nice day! Cheers


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

Hello Kathi - I just awoke from my slumber after the night shift thing and it's currently 1:10pm on a Wednesday afternoon here on the northern shores of Lake Erie - I am going to put your name back on my introduction profile page again to try and get you some more lucky followers - all is well with my family of 2 and me of course -lol - there was a lovely full moon last night over the lake and today is a gorgeous summer's day and the water is so crystal clear - well Kathi, many a day during the winter you and I would talk about waiting for a day like this and now it's finally here - I sincerely hope all is well with your family, drop me a little letter when you have time and I will sent a reply .......June 15th


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

He Colin, Things are a bit shaky on this end, but I know me and my son who lives with me will come out of it smelling like a rose! I have a job interview today that looks promising! The dreary weather has returned after a few days of beautiful sunshine! Betters days ahead! I will drop you a letter soon!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Wow - Kathi! I went through every descriptive word in my dictionary, looking for just the right one to express how I feel about this hub - none exsists. All I can say is that your photos are absolutely radiant! You must be from another planet, because such a talent doesn't exsist on earth. I am honored to know you and I thank you from the center of my heart. Much love, vc :)


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you Audrey and sorry so late, I've been so busy lately trying to keep my head above water with new jobs and all! I miss the regular connection and it's so good to see your profile and hear from you! You are so kind! Hope everything is well with you! Hugs, Kathi


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

Hi Kathi nothing but praise for this hub. Very informative with excellent photographs. I appreciate how much work you have put into creating this hub,well done. Best wishes to you


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hi Dave, sorry I haven't responded till now, but I've been busy with a summer job! Glad you liked my hub and appreciate your comments as always! Take Care, Kathi


Naomi's Banner 5 years ago

Fossilady I paint from photos often times so pics like these are perfect so if you will go to my profile and send me am e- mail of price you would sell for per pic.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

This is an amzing hub and one which I am bookmarking.The pictures,colours etc. are beautiful !!

Here's to many more hubs to share.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

This is absolutely beautiful, those images are just tremendous.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM

What a beautiful hub! And your writing is exquisite. The photos are fantastic. When ever I am in Michigan I'll have to check out these gardens.

Dale Chihuhly: Don't you just love his glasswork? It is beautiful and you have captured it in the photos. In Naples, we have an art museum and one whole floor is glasswork by Chihuhly. He did a most beautiful glassblown work covering an entire ceiling of everything found in Florida. The flora, the fauna, the shells, the animals, fish, birds, etc. It is something else.

Epi pointed me to your hubs and he is so right. These are outstanding.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 4 years ago from Essex, UK

Very fine photos you've taken and presented here Fossillady from these Gardens and Parks. I particularly like the blend of purple and green in the coleus leaves. The video and the chandeliers are also beautiful. One of the most beautiful hubs I've seen. Voted up accordingly. Alun.


MichiganLover 3 years ago

This brings back memories. I've only been here once about 10 or 12 years ago with my mother. Your photos make me want to visit again. Beautifully done.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Thank you mutual Michigan Lover! It would be worth the trip. Only you're no longer in Michigan....right? At any rate, It's nice to hear from you! Warm wishes, Kathi


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

Hi I love these little gardens I do have spring fever as we are having spring weather here in North Florida and have been for a few weeks. Now I see the temps are to drops about 35 degrees by the weekend. I have gotten spoiled.

I will be making more of these..they are lovely. The bromeliads are breathtaking. I have two that are growing pups. How cool is that.

Thanks for sharing Voted up :) ps


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Hello Patricia, you're very fortunate to be in Florida this time of year and have bromeliads coming up. The only place they grow here are in planetariums or in our homes! Still sending Angles to Stephanie, Jay and you need them just as much if not more!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Exquisite pictures. I was thinking of Gardens by the bay that we have in Singapore. Thanks for sharing!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

Maybe its time to treat yourself to a visit there! Go for it Michelle!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA

We really need a special place to put links to all the Michigan hubs. There are so many great places to visit here.

You've done a spectacular job and I love the photos.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan Author

I completely agree Barbara Kay! Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs, Kathi


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 18 months ago

Love the photos of the spring flowers and the butterflies.

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