Tranquility, simplicity and beauty are the essence of a Japanese garden. Fred & Lena Meijer had long appreciated Japanese gardens traditions and experiences and in 2009 asked about adding one to Meijer Gardens. On June 13, 2015, The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden opened its magnificent Main Gate to visitors, welcoming a world of timeless serenity and harmony.
Kangei: Welcome. The journey begins…
As a centuries-old yet timeless horticultural presentation style, this Japanese garden complements the Meijer Gardens mission and values and allows exploration in unique ways to bring together the art of the garden and the art of sculpture. Adding such an international garden has been part of the master planning process for more than a decade. The ideal location selected includes water, elevation changes and quiet surroundings.
Highly unique to the Japanese garden, landmark Contemporary sculpture works by international masters are 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. Hoichi Kurisu’s work ranks among the finest Japanese gardens outside of Japan, including Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon; Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois; and Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in 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.
New works of sculpture, by Contemporary masters such as Anish Kapoor, Zhang Huan, David Nash, Masayuki Koorida, Jenny Holzer and Giuseppe Penone, have been permanently installed within the Japanese garden. This unique marriage of beautiful art and beautiful green spaces has long been a key element of the Meijer Gardens mission.
See Highlights above for photos and more information about the sculpture collection within the Japanese garden.
A Japanese garden is a style steeped in centuries of tradition. While 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 includes plants native to Japan, it also features plants native to Michigan and other temperate climates throughout the world. All the plants have been 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.
See Highlights above for photos and more information about some of the horticulture featured in the Japanese garden.
Vice President of Horticulture Steve LaWarre discusses the history of The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Jun 19, 2022 at 1:00 PM
Experience the tranquil ambience and exquisite architecture of our authentic Japanese Teahouse.