Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival
Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Beth and I decided to travel to Wisconsin to visit her family. Instead of making the trip in one day, we decided to split it up and stop in Ohio to visit the Amish country on the way to Wisconsin, and in Michigan on the way home to visit the Holland, Michigan Tulip Festival and the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We chose to stay in Berlin, Ohio at Zinck’s Inn, an Amish-run hotel. It was very nice!
After a week in Wisconsin, we had visited with many relatives and it was time to move on.
Our next stop is going to be Holland, Michigan, a city with a strong Dutch heritage (surprise!). Since it is home to a very large Tulip Festival each spring, we decided to schedule our trip so that we arrived just as the people were leaving. As good luck would have it, the tulips were a little late blooming this year, so they were at peak (and some were just blooming!) when we arrived and the crowds were gone. Perfect!
Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Tuesday – May 14
The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a 158-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is becoming one of the most significant sculpture experiences in the midwest and in 2005, The Wall Street Journal wrote that there is nothing quite like it this side of the Kroller-Muller Museum and Sculpture Park in the Netherlands. It is listed as one of the “30 Must-See Museums” in the world.
It was created through the generosity and planning of Fred and Lena Meijer, founders of the Meijer grocery store chain in the Midwest.
(By the way, they are not related to, or connected to, the Fred Meyer chain of stores nationwide.)
The signature distinction of the gardens is to equally emphasize sculpture and horticulture, in satisfaction of Fred Meijer’s objective of uniting human visual fine art with the visual beauty of nature.
It is presently the second-most popular cultural site in Michigan, having 600,000 visitors annually. It contains the largest tropical conservatory in Michigan, three indoor thematic gardens, an 8-acre Japanese Garden, various trails and boardwalks, and more.
Learn more about Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park: https://www.meijergardens.org/discover/
( Notes below for individual sculptures with * are copied from the Meijer Gardens website)
(Left) This one is hard to see, but look about halfway up on the left side. (Right) Close-Up of subject.
“It Will Continue To Grow Except At That Point” – by Giuseppe Penone, 2010. Appx 11 feet tall.
As a member of the “Arte Povere” movement where artists turned to the use of non-traditional, natural materials as the basis of their work, trees and vegetation play an important role in Penone’s sculptures and installations. It Will Continue To Grow Except At That Point is amongst the most iconic of Penone’s broad and diverse repertoire. Based on actual installations and photographs thereof, it discusses the idea of mankind’s relationship with nature. *
Michigan Farm Garden
Next on the Meijer Gardens loop is the Michigan Farm Garden exhibit.
It appears to be modeled after Lena Meijer’s childhood home.
Next on the Meijer Gardens loop is the Boardwalk through the marshes.
Lots of birds, turtles, and more.
The Meijer Gardens Children’s Garden
Inside the Meijer’s Gardens Visitor Center
After several hours of enjoying the outside gardens, we ventured inside to see the indoor gardens and tropical forest.
Ohio – Lake Erie Shoreline
Wednesday – May 15
On Wednesday, we were going to stop at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, but the weather was so nice, we decided to go to the north shore of Ohio along Lake Erie (between Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio). We didn’t know it, but this is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Apparently, there are thousands of migrating birds at various times of the year. There were miles and miles of marshes and bird-watching areas.