Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Garden

I’ve already written a few posts about how back in August, Beth of PlantPostings initiated a meet up of Midwest garden bloggers in Rockford, Illinois. Bloggers from three states spent the day visiting the Klehm Arboretum, the Nicholson Coservatory, and having a relaxing and convivial lunch in downtown Rockford.

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The last visit of the day was to the Anderson Japanese Gardens.

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This garden was brought forth by designer Hoichi Kurisu and others from swampy creekside land owned by a Rockford businessman.

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Kurisu also designed the Heavenly Falls area of the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon.

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The waterfalls here were certainly a cool sight on a hot August day.

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A Japanese Tea House stood along a small stream.

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By the time we passed the waterfalls and came to another small pond we were all feeling a bit limp from the heat and the long day. This seemed a good moment to sit in the shade of a willow and contemplate the water.

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This attracted the attention of some colorful koi. Judy had an English muffin in her purse from the “continental breakfast” at our motel. (I always wonder if the continent in question is Antarctica.)

It was probably breaking some rule or other, but we spent some time amusing ourselves by feeding bits of English muffin to the koi.

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If you live in or around Rockford (or are travelling through), you should really check out this garden.

45 Comments on “Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Garden

  1. Hori hi just finished our Japanese garden at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. I love volunteering my time in it!

  2. Three years in Japan gave me a tremendous appreciation for Japanese Gardens. My favorite was the Moss Garden in Kyoto.

  3. What a wonderful use of swampy land! The waterfalls look like the perfect place to visit on a hot summer day. We have a wonderful Japanese garden at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, and it is one of my favorite places. There is something very soothing about this type of garden. The peaceful effect is carefully crafted but seems completely natural.

  4. This was my favorite place of the day! And, I suspect, the best place to be on that hot afternoon–at least we had a little shade here:) Like Lisa, I would love to see this garden in the spring or fall. I wrote a post about this garden a couple of years ago when Beckie and I first visited it and did a little research on its origins. No wonder it rivals the Portland Japanese Garden, when one of the main designers helped to design the Anderson garden. It’s certainly a jewel hidden away in Rockford!

  5. Yes, a great resource for the area, and definitely worth a visit for those who live near or are traveling through. Judy’s photos are amazing! Woah, that was a hot day, wasn’t it?! But what better place to be on a hot day than at a calming Japanese garden in the shade. 🙂 This garden frequently makes the “top Japanese gardens” lists: http://www.uscitytraveler.com/15-best-japanese-gardens-in-america/ and http://www.placestoseeinyourlifetime.com/top-10-wonderful-japanese-gardens-23311/ (among other lists).

  6. I’m sorry I missed this part –kind of. But on the other hand, I just really hated how hot it was that day! I’m amazed you guys made it through three gardens! My daughter loves to take photos at Anderson Gardens, and has been here much more often than I have. At some point, you should eat at the restaurant. It’s really nice.

  7. That’s lovely, Jason. Especially the entrance in your first photo. The best Japanese garden I’ve seen outside of Japan.

  8. Jason, it’s very pretty garden, I especially liked the last photo of ‘drop fountain’, typical Japanese one. Time ago I wanted to make the same in my garden but fortunately I didn’t make because it needs Japanese garden around it.
    I also liked your thought about “continental breakfast” . It’s really true!

  9. How beautiful! The perfect garden, all that water must have been very soothing, I imagine it was quite the experience being there!xxx

  10. Lovely, serene, and peaceful. Looks cool, even though you mentioned how hot it was.

  11. Nothing beats heat and/or stress like a visit to a Japanese garden. I see many similarities to Portland’s but each garden has its own distinctive qualities.

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