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Colors of Autumn: Chrysanthemums at Meijer Gardens

Submitted by on September 1, 2022 – 12:06 amNo Comment
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Chrysanthemum, Meijer Gardens, MichiganCelebrating its 24th year at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, “Chrysanthemums & More!” features the element of surprise created by fall plantings used in uncommon color combinations. This year’s exhibition theme is Unexpected Color.

The annual celebration of autumn takes place September 16, 2022, through October 30, 2022. It’s the largest of its kind in Michigan, featuring expansive chrysanthemum displays, fall foliage and family-friendly activities.

A perennial favorite, this annual fall exhibition encompasses thousands of blossoms across 158 sprawling acres. “Chrysanthemums & More!” will surprise and delight, with a focus on abundant autumn plantings arranged in intriguing and uncommon color combinations. Both artful and natural, the palette of vivid complementary colors and subtle tone-on-tone pairings — bringing awareness to texture and shape—is sure to pique your interest and catch your eye.

Chrysanthemums & More, Meijer Gardens, Michigan

Plentiful plantings in the Grand Entry Garden, Welcome Center, and Gunberg and BISSELL Corridors showcase the chrysanthemum through the artistry of many designers, among them Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park horticulture staff. In the BISSELL Corridor, a different local floral designer each week will create a singular arrangement highlighting the chrysanthemum as its primary element. Local florists include Hyssop Floral, Horrocks Market, Overgrowth Floral, Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts, Dahlia Acres Farms, and Eastern Floral.

Of equal note are stunning displays in the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse, Earl & Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden Parlor, and Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, each lush and lovely.

Outdoors, treat your senses with a trek into the crisp fall air. Venture onto the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden, with its seasonal wetland views, then make your way to the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden and its cornucopia of chrysanthemums, intermingled with nontraditional autumn plantings to form a quilt-like tapestry. Continue to Michigan’s Farm Garden, where the abundant autumn harvest boasts heirloom vegetables, herbs, gourds, and larger-than-life pumpkins. This example of a working 1930s family farm occasionally provides some of its more than 40 varieties of produce for our James & Shirley Balk Café.

Chrysanthemums, Meijer Gardens, Michigan

“This year we are exploring the beauty of Unexpected Color,” said Steve LaWarre, Vice President of Horticulture. “We hope that guests will notice the rich palette and striking details of unique and unexpected combinations of color throughout our grounds, inside and out.”

Chrysanthemums & More activities

Activities throughout the exhibition, including Tuesdays at the Farm, Glow Garden and Hallowee-Ones, are full of family fun. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Fall Family Day: 1-4 p.m. October 1, 2022. Visit the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden for fabulous fall family fun. Activities include something for all your senses! Listen to fall-inspired tunes and autumn-themed stories, view a fiber arts demonstration, and take a naturalists walk that includes highlights of this amazing and colorful season.
  • Tuesdays at the Farm and Glow Garden: 5-8:30 p.m. September 20, 27, and October 4, 2022.
  • Eat, drink and dance in the crisp autumn air. The James & Shirley Balk Café pop-up will serve fresh local fare along with West Michigan beer and adult cocktails. Dance to local music in the barn.
  • Glow Garden, Meijer Gardens, Michigan

  • The Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden transforms into the Glow Garden, its natural beauty enhanced through the power of light. Enjoy artfully carved pumpkin displays by Grand Rapids printmaker Alynn Guerra, decorative lanterns, log lights, and glowing trees.

  • Fall Bonsai Show presented by the West Michigan Bonsai ClubL 10 am-5 p.m. October 1 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. October 2, 2022. See a variety of bonsai on display, from trees in early stages of training to lovely older trees. Watch bonsai artists at work and shop for bonsai trees, bonsai tools and supplies.
  • Hallowee-ones: 10 a.m.-noon October 21, 2022. Get creative at this special event, designed for our youngest visitors! Dress your child as a sculpture, fish, or flower, or in any other way that highlights the Children’s Garden! Participate in a costume parade, then celebrate with your wee ones as you listen to Halloween-themed stories and go on a Halloween Hunt. No tricks. No treats. Just fun!
  • Unexpected Color in Nature: 2-3 p.m. September 25, 2022. Experience how Unexpected Color reveals itself in nature. Take a walk with Eve Choi, Curator of Horticultural & Environmental Education, to observe the natural colors reflected in the Doehne Wildflower Meadow plantings in autumn. See how the pairing of plants can have both ecological importance and aesthetic beauty rooted in color theory, and learn more about the science behind fall color change.
  • Unexpected Color in Design: 2-3 p.m. October 9, 2022. Take a closer look at the inspiration behind the Unexpected Color theme with Amber Oudsema, Curator of Arts Education. Learn the basics of color theory and see how it has been artfully applied in this year’s Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition theme and displays. Then try out what you’ve learned in a hands-on activity exploring the principles of color theory.

  • Unexpected Color in Floral Displays: 2-3 p.m. October 23, 2022. Explore Unexpected Color on a guided tour of the Welcome Center and BISSELL Corridor indoor plantings and floral displays. Elizabeth Wesley-Martin, Meijer Gardens Florist and Horticulturist, will explain her approach to floral design and highlight key plantings on display throughout the Main Building. Learn the basics of floral design and observe how Unexpected Color is beautifully realized in the indoor Chrysanthemums & More! displays.

Meijer Gardens, Michigan

The Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition is sponsored by The Meijer Foundation, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation, Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Michigan Arts and Culture Council (a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts), and Townsquare Media/

About Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park was recently listed in the top 45 most visited museums in the world and the 30 most visited museums in the United States by The Art Newspaper, global art news publication. The 158-acre main campus features Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; one of the country’s largest interactive children’s gardens; arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin; a carnivorous plant house; outdoor gardens, including a replica 1930s-era farm garden; an eight-acre Japanese garden featuring contemporary sculpture; and a 1,900-seat outdoor amphitheater garden, showcasing an eclectic mix of world-renowned touring musicians each summer. The permanent collection highlights hundreds of sculptures from internationally acclaimed artists Magdalena Abakanowicz, El Anatsui, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Marshall Fredericks, Henry Moore, Michele Oka Donor, Beverly Pepper, Jaume Plensa, Auguste Rodin, Richard Serra, Yinka Shonibare CBE and Ai Weiwei, among others. Indoor galleries with changing sculpture exhibitions have hosted shows by Jonathan Borofsky, Edgar Degas, Jim Dine, Laura Ford, Richard Hunt, Rebecca Louise Law, Pablo Picasso, George Segal, and others.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park promotes the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment, and the arts.

(Images courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park)

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