Anderson Japanese Gardens

Buds beneath snow

Last week, I emailed Tim Gruner, our head gardener, to thank him for bringing me on to help out in the garden this fall. He emailed me back, and ended the email with this:   “As cold sets in I begin envisioning all the dormant energy waiting underground, in the buds, resting, restoring and preparing for a new season of growth. Imagine if you could actually see the energy; it would be a marvelous glow. That’s how I manage the […]

Moon in Ice

The gardens are closed for the season. The trees have lost their brilliant color. The cold is settling in. Yet, we can still marvel at nature. We can still notice the beauty all around us. We can still take strolls outside, despite the cold, and simply pay attention.   Here is a poem I wrote after walking through the gardens last week, with some of these thoughts in mind. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and let us be thankful for this […]

“Look how gracefully these leaves are just flowing downstream.”

“Look how gracefully these leaves are just flowing downstream.”   I didn’t see what she meant.   She was a young mother With her young children, And a young man, Perhaps the children’s father, Perhaps her husband.   She was pointing down at the creek, Saying this several times, until her kids Finally looked— “Look how gracefully these leaves are just flowing downstream.”   After the family had moved on I walked over And peered into the water, at the […]

Crutched Oak

Crutched Oak   This large oak Arcs gracefully up and over a stream And is supported by a crutch.   The base of the crutch Is nearly in the stream.   Roughly at the point where the crutch Meets the oak The trunk fractures Into three large branches Then splits, and splits again,  Into countless shoots, which curl and curve, Up and down, Bearing leaves.   The leaves have mostly fallen now. The gnarled oak is nearly bare, Leaning on […]

Sunshine slants through green

Here in Northern Illinois, it is starting to feel like autumn is drawing to a close.   The nights are getting colder, the days shorter, the trees more bare. In the gardens, the season is nearly over: the last day we are open to the public is this Sunday. We are no longer so concerned with clearing the paths of leaves—there are fewer leaves to clear, and fewer visitors to mind them. Instead, we are guarding against the cold. At […]

Bright Ones, Dull Ones

  Bright Ones, Dull Ones   So many colors In the garden, in fall More even than spring, I think   Fall is heaven, the harvest Is death, death is heaven Followed by winter, the cold, The white   White will blanket But before the blanket, The dance, The Fall, The explosion   Of yellow, orange, red, pink The flames, The blazing sunset Dramatic, glorious   Tempered By the quiet, steady evergreens Who do not mind Are not disturbed   […]

Introducing our Artist in Residence

Introducing our Artist in Residence     Anderson Japanese Gardens is delighted to introduce our new Artist in Residence, Matthew Eighmy. Matt came to us as a part-time gardener, but then revealed himself to be a creative writer and artist as well. We will share his work via the Gardens Blog on a regular basis, and hope that it will be a source of inspiration to you, as the Gardens are for all of us.       Matthew Eighmy […]

Bloom Report for May 11, 2018

The garden has exploded with springtime colors and will be absolutely stunning this weekend! This is one of our favorite times for a stroll through the garden. Come and enjoy the spring blooms. Admission is FREE for Moms on Mother’s Day! What’s blooming in the garden? Trees: Redbud, Crabapple, Dogwood Shrubs: Rosy Lights Azalea, Karen Azalea, Korean Spice Viburnum, Fothergilla Spring Ephemerals: White Trillium, Shooting Star  

Bloom Report for May 4, 2018

The Gardens are exploding with springtime colors and will be stunning this weekend! This is one of our favorite times for a stroll through the garden. Come and enjoy the spring blooms while they are at their peak. What’s blooming now? Trees: Star Magnolia, Saucer Magnolia and Serviceberry Shrubs: Madison Snow Azalea and PJM Rhododendron Spring Ephemerals: Bloodroot, Trillium, Trout Lily and Bluebells

Where are the Spring Flowers?

April (Snow) Showers Will Bring May Flowers Green. It’s the color all of us want to see now, right? Not white. So, how is all this snow going to impact our spring? Is it going to ruin our spring flowers? The good news is not one bit. We are still prepping for our 2018 season opening on Friday, April 27. The blooms will just be a bit later this year. About 4 weeks later than last year, according to the […]