This is a particularly beautiful place to visit in the Spring and again in the Fall. The grounds offer koi-filled ponds, garden paths winding through the foliage, and stunning waterfalls.
At times there isn’t a lot of flowering plants. I learned that the concept of a Japanese garden includes a minimum of flowers, and what few there are represent the fleeting nature of life. That’s why a Spring visit is so special – the iris, rhododendron, and azalea are that fleeting moment.
This site all began with John R. Anderson, a Rockford businessman who had a long-time appreciation of Japanese culture. After visiting the Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Anderson was inspired to have a garden of his own. He went right to the top, and in 1978, hired renowned landscape designer, Hoichi Kurisu, to transform twelve swampy acres of his backyard into a Japanese garden. The Andersons later donated their grounds to a non-profit organization.
It’s a lovely, tranquil area to wander around. Turtles, ducks, and lots of koi share the space with all the plants. The day I was there, kids as well as adults were taking in the nature and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The grounds include a traditional Tea House. A scroll on the wall inside reads, “Every day is a good day.”
One of my favorite areas was the West Waterfall. Here the three elements of a Japanese garden – stone, water, and plants – offered a spectacular show.
The symbol for the Anderson Japanese Gardens translates to . . . “At this moment I realize only contentment.” Plan a visit to the gardens, and feel that peaceful seclusion from the outside world.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
318 Spring Creek Road