Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Part III

Here we are, back for one last look at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. I hope you've enjoyed our visit.
I love seeing something new, or identifying something I recognize but don't have a name for. This soft, bright green conifer was new to me. I looked in vain for a label. Does anyone know what it is? It was beautiful.

When I see Aspens, I think Colorado, one of my favorite states.

An American Cranberry bush Viburnum is past its peak. I have a baby that's about a foot tall added to the garden this summer. This native shrub and its cultivars have beautiful lacecap flowers in spring as well as nice fall color and showy, edible berries persisting throughout the fall.
There are a number of water features in the gardens including ponds, waterfalls, and this creek. The visitor guide doesn't identify the creek. Since the gardens are located on Spring Creek Road, it might be a safe guess that this is Spring Creek. It bisects the gardens east to west. There are three picturesque pedestrian bridges connecting the two sections.Speaking of waterfalls. . .

The gardens look like they'd be beautiful in all seasons, and I hope to experience each. Only about 8 miles off the interstate, half way to Mom's, it will be a frequent stop in the future.


  1. What a beautiful place.

    each picture makes you feel as if your right there.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hi Cherry, glad you enjoyed the gardens. I have to say this is one of my all-time favorite public gardens I've visited. It had such a tranquil, naturalistic feeling.

  3. Lovley photos from a beautiful garden :)

  4. Talk about a Kodak moment -- you've got it all right there. Great shots.

  5. I'm not positive but could that first picture be a Japanese yew? Taxus cuspidata. I think it has long needles like that but I don't have any experience with them so I can't be sure.

  6. Thank you Marie! It's truly a beautiful place!

    Thank you Jane Marie! It would have been hard to get a bad picture there. Everything was so pretty.

    Good morning Dave, the needles do look like a yew, and I wondered if that might be what it was. I googled Japanese Yew, and it appears there may be more than variety. The texture of this small tree was so much softer and the color so much brighter than the typical foundation yews around here. It was gorgeous, and I'd love to find one for my garden.

  7. That waterfall is beautiful. I think you just identified a berry bush I'll be posting on but not sure. I can't tell the difference between cranberries and honeysuckle:( But any berries are great!

  8. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Beautiful shots -- I especially love those waterfalls. Wouldn't you love to be able to just move those into your back yard?

  9. Well done Japanese gardens are such a calming inspiration... I love how they manage to look naturalistic and yet "gardened" at the same time. Thanks for posting these photos of a lovely example, Garden Girl.

  10. Linda,

    You have found the perfect rest stop on your drives to and from your mom's. No crummy coffee and a public restroom for you! This is a wonderful find; I can see why you have called it 'one of your all time favorites public gardens". I love naturalistic gardens!


  11. Love the waterfall! I so want one by my little pond to help drown out the sound of traffic one block away. And you know, I've never even been to Colorado. But I too associate it with the aspens.

  12. Hi Tina, the waterfalls were very impressive!

    There are so many different kinds of viburnums, and some of them are very similar to each other! This one has maple-shaped leaves. There's another one that I know of that's very similar - it's a maple leaf viburnum. There are English and American versions. They aren't true cranberries, but the fruits have a similar favor, hence the name.

    Oh, would I ever love to have a waterfall like that Nancy! The sound is so relaxing, and they're beautiful.

    Hi Kim, I think that's what I loved so much about this garden - it was so natural-looking. There were a lot of native plants combined very artfully with cultivated varieties.

    I agree Gail! This is a place I could, and will visit repeatedly. I understand there are some nice gardens in Madison, WI too, which I go through on the way to Mom's. I'll have to look into those too. This one in Rockford though, is in a perfect location being about 1/2 way to Mom's.

    Hi Brenda, wouldn't you just love it! It's a wonderful sound, very relaxing, and like you say, the sound of falling water is great for drowning out traffic noise.

  13. It looks lovely there. Great photos.

  14. I just love armchair garden travel, thank you! it's a beautiful place. I think the first photo may be either dawn redwood, which is a really nice not-often planted tree hardy in our zone, or a larch. I tend to make a nuisance of myself and email UPOs (Unidentified Photo Objects) to the gardens and ask them for ID help. They generally answer, and now I'm curious myself! :)
    The waterfall and aspens are also nice, and you know I love CO!
    ~ Monica

  15. Thanks for showing a photo of the viburnum in another stage; this shrub has been on my "wish list" for awhile.

    Did the gardens have one of those small semi-circular bridges? I remember being told that every Japanese garden has one; there is symbolism attached to it, but now I can't remember what it is.

  16. I am going to guess Dawn Redwood too. It was one of the first trees I planted as a professional. It now stands 75 feet tall by about 45 feet wide.

    I enjoyed the trip through the Japanese Gardens. Looks wonderful.

  17. Thank you Melanthia!

    Hi Monica, glad you enjoyed the garden! I wondered if it was a larch, and googled that. It didn't look quite like the photos I found. But I think you're right about it being a dawn redwood. I just looked those up, and that's exactly what this tree looked like. Thanks!

    Hi Rose, I love the foliage on this viburnum, and the berries in the fall are really pretty. I like having a variety of bird berries in the yard. I understand some people really enjoy the cranberry-like berries too.

    I didn't see a semi-circular bridge, but since there were so many yellow jackets we didn't stay long enough to see the whole garden.

    Hi DFP, I think you and Monica are correct! Thank you! It's good to know about the size - that would be a bit too big here with all the other large trees. The one at the garden must have been pretty young, as it was only about 6 or 7 feet tall.


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