Evergreen Attractions


(Pitcher Plant)

A beautiful plant eating up small birds or insects, how does it sound? It’s a nightmare for vegetarians to even believe that such a living thing exists on planet earth. But ask those who have some interest in Botany and they will tell you loads about a Nepenthes, a pitcher plant, a carnivore to the core, beautiful,  colorful and attractive. 
My attraction for these carnivorous plants started from my life science classes in school days and then it was a short story named Septopaser Khide by Satyajit Ray that brought in a lot of interest about these amazing plants.
Not only the carnivores but also some unique desert plants, orchids, tropical plants and some lovely chrysanthemums are displayed in Grand Rapids’ Frederik Meijer Garden’s Horticulture Collections. There are five different halls or rather glass enclosures in which all these variety of plants are displayed. 
The carnivorous plant house was one-of-a-kind and was also the only one in the United States that was displayed to the public. We spent hours in that small glass house to admire variety of plants from all over the world, in different shapes, sizes and colors. Venus flytraps, colorful pitcher plants, glittering sundews and butterworts were just to name a few.
From here we moved on to the arid garden to see some beautiful desert plants. The garden was divided into two parts; one side was plants from America and Australia where we saw large Agaves with their sharply pointed and beautiful leaves, the fuzzy torch cactus and Golden Barrel Cactus. And on the other side of the garden was displayed some superb collections from Asia and Africa and the stars here were from the families of Aloe and Euphorbia. Few others that looked amazing were the Aloe ferox and the African felt bush.




(Golden Barrel Cactus)

The next was a beautiful exhibition called the ‘Chrysanthemums and more’ where a spectacular display of flowers kept us gaping at the beautiful gifts of nature. Flowers were set up in rows, columns and even in style of hanging lamps, yellow, white and pink…just too pretty.
Apart from the specialized plants, there were a few more gardens all around the place that had native plants from a particular region. The English Perennial garden was one such where there are a variety of native North American plants. Beautiful flowers, bushes and shrubs from spring onwards make this garden truly colorful. There is even a seasonal garden which is basically a display greenhouse that has plants that change with the seasons. The Victorian Garden has plants that were common and popular during that era and is artistically decorated in that style with fountains and statues. The last among these gardens was the Shade garden where tall trees form a canopy and Daffodils and Hydrangeas reign supreme.




(Victorian garden)


(Shade garden)

The last part of this evergreen attraction was the Tropical Garden which is actually a conservatory that is inside a huge glasshouse. It features outstanding collections from across the world and the setup in amid streams, waterfalls that makes everyone feels being in natural surroundings. Gigantic palms, coconut trees, bamboo trees, banana trees, bromeliad and lots more made this place a unique one. The unique collection of orchids and other tropical flowers are something to watch out for when in this garden.




(Bamboo Plant)