Japanese Garden Inspiration: Anderson Gardens

It’s so fun when I run into someone exclaiming

I can’t believe how the blog has grown thanks to YOU.

Hello Lovely has brought so much joy and allowed us
to explore lovely places both outside
and within my imagination.

A magical 12 acres close to my home is such a place…
in Rockford, Illinois.

In 1978, businessman John Anderson
was inspired by the Portland Japanese Garden and thanks
to designer Hoichi Kurisu, the Andersons’ swampy backyard
was transformed into this Japanese-style landscape.

Anderson Gardens is one of those enchanted places
which provides a peaceful retreat from the chaos
and bustle outside its gates…how grateful I am
such secret getaways are open to us to visit.

I like to think the Holy Trinity would feel right at home here.

Beautiful bronze angel sculptures by Swedish artist
Carl Milles.

Can you feel the specialness and otherliness of this place?

Definitely make time to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s
little gem… the Laurent House while in Rockford!

Ponds, a Sukiya style tea house (by Masahiro Hamada),
winding paths, and lush plantings make this destination
perfect for contemplative dreamers like me and you.

Visit here for info about visiting the Gardens,
and keep an eye out for this blogger…I’m the one
with the tranquil gaze where the water falls.

Peace to you right where you are.


all photos mine



  1. August 26, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    So beautiful… made my morning! Sorry I have been so distant — I have been so busy and I have had no time to blog or check in with my favorite friends! I hope you're doing well, you look so beautiful and happy… you're truly an inspiration!

    much love,

    • August 26, 2014 / 10:17 pm

      thanks, des. i can imagine what a busy beautiful mama you are these days. always a joy to have you stop by. 🙂

  2. August 26, 2014 / 11:53 pm

    Michele, Such a beautiful garden tour! I'd love to walk the grounds in person. There's something magical about a perfect garden with waterfalls and stones. I'm trying to stay in touch despite the craziness here. We are living in a construction zone (complete with a honey bucket outside for my work crew;). ..this too will pass.. hopefully :/ xxL

    • August 27, 2014 / 9:51 pm

      i need to get in touch and get brought up to speed on your journey, leslie. thinking of you and wishing i could pitch in! i'll be in touch soon.

  3. August 27, 2014 / 1:07 pm

    What a beautiful, tranquil place, Michele. Sacred. And it looks like the perfect spot to watch summer shift into fall. Hope you get to spend many a peaceful hour there. How lucky to have it nearby! XOXO

    • August 27, 2014 / 9:52 pm

      you would love it, jeanne. tons of inspiration for you to paint, and even better…the perfect environment to set up your easel and create!

  4. August 27, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    Wow, what lovely photos! Such beautiful colors here. My boyfriend happens to be originally from Rockford — these gardens are now a "must-see" when we return sometime 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    xo, Laura
    bright and beautiful

    • August 27, 2014 / 9:53 pm

      yes! it should be at the top of the list with the Rockford art museum and the Laurent House. 🙂

  5. August 27, 2014 / 10:38 pm

    What a beautiful beautiful place… I feel calmer just looking at these beautiful pictures and could almost hear that water trickling:) The pictures are GORGEOUS! I love places like that..and the older I get the more I cherish peaceful serene places like this where I can go to escape for a little solitude, something I treasure and cherish more as I get older…go figure!

    • August 31, 2014 / 5:54 pm

      i will take you here if ever you find yourself in northern illinois, tina. you will love it!

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