Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois- a Zen Paradise

If you are ever tooling down I-90 en route to Chicago and need a breather before hitting the windy city, stopping off at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois is definitely worth your while. Make sure you have at least a couple of hours. These gardens are to be experienced, soaked up and taken in. They slow the pulse and open your heart. Go to for all the info.

In addition to the gentle reminder that gardens can affect one on a physical level, I noted a few garden design tenets to bring back to my own space:

hostas on the stream anderson japanese gardens
Hostas punctuate the landscape in a lovely way. Personally, I have come to think of hostas as only living in waves in the garden. Hosta glades, so to speak. At the Anderson garden, they erupt here and there, drawing your eye through the space.
hosta at the anderson japanese garden
No sharp edges or right angles exist in the garden. Lovingly placed hosta, stones and boulders soften edges and break up expansive lines. The meandering lines lull you into a meditative state as you stroll.
bridge at anderson japanese gardens
Red, in all its varying shades, is a powerful, pizzazzy presence in the garden. On a large or small scale, a swath of red will create a strong focal point and add depth to a garden space. It's bold, but its subtler shades will always work. The bright hues have their place too. This Japanese maple holds court in this space.
petunias at the anderson japanese gardens
Petunias always have their place, in grandma's garden and living among Japanse maples and koi fish. A sweep of a single color is a soothing presence.
moss and fern anderson japanese gardens
Let the garden volunteers grow where they will. Happenstance could create a wonderful garden moment. Nature's art.
siberian iris anderson japanese gardens
Wood deck pathways create a wonderfully elevated sense in the garden. Try them even if you are not travelling over water.
fountain anderson japanese gardens
Unexpected, hidden elements, like this Japanese fountain, are treat to happen upon. Create secret moments, hidden vignettes in your garden, even if you are the only one to know it's there.
duck at anderson japanese gardens
Gardens attract wildlife. Even if you can't pull in the big guys, like this duck, the butterflies and the bees will love you.
garden fairy anderson japanese gardens
A sense of humor goes hand-in-hand with gardening. Three grand garden fairies greet you as you enter the garden and as you exit you meet their butts. The laugh you get is as relaxing as the garden is as a whole.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeff says:

    What a great article and even more stunning pics! It truly was an amazing place to visit.

  2. Rose says:

    Wonderful pics – Love mom

  3. The photos are simply beautiful. I hope to get there soon and enjoy the gardens 🙂

  4. Kallie says:

    If this doesn’t inspire the novice gardener and the experienced as well, nothing will! As well as the traveler looking for unusually beautiful attractions or restful pit stops! My mother who’s Passion is gardening will definitely be receiving a link to this article from me!!!!

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