A visit to the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, IL

I took a day off from my quilt yesterday for a trip to Rockford. All those babies are OK but we do have two grandchildren who can talk and are quite fun to hang out with…

I checked the weather forecast before asking Julia if she thought we all might go the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. The children thought that it was a good idea, so after I had written yesterday’s blog post I got in the car … I avoided the construction on I-88 by going North on I-355 but it seems that road works are contagious… those orange and white cones are spreading everywhere and they were on that road too! At least I-90 is done (for now) and that part of the journey was speedy…

Ruby was waiting at the door to greet me. That in itself was worth the drive. Benjamin was busy with some project but he did look up when I went in! I needed a cup of coffee. We decided we could get one with lunch and off we set.

There is a very nice restaurant right there before you enter the gardens, and grandma even had a silver Sharpie in her bag for Ruby to use while we waited for our food to arrive, so all went well. Desserts were delicious. If you ever get the chance to visit yourself, make sure to leave room for whatever they have on the menu that day!

I had eaten at the restaurant before but never been into the gardens themselves but they came very highly recommended. I had my camera so I took lots (over 100) of pictures. I will spare you most of them…

The sound of running water accompanied us throughout the afternoon. The streams and waterfalls were running well and the sun coming through the trees made for some delightful vistas.The children were given a scavenger hunt sheet each which kept them interested and on task, looking for the answers to the clues.It had sprinkled with rain several times on my journey west but for now the sun was shining and the sky was blue.One of the children’s answers was right there on the bridge!At this next pond we were to look for animals…It took a little while before we spotted the turtle basking in the sun.The zoom lens came in handy for a closer look.Ruby would have sat for hours watching the turtle and day dreaming at the water’s edge…Time to move on and explore the tea house,with the deer chaser right by.(In case you are wondering how this sculpture got its name… Water runs through the bamboo filling the bottom tube until it reaches a tipping point when it tips up and hits the rock to make a noise and frighten the deer…)

We had bought some fish food on the way in so at several points the fish were very happy to see us. There were some very big Koi in the water. I think they live well on all those pellets.We had a really happy stroll around the gardens. There were not a lot of flowers. The irises and the azaleas were basically over for the year. There were some pretty pots of petunias so here’s one last picture of a lovely mixed grouping.The clouds were beginning to gather again just as were thinking it would be time to leave. We had timed our visit well. It started to sprinkle as we got in the van. All good things must come to an end so I decided to go home before  I caused too much havoc in the house. I thought I was setting off in time to avoid the traffic… What time do people leave work these days? Oh well, I thought happy thoughts as we made very slow progress south past the cones on I-355…

What a super day! Thanks Benjamin and Ruby (and their parents) for introducing me to Anderson Japanese Gardens.

As it truthfully states on their website,

“a beautiful, outdoor setting that inspires the mind and energizes the soul… a twelve-acre landscape of streams, waterfalls, winding pathways, and koi-filled ponds has been rated one of North America’s highest quality Japanese gardens for more than a decade.”




  1. Sandi said:


    June 7, 2018
  2. lynn said:

    It is always inspiring when we choose to leave the congestion and hurry of the world and step into such a peaceful and beautiful spot. I was so pleased to see the kids able to spend some time daydreaming. It gives us the opportunity to create internally. Thanks for sharing this trip with us.

    June 8, 2018

Comments are closed.