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Photo Essay: Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City, Indiana

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Photo Essay: Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City Indiana

The International Friendship Gardens opened to the public in 1936.  Dr. and Mrs. Frank Warren created the gardens after visiting a small garden that was debuted at the Chicago Worlds’ Fair of 1933-34 by the Stauffer brothers.  A theme of the gardens at the fair was “Peace and Friendship to All Nations.”  The Warrens hired the brothers to recreate the gardens on their site in Michigan City Indiana and have the same International Friendship Garden theme.

When the Friendship Gardens opened, it consisted of fourteen ethnic gardens, the Symphony Theater and the unique Theater of Nations.  Kings and Queens around the world donated flowers and even the services of their on gardeners to work in the gardens.

Over the years the gardens suffered neglect and arson.  In 2014, new board members worked to rejuvenate the gardens and organized significant capital improvements for two years.

In 2015 the Friendship Gardens reopened as the Friendship Botanic Gardens.  A lot of the first flowers planted are gone, but you can still enjoy the beautiful grounds. The gardens are host to Weddings, receptions, educational events, musical and artistic events.

Hiking trails and gardens can be found throughout the 3-mile property. Here are some of the photos I took on my visit to the gardens in May. I hope to go back when more flowers are in bloom.

Native American Garden

 

Native American

 

Garden of Poland

This structure is standing in the Garden of Poland.  There are still cornflowers, geraniums, Ox-Eye Daisies and various other flowers.

 

Lake Lucerne

Garden of Bells

You can find various bells throughout the gardens.  Many were built in honor or contributors. My youngest daughter went to the gardens with me, and I think the highlight of the visit for her is that she got to ring the bells.

Peace Bell

The Peace Bell was donated to the Friendship Garden after it traveled to each state following WWII.

Statutes

Donated by the Chinese Government

Romanian Garden

Romanian Garden

 

 

I took pictures of a few flowers and statutes that I’m not sure which garden they were in but still wanted to include them.

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2 comments

  1. We’re visiting Friendship Botanic Gardens later this month. I didn’t realize it was so recently reopened. No wonder I hadn’t head of it before.

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    1. I thought the same thing. I’ve asked people who grew up in the area, and they never knew about it either. It should be fun. It was early spring when I went.

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