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  • Jennifer Jewell


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.


The combining of sculpture and gardens dates back centuries if not millennia, and there are few public gardens I know of that do not incorporate sculpture into their aesthetics and identity at some point. This week we are in conversation with an exemplary public garden, whose identity grows out of this pairing: the art of horticulture and the art of sculpture. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan is “proudly ranked as one of the top 45 most visited museums in the world” and their award winning gardens “showcase over 200 captivating sculptures,” inviting visitor to experience what they see as the “perfect blend of art and nature.”


We’re joined this week by Steve LaWarre, the Vice President of Horticulture at Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park to share more.

Follow Steve and the Meijer Gardens on line: and on Instagram: @meijergardens/

PHOTOS: courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, all rights reserved.

JOIN US again next week, when in honor of the Spring Equinox, we are back in conversation with philosopher/garden designer and lawn to meadow warrior for ecology, Owen Wormser – growing his environment, his community, and his local economy, and growing us all along with him. That’s next week, right here, listen in.


Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from

supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.

Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Catto Shaw Foundation for 2024, all of your donations to Cultivating Place go directly toward helping us meet that match! All contributions help – go to the support button at the top of every page at Cultivating to chip in. Thank you in advance for supporting this program you love to grow with.



Thinking out loud this week....

I do a lot of speaking – as you all may have noted – and it is one of my most sincere pleasures. I love the intimacy of my recorded interviews and conversation, but I love the symbiotic energy and community of being in place with you all in person. We are never really alone – but it can so often be a misperception – can’t it?

I especially enjoy when I am invited to be the speaker for an annual lecture or event named for someone of legacy importance to the community in which I will be speaking – like my march 26th Secchia Lecture for the Meijer Gardens, the lecture named for the Michigan Italian-American philanthropist and businessman Peter Secchia who passed in 2020, or my April 11 lunch time lecture for the Missouri Botanical Garden which is the inaugural June Huston lecture. June was the first woman curator of the Missouri Botanical’s top notch home demonstration garden.


Somehow – again – these talks place anything I do or say firmly rooted into the ground of what we all do or say or grow.


We grow into and on from one another in so many ways – seen and unseen.

My speaking calendar for 2024 is thick and full – make sure to check it out when you have a chance so if I am coming to your area we can say hi! To all of you who have made such an effort already this year – in Seattle at the NWFGF there were a bunch of you – thank you! It is nice to flesh you out from listeners here to faces companioning me out there on the road.


I really mean it when I say, please come say hello and introduce yourselves!




Cultivating Place is a co-production of North State Public Radio, a service of Cap Radio, licensed to Chico State Enterprises. Cultivating place is made possible in part listeners just like you through the support button at the top right-hand corner of every page at Cultivating

The CP team includes producer and engineer Matt Fidler, with weekly tech and web support from Angel Huracha, and this summer we're joined by communications intern Sheila Stern. We’re based on the traditional and present homelands of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria. Original theme music is by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.

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