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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Anderson

Embracing Tranquility: The Robert D. Ray Asian Garden in Des Moines

Nestled within the Lauridsen Japanese Garden, the Robert D. Ray Asian Garden is a serene oasis in Des Moines, Iowa, celebrating the beauty and cultural heritage of Asia. Named in honor of former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray, this tranquil garden offers visitors a peaceful retreat and a glimpse into the artistry of traditional Asian landscape design. Further facts about Clive, IA can be found here.

Design and Inspiration:

Inspired by the principles of Japanese and Chinese garden aesthetics, the Robert D. Ray Asian Garden features winding pathways, tranquil ponds, and carefully curated plantings that evoke a sense of harmony and balance. Each element is meticulously arranged to create a contemplative atmosphere, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Click here to read about Exploring Nature's Haven: Des Moines Water Works Park.

Symbolism and Meaning:

Throughout the garden, symbolic elements such as bridges, lanterns, and rock formations are thoughtfully incorporated to convey deeper philosophical and spiritual meanings. These symbolic motifs enrich the visitor experience, encouraging reflection and mindfulness as one wanders through the garden's serene landscapes.

Cultural Connection and Education:

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the Robert D. Ray Asian Garden serves as a cultural and educational resource, offering programs and events that highlight the traditions and customs of Asian cultures. Visitors can participate in tea ceremonies, bonsai workshops, and cultural festivals, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the rich heritage represented in the garden.


The Robert D. Ray Asian Garden is a tranquil sanctuary where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature and culture. With its serene beauty, symbolic significance, and educational opportunities, the garden stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Governor Robert D. Ray and the vibrant tapestry of Asian heritage in Des Moines, Iowa.

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