Free garden concerts offer tropical getaway

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    By Lacey J. Manning

    Free concerts in the Morinda Gardens at Tahitian Noni International in Provo allow visitors to experience serene tropical gardens first hand.

    The gardens provide a place for a peaceful walk during the day and a venue for entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights through the “Live From Paradise” summer concert series which features local artists from different genres of music.

    Originally, the gardens were created for employees to enjoy before, during and after work, providing solitude from the high-pressure business world, as well as a place to entertain clients and guests, said Coleen Toone, landscape designer for the Morinda Gardens.

    “At the very least, it”s a beautiful, well-crafted and immaculately landscaped garden – an oasis of beauty in the middle of a commercial business park,” said Adam Olsen, spokesman for Tahitian Noni International.

    The next performance of the concert series, scheduled for July 21, features local artists Joshua James and the Southern Boys, who will perform folk-style music. The concert is free, which is typical of Friday performances at Tahitian Noni.

    The following day, internationally known pianist, David Glen Hatch, is scheduled to perform. His concert, in the Garden Amphitheater, costs $5 at the door.

    Hatch has performed on four different continents in facilities like St. John”s Cathedral in Hong Kong and the Music Hall of Composers in Moscow. Some of his performances have been aired on radio and television internationally.

    In addition to performances, Hatch”s music is featured on numerous albums, one of which received a Grammy Award nomination in 2003.

    Hatch also gives clinics and teaches master”s classes at universities worldwide.

    “The gardens benefit the public because it was built for the public,” Olsen said. “It is a place where people can bring their families and enjoy a quiet afternoon, or see a weekend concert in our garden amphitheater.”

    To get to the garden amphitheater, visitors must enter through the Terrace Garden. The opening garden is dotted with tropical plants and gives guests part of the tropical experience.

    Lush green grass, bright colored flowers, flowing luminescent waterfalls and elegant wooden arches decorate the gardens.

    Contributing to the tropical atmosphere are banana trees, which bloom in the summer, but die out in the winter because of Utah”s cold weather. Every summer the trees are re-planted so visitors can get a taste of the exotic land where the company gets the noni plant to make its products.

    “I think the gardens help bring a sense of well-being,” Toone said about the serene tropical landscape, which she finds to be a haven amidst the stressful environment of an international company.

    To make the tropical experience more of a haven, sweet potato vines, castor bean plants and golden flax grass supply additional authenticity to the Tahitian experience on the opening garden terrace.

    Canna, perennial tropical flowers grace the brick path leading further into the gardens where other distinctive landscape features like Sequoia Redwood trees can be found.

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    -What: Morinda Gardens

    -Where: 333 West River Park Drive, just west of the Shops at the Riverwoods

    Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    -Admission: Free

    -More Info.: www.visittni.com

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