In an absolutely breathtaking display of idiocy by those in charge of creating a children’s garden within the Penn State Arboretum, a landscape architect from Colorado was hired to design the garden.
His credentials: Until he got this job, he had never been to Pennsylvania. He had no idea, until he viewed it from an airplane, that there is such a thing as the ridge and valley system, and that we locals live in it, and by definition he was utterly unfamiliar with our native flora.
That he got the job anyway boggles the mind.
So, to experience “the garden’s reality to nature” — as one boss of the project phrased it — here’s what the children got: A dry stream bed filled with small stones, which could have made a nifty shallow water feature for the kids to wade through; a plastic imitation of a limestone cavern, complete with fake stalagmites and stalactites; and a “prairie patch,” which I guess is the same as a patch of prairie.
Having lived and traveled and gardened in central Pennsylvania for 60 years, I have to admit I couldn’t find a prairie in these parts if my life depended on it. But now we have one, thanks to the expert from Colorado.
Gordon M. Shedd