Have you ever seen a bored kid in a children’s garden? Often, some well-intentioned horticulturist thinks kids will find it fascinating that balloon flower buds are balloon-like or that Mexican blanket flowers look like serapes. Yawn. Kids, at least mine back in the day, need to run and play and maybe learn about some plants along the way. How about a 29′ by 62′ turtle? That’s how you do it! Meet Gaia the snapping turtle. The creation story of the native peoples of the area, the Haudenosaunee, says earth was formed on a turtle’s back. The 13 plates of a snapping turtle’s shell represent the 13 moons of each year.
As an adult, I find children’s garden are often filled with amusing and creative displays. The Ithaca Children’s Garden, an award-winning, 3 acre public garden is colorful and offers hands-on AND feet-on opportunities for play.