Spies Public Library
A Children’s Garden
The Spies Public Library became the home of Linda’s Garden in 2003. This was a collaborative project between the Spies Public Library, the Master Gardeners Club of Wisconsin and the Anderson Family. The garden was a memorial to “Linda” a wife and mother who had passed away at an early age. In her lifetime, Linda had an insatiable passion for literature and gardening.
Linda’s Garden is a children’s garden that was created to trigger the natural curiosity of a child’s mind through literature and gardens. The garden is based on the following books: Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. The Peter Rabbit garden is based on one of the most popular books for children ever published, and the first source of garden impression in early childhood. Many of the plants in this section of the garden are mentioned in the book. The Little Prairie Garden has meadow plants and plants native to the Great Lakes. One unique feature of the garden is the connection between the plants and the literary theme that is represented. Also, the garden is filled with attractions for children. Children love the fish in the water area and can play checkers on a stump painted with a checkerboard. They can peek into the carrot cubby and watch the carrots growing. The butterfly garden has chrysalis hanging and at the right moment the emerging of a butterfly! The garden is filled with many educational curiosities.
The architectural firm, U.P Engineers and Architects professionally designed Linda’s garden with the suggestions of a committee composed of a variety of individuals from the community. The committee spent many hours researching children’s gardens to creatively combine the literary theme with gardening. Although the garden was professionally designed and constructed – the avenues were left open for future hands on opportunities with children. We have a “wish list” of future projects that will continue to foster the goal of Linda’s Garden which is to join the forces of gardening and literature to fuel a child’s curiosity and teach invaluable life lessons.