The Literary Garden at the ISU Horticulture Center is based on the verity that nature and literature are wonderful companions. The idea for the new garden was generated almost 10 years ago when the Center was established.
There are three unique components of the Literary Garden. The first component connects the selected passages with the part of the nature that inspired the author. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder writes many beautiful passages in her book Little House on the Prairie about her experiences on the prairie. The Horticulture Center has a well-established three-acre prairie which will serve as our connection to these passages.
The Literary Garden’s second unique component is that is an audible garden. Authors' selected passages are tied to nature (gardens) using signage that contains QR codes. Guests at the Center can use their smart phones to click on the QR code which will direct them to an audio file. The audio file will play back on their device, connecting the actual passage with the inspired piece of nature. A visitor will be able to listen to passages from the Little House on the Prairie while standing in the Horticulture Center’s prairie.
The third unique component lies in the fact that a visitor coming to the Center to view the Literary Garden would therefore traverse many of the gardens on site.
The establishment of the Literary Garden is important contribution to our community because it educates individuals of all ages about our environment which includes native prairie and diverse gardens while preserving the eloquent passages of our Midwestern authors.
To date the following authors have been approved: Wendell Berry, Gene Stratton-Porter, Aldo Leopold, Eliza Farnham, Carl Sandburg, Willa Cather, Gene Stratton Porter, Edgar Lee Masters, Shel Silverstain, Lauara Ingalls Wilder, and Wendell Berry.