Creating kid space

Hershey Children's Garden: A Place to Grow at Cleveland Botanical Garden Maureen Heffernan Ohio University Press, $10

If you were a kid designing a secret garden, what would it have? For starters, an apple tree. A cool treehouse, water and lots of hidey-holes. And how about playhouses, big flowers, berries, butterflies and birds? The folks who designed the Hershey Children's Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden asked the experts -- kids -- then packed the half-acre with their answers.

This child-size book about how the Hershey garden came to be in 1999, written by one of its creators, makes it easy to see how they got it right. It relies on plenty of full-color photos and simple headings ("Butterfly Gates," "A Mulberry Fortress") to explain the garden and the thought behind it.

Hershey's motto may resonate here: "No Disney" ruled -- nothing cutesy or overly manicured. The book's simple showcase of the charming spot makes it easy to borrow ideas for planting a garden at home that kids and parents can enjoy.

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-- Carolyn Huffman Kimball

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