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Watts, May Theilgaard

Two plans for The Morton Arboretum, Sterling Morton Library Reading Garden

Pen and India ink on 4-ply cream board 
Digitization Status
37.6 cm W x 29.8 cm H (Item)
1 sheet
Date created
Two sketched horseshoe-shaped plans for the Sterling Morton Library Reading Garden, including suggestions for planting, furniture, exposures, layout and features.

Center text between the two sketches: An impractical plan for an an outdoor reading room adjoining the new library - no scale - M.T. Watts fecit

Bottom right corner text below Plan #2: Any exposure - M.T. Watts suggestor demeritus

Plan #1 suggestions:
  • Grass throughout
  • Along south side of garden:
    • Library 
    • Eye of the librarian watching over entire garden
    • Seat in the sun and for a cold day on both sides of the glass doors
    • Circular platform with 2 steps going into garden so that there can be a lecture platform
    • Espaliered Pears for the walls on both sides of the glass doors
  • Along east side of garden
    • Book tree - expendable, paper-bound books for free browsing
    • Some tall things to make long shadows in the afternoon
    • Table for small group
  • Along west side of garden
    • White pine to say "Sh..." for the librarian
    • Sweetbrier rose to make smell of applesauce
    • Wall with perhaps some niches, and /or some good tiles
    • Seats connected by small tables but no togetherness
    • Book tree - expendable, paper-bound books for free browsing
  • Along north side of garden
    • Thorny things
    • Wall fountain dribbling quietly
    • Mossy north wall with ferns at its base
Plan #2 suggestions:
Text at top of plan: I like this better (one can read in the rain)
  • Wall lining entire garden
  • Cloister - walk along wall lining entire garden - paved old brick? (detailed sketch of interior below garden sketch, including books for browsers and vine)
  • Along south side of garden:
    • Wall fountain in the shape of a lion's head drooling contentedly
    • Doors to Library on both sides of the wall fountain
  • Along east side of garden:
    • Ground covers
    • Vine
  • Along west side of garden
    • Ground covers
    • Vine
    • 1 step up
  • Along north side of garden
    • Steps on both sides to make raised platform for book talks
    • Beech tree because books are all named for it
    • Ferns under beech tree