The American Society of Landscape Architects announced this 2010 Honor Award winner recently, and I was really shocked to see it. It’s a concrete and granite playscape perfectly designed for maximum head injury. Anyone who’s ever been around kids knows that expecting them to play carefully and with grace is like expecting a kangaroo to make you a delicious slice of toast: not gonna happen. So why this landscape architectural firm thought it would be a fun idea to stick a bunch of sharp-edged granite steps next to a steep slope of lawn that is sure to be slippery at various times of day and year, I don’t know. And that slide? It makes me want to sprint up the flat edge and try out my Shawn Johnson balance beam moves (and if I’m thinking that, you know your six-year-old would!). Of course, anyone losing their footing would have a number of unforgiving surfaces nearby on which to smash themselves. No rail on the steps. Horizontal bars on the gate to encourage climbing and and upside-down monkey impersonations… Anyone young enough to enjoy that sandbox could be pretty easily injured by this garden. Of course, there’s another issue at play here besides just the children-with-head-injuries one, and that’s the one I want to talk about today.