One of the cabin guides told me yesterday that Gene Stratton Porter wrote that she wanted her formal gardens to be "the showcase of Indiana. So you have to make the garden showy, Earth Girl."
Luckily she is not in any chain of command, but everyone has their own idea of what the garden should look like. Ok, I'll admit it, even me. There has been little design direction over the last ten or so years so people are invested in their vision of the garden which they have created in a bed or two. The result is chaos, not in the structural layout or bones of the garden, but with the plants or flesh of the garden. Your eye doesn't know where to go; there is no unity in the design; each bed has a focal point; you have no sense of the layout, the plantings do not lead you through the beds of the garden. And many plants are not from 1912-1922 when the original garden was planted.
With good bones, healthy plants, good soil, and hardworking gardeners, I am thrilled to tackle the design challenge and making others at the site enthused about the direction. It has the potential to be the showcase of Indiana, even if it is not too showy.