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SIFWIW - The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children's books. I remember my aunt giving me a copy when I was young. She told me I could only read a chapter a day so I could extend it over my vacation. I hated that chapter a day rule. My mom pulled that with me on the book Bingo too.

There's something about walking out in the conservation areas during this time of year, when there are wild flowers, budding trees and carpets of green grass that go on and on. I've been spending time at Hayes Spring because it's a shorter walk and I'm building up to those longer ones after a long winter off. I've started walking earlier this year than last because now I understand the benefits of it.

As a refresher, the trail is a linear half mile, so you pull a whole mile if you go back to the parking lot. Which is probably a good idea if you want to go home and since they don't allow camping. Part of it is wooded, the other part open field that looks like a place where Predator might jump out of the tall grass and eat you. The grass isn't that tall right now, but give it a couple of weeks.

So imagine my surprise and delight when at the end of the trail, I stumbled into this magical garden full of flowers and blossoming trees. It's well hidden, tucked away from the real world just enough for me to wonder if I'd been sucked into another time and place. There's no sign dedicating the hard work to anyone, nothing saying who spent the time to plant a beautiful pink dogwood, the creeping phlox or brilliant magenta azaleas.

I couldn't resist crossing the rock dam in front of the bat cave to investigate further although I was terrified I'd stumble into a snake den, but when summer comes, the weeds will be so high there won't be a chance to cross the dam. There are viney plants that bear orange flowers in late summer.

This is a set of wooden stairs someone built, presumably to get to the levels that separate the dogwoods from the other rows of rows. I climbed up them a little way, mindful of the debris layering them.

The stairs don't really lead anywhere, so I forced PeeWee up on one of the rock walls with a backdrop of phlox.
The place itself is something magical when it's just a spring running out of bluff in a hillside, but when it comes to life with unexpected flowers, it's breath-taking. A place where man-made beauty and natural wilderness collide. There are ferns growing on the side of rocks and burr bushes growing out of black landscape tubs. It's wild, care-free and set back from the world, but it was once a place where maybe people picnicked and came for a cool, shady spot on a warm summer day.


  1. LOL, I just love your walks.
    I have been working out in my gardens and loving it.


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