This past Friday was another “Fun Friday” day with my friend Luisa. As I mentioned in an earlier post – Luisa and I get together once a month, usually on a Friday, to visit a place to inspire our senses. A museum, an art gallery, a house tour, or in this case a garden. The Hollister House Garden in Washington, CT to be exact.
Friday was a beautiful day for a car ride, so we headed upstate, stopping first for a yummy lunch at Hidden Valley Eatery. I should have taken a picture – but I didn’t, however I can attest their Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken was delish! After lunch, we popped into The Hickory Stick Bookstore which was right down the road. The Hickory Stick is a lovely, independent book (and gift) store. If you’re nearby, I highly suggest you stop in. The store is light and airy and well organized. Sections are clearly marked, displays are inviting, and the aisles are nice and wide which makes browsing easy. There is a wonderful (and quite large) children’s area too. The odds are good you will walk out with something to read – for yourself or for someone you love.
But, on to the garden…
If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it. Tucked away on a beautiful country road you will find a small sign announcing its existence. An automatic gate magically opens when you arrive. (For a moment I felt a bit like a movie star!) Just inside the gate you’ll find a smallish parking area, and a lean-to where a donation box awaits your requested $5.00 donation. (Be sure to bring exact change.) It is there you will also find a volunteer who will cheerfully hand you a map of the garden and answer any questions.
Walk through the entry gate a few steps away, and you are transported back in time. My immediate wish was to be a child again; as this is the perfect place to play hide and seek with friends.
Brick walls, small buildings, numerous plantings of all shapes and sizes, and a reflecting pool are some of the sights you’ll see as you meander about the grounds. You’ll get the feeling this is the type of place Frances Hodgson Burnett had in mind when she wrote The Secret Garden.
I was a bit sad to leave this lovely place behind; but a raspberry shortbread cookie from a nearby French bakery called Ovens of France made me feel better. I also purchased some croissants to take home with me that were light, flaky, buttery, and oh so delicious! (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they have a web site, but they do have a Facebook page.)
Writing Prompt – Did you have a favorite place to hide out as a child? For me it was under the weeping willow trees near my grandparent’s house. Write about that favorite place from your childhood. What made it so special? What memories does it bring back for you?