Almost every child longs for a secret hiding place: a tree fort, a clubhouse, a hidden hollow. My hideaway was a dusty upper ledge in my bedroom closet. My fantasy, however, was to have a secret garden as in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic story.
If you wind through Inniswood Metro Park to its northern edge, and then go just a bit further through a child-sized trellised arbor, the fantasy takes form. Crumbling brick and stone walls, inset with colored glass marbles and draped with vines, emerge as a “ruins” from a seemingly ordinary forest.
Inside, trickling spigots and a rising mist elevate the mood to mystical. Wall inscriptions and an iron bench invite lingering and just a bit of daydreaming.
It may be my favorite spot in a remarkable park, where nature and the heart can truly intertwine.