In-Town Tourist: Secret Garden



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.

Columbus Things To Do

11 Comments to In-Town Tourist: Secret Garden

  1. just a bit of daydreaming is good enough to charge up for the next day real life.

  2. I actually had a tree fort for a while as a kid, but now I have a secret garden that I let my neighbors share from the other side of our picket fence! I really do think that one of these days, maybe I’ll do a post on my own backyard! ~ jb///

  3. Trisha Pearson

    Beautiful! That would be my favorite spot too!

  4. Pretty pictures and great post! Down in Key West there is a “Secret Garden”, this is the official name. 🙂

  5. Bring Back Pluto

    Has that Narnia feel to it…….something magical might happen at any moment!

  6. My hideaway was the enclosed space below a staircase for a while.

    This part of the park must be off limits to the public to survive so long. Any idea of the year or era that section was built?

  7. I just had an old cardboard box I used to turn upside down and hide away, turning the box into whatever I fancied, but it was my castle of dreams.

  8. Rainfield: So true. Never underestimate the value of daydreaming.
    LAZY: I hope you will! What a cool thing to have in your own back yard!
    Trisha: It would be a great little writer’s nook.
    Susanne: -Hadn’t heard of it, but I bet you have photos somewhere on your site?
    Bring Back Pluto: You’re right. It’s enveloped by the surrounding woods and is always a surprise to walk into -even when you know it’s there.

  9. Brian: The “Secret Garden” was actually created for the park. So everyone’s allowed to wander through it, but not everyone knows that it’s there.
    Donald: I loved playing with cardboard boxes too! When my parents had to buy a new appliance, we’d always take dibs on the box it came in.

  10. It is like a wall of a middle age fortress

  11. Cyprus Hotels: It’s a very romantic/magical old-world sort of setting. I never miss it when I visit Inniswood.

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