How I run away from home … for lunch! The secret gardens of Wellesley College

Sometimes you just want to run away from home. It’s not that home’s so bad. In fact, home is great! But the warm autumn weather beckons, tinged with a crisp breeze, and it carries you away to beautiful places.

In my quest to get to the local CVS during lunch to pick up a pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the pristine day led me to nearby Wellesley College and one of my favorite places, behind the Botany Building where my mom used to work, in the secret gardens.

wellesley college secret garden1

I made a mental note that I must bring a notebook with me the next time I come here and plant myself in one of these little outdoor rooms and scribble away.

My favorite author and writing muse, Louisa May Alcott, wrote of her longing for a room of her own. Finally nearing her teens, her parents gave her one with a door leading out to the garden where she could “run away from home” whenever she liked.

Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Louisa also loved writing in apple trees, crunching on crisp, juicy apples:

"I write best up in the apple tree"; illustration by Flora Smith.
“I write best up in the apple tree”; illustration by Flora Smith.

So I thought of Louisa in her apple tree when I saw this pine:

wellesley college secret garden8

I loved this little “room” created by fir bushes, complete with a little door:

wellesley college secret garden4

The view outside the room was equally lovely:

wellesley college secret garden7

A grape arbor with flat stones for a bench:

wellesley college secret gardens of the heart2

A stone bench dedicated to a loved one as a place to remember loved ones:

wellesley college secret gardens of the heart3

All this just a short walk from my office. Does “home” get any better than this?

Made me think of a song by Judy Collins:

And if I hadn’t taken that detour to the college, I wouldn’t have noticed that a new Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins store has opened in Wellesley Square. I was able to get my pound of coffee for less money, and use the savings to get my favorite iced mocha with cream and sugar. 🙂

I can’t wait for the next time when I can “run away from home.” And I’ll be sure and take a notebook next time.

Do you have any secret gardens near your office or home?

Where do you like to steal away for the loveliness of quiet and solitude?

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