We stayed out late on Friday night and packed a whole lot of fun in on Saturday (more on that later), so we traded in our Saturday morning walk in the garden for a Sunday morning visit with all four of us. The main reason I like Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the early admission hours. These used to be called “walkers’ hours” and maybe they still are. They are open at seven instead of nine, and you don’t need any sort of membership or entry fee to get in – they are free to residents of the metro area. Just give them your zip code when you enter.
We have a membership now, and it’s really nice to have access to the garden all the time, and serious discounts for major events. But I love the fact that you can make visits here a regular occurrence for free. The other nice thing (outside of being free), is that it sort of feels like sneaking in. You start to see regular faces, and the garden is quiet except for the sound of the gardeners. They are always busy at work, and I don’t mind the occasional hum of mowers or blowers as we walk. You get to see a lot more of the behind the scenes action – all the hands that tend to the place. And it’s cooler in the morning; beating the summer heat is a real perk.
We got there Sunday just before the place opened at nine, and it stayed pretty reasonable for the hour we strolled around. By the time we left at ten, it was really warming up though.
I’ve been lamenting the fact that my favorite fountain has been dry for years now, but then we rounded the bend and found it running again! What a nice treat. I loved this private little getaway. When E was little we’d sit back here for hours sometimes, she’d lay down on her stomach and dip her fingers in the water. I’m so glad it’s back on again.
Long before they built the current children’s garden, there was a tiny little children’s garden near the home demonstration gardens. It had a train that whistled on a track among the trees, and a little peacock fountain at the end of a tiny evergreen maze. The train is gone, but the little bunny bench is still there, and so is the fountain. There are fairies and fairy houses to find. I love this place.
P.S. I found this photo in the archives – the fountain many years ago, and a just-turned-five E.