Yesterday, because of road work, I took the scenic route home. It’s a road I’ve driven dozens of times, but seldom enough that it always holds surprises.

As I rounded a bend in the road, an aged garden gate caught my eye. The gate was grayed cedar, but in good repair with sturdy hardware and suspended between pillars of old brick. Stretching out from the pillars was a twelve foot laurel hedge in that just right stage that like a good haircut announces it’s well cared for, but not just sheared.

My little gardener’s heart began to pitty pat a bit faster. This made me think about the fantasy factor in gardening. The hidden garden always thrills me. Mystery adds to a garden’s appeal. And is one of the secrets of a great design. The path that beckons, hinting, but not revealing, drawing me deeper into the special world of the garden.

The photo illustrates the same principle–taken in late spring, early summer in the front yard, facing the east border–there’s nothing special happening. Yet, it’s one of my favorite garden views, because it leads my eye and my imagination into the garden.

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