The Beauty of The Elizabeth Gardens

gardens1

The last time I went to The Elizabeth Gardens was months ago, when the trees were still barren and dead. I was gathering information for a story I was writing and the landscape was beautiful despite the leafless trees. The rose gardens were empty, not a bloom in sight. This week, at the height of June, the entire place had transformed. I was in awe as I walked through the lively vines and the bees buzzed all around. The gardens are in West Hartford, surrounded by streets of mansions.

In the center of the main area of gardens is a beautiful gazebo that is covered with vines. It looks like something from a storybook, some sort of fantastic land abundant with different colored roses. There were people crawling all over the grounds taking advantage of the abundant sunshine. The lush greenery is truly magical, and I was in awe the whole time. Each rose was fantastic in color, each arch was wild with botanicals.

We walked around some hidden paths and soaked in the sun. After awhile, we took refuge in the shade and watched the chipmunks scattering under our feet. Whatever troubles I had brought with me eventually melted away.

gardens2

gardens3gardens4gardens5gardens6

 

This is truly a nature-lovers delight, and I highly recommend going! Let me know if anyone has gone there before, or perhaps has suggestions about similar places. 🙂

If you want to see what else I’m up to, check out my Instagram and Tumblr!

-Heather

“Do you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by…”

med1

Hello Everyone,

Over the weekend I visited my friends who live out near Boston. We embarked on an adventure, that is, walking the grounds of an abounded mental institution. The area of Medford State Hospital is actually now turned into a park, but you aren’t allowed in any of the buildings. It was a beautiful day to walk amongst the ruins with two very cute pups. If any of this looks familiar to you, there were some areas that were filmed for Shutter Island!

It was strange to imagine this place filled with people, as it is so quiet and in disarray. There were shattered windows and some fear of asbestos, but we kept our distance from those things.

med2med3

As you can see, a lot of the grounds were beautiful grasses and trees.

We are hoping that there will be some renovations done here, as the buildings are so beautiful and ancient looking. It truly is the perfect backdrop for a horror film.

There is a beautiful peaceful feeling to walk where many people once lived, and even died. It was sometimes mysterious, looking into the windows and imagining who used to look out of them onto those streets. And we were not the only ones there! Couples, groups of friends, and other dogs roamed the area. It was an interesting sense of community, a feeling of sharing but also of separateness.

med4

Look at this adorable little puppy, named Piper, and the newest addition to my friend’s family. If you’ve ever been to this area, let me know what your thoughts are!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Sometimes the smallest light shines so bright | An unexpected book store

bookmill1bookmill2

I visited the Montague Bookmill in Montague, MA, and these were some of the treasures that I found.

bookmill3

As someone who lives a pretty stagnant life (as in, I work and a library and write in my free time, staying away from parties and roller coasters) I enjoy a little adventure once in awhile. Coming upon this little book mill was completely unexpected and absolutely satisfactory. I was lucky enough to go on a rainy day (as I love the rain) and the cosiness of the environment was at an all-time high. There were creaky floorboards, old windows, and the sound of rushing water from the river behind us. Plants overtook surfaces and books were scattered in disarray. I secretly wondered how difficult the process of getting married here would be.

It was one of those places nestled in the middle of nowhere that is delightful and stays somewhere safe in the back of your mind. I am thinking back to it now, happy that the experience was full of inspiration, and nothing can touch it.

bookmill4bookmill5

And I did end up buying books (of course) and one of them was a book I already have a copy of (of course).

bookmill6

Please leave any comments if you have been to this magical place or if you have suggestions for more magical places like this that I can explore!

 

“You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and

paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge

and power. They are, simple put, the best of places.”

-Jen Campbell

On the Grounds of Edith Wharton

DSCF5800

Today the sun was finally shining on us strong enough to warm up the air, and we took advantage of it with a little day trip.

Lenox, MA is home to many talented individuals, famous and not, and being in the area is exciting. The appeal is apparent. The woods are lush but not too dense, and the rolling hills are beautiful, even without any leaves on the trees. I was itching to get to The Mount, which is the enormous estate that the talented Edith Wharton built and lived in. The house is closed up and won’t open again until it gets warmer, but the grounds were all ours to roam.

I had been here once before, but I didn’t know who lived here, and even if I had, I doubt I would have understood the significance. The walk to the mansion was beautiful and sunny, and I imagined if Edith strolled along those roads while she pondered her latest writings. I like to think so.

DSCF5802

The estate is impressive, but the gardens are what interest me. And even though nothing is in bloom right now, the skeletons of all the dormant plants are beautiful. The way the gardens are laid out give the feeling of some sort of labyrinth, and the mysterious vines hang eerily over the old stone. I tip-toed under the arches and pondered what a hot summer night must be like here. I’m guessing it must be some sort of heaven.

I can’t imagine living in a place like this, but I’m sure a well-off famous author could. You might get yourself turned around, thinking you are really in some scene from Harry Potter, but a glance up at the home will remind you that you’re in the heart of New England. I felt suddenly very lucky that I get to live in this great state.

One can only imagine what this place must look like in the fall. Both times I’ve come have been off season, but they were still extremely pleasing experiences.

DSCF5808

Something I’ve noticed from visiting great mansions like this is that the grandness of it sometimes leads you to miss the details of things. I tried to really take in the grounds, as the next time I come here will probably in the summer when we can do a home tour. Today, I took my time and roamed amongst the large shrubs and trees. I tried to hone in on those little details, the things that we sometimes look over. Some of these little buds were stretching off the vines and I couldn’t help but reach out and touch them with the very tips of my fingers.

DSCF5795DSCF5788DSCF5798DSCF5805

Let me know if any of you frequently go to Lenox, or if you’ve been to Edith Wharton’s home. I thought it was incredibly breathtaking. I truly did not want to leave.

 

“Set wide the window. 

Let me drink the day.”

-Edith Wharton

 

Bookstore Part II

nh12

Here are some more photos from my bookstore trip a few weeks ago! Enjoy 🙂

nh22nh32nh42nh52

I am hoping that the weather will get nicer soon so that I can go on some more adventures. It’s hard to do anything when you’re tunneling through snowbanks. But spring is on its way!

To see what else I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

Talk to you soon,

-Heather

Nearer (A Trip to a Bookstore)

nh1

I recently read a poem by C.S. Lewis that goes like this:

“If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if  you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.”

I have found that the best thing for me is to love things abundantly and to do something as soon as I have the urge to do that thing. Sometimes the concept of something in our minds is enticing, but the act of doing it becomes a burden.

One example is that I loved bookstores and I constantly complained that there were none if close proximity to me like there were when I was in Boston. The truth is that I just wasn’t trying very hard, I was in my head dreaming of them instead of looking them up and getting out of the house and exploring. So today, this is what we did. We got up out of our usual lives and we ventured out just a little bit and we explored in a beautiful new place.

nh2

The bookstore that we went to was called Broadstreet Books in Northampton, MA.

nh3

Bookstores are magic, and not just because they are beautiful inside with many treasures to buy, but because they house hundreds of whispers waiting to speak to us, waiting under our fingertips as we hover over their spines. They allow us to wander through stories, through countries, through gardens, through fantasies, through history, space and beyond. Walking into a bookstore is like greeting endless strangers that are staring silently for us to discover them.

nh4

Here I am contemplating how many hundreds of books will be taken home today. (I actually only bought 1, and I am proud of that)

If you are going to a bookstore, let me give you some important advice, go with someone you trust, or go alone. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have stepped into an otherworldly bookstore and was rushed along because I was with people who are just simply not book people (beware of those). When you know you will go to a bookstore, only bring people that will also get lost alongside you amongst the shelves and won’t meddle with your searching. The space is special, charged with calming energy, and the wrong people can ruin that. Bring those who have beautiful souls who are willing to stick it out while you peruse.

nh5

 

What are you favorite bookstores to go to? Or perhaps you prefer the library? I happened to by my third Emily Dickinson book, as well as some gifts for friends. We got dinner and chocolate after, and I feel very, very good about my day of getting nearer to the things I love.

If you want to see what I’m up to, you can check out my Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest!

-Heather

footer

Hello, Sunny Day | A Trip to Lenox

lenox1

Hello Everyone,

Today I went to Lenox, MA to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was the perfect day for a ride and especially for walking around a historic town. The little shops and cafés were so charming!

I went last fall as well and bought a few things for my dorm. It’s amazing to me that here we are a year later and so much as changed. Because it’s a bit later in the season it was actually empty. There were a few people in the streets, but not nearly as many as there is in late summer/early fall. A lot of the trees still had their leaves and it was wonderful to admire everything without shivering to death. So many of the shops were enchanting, we had to eventually pick and choose which we went into because it was getting so late!

Look at these beautiful bath accessories. It made me wish for a nice hot bath so badly! I have been seeing a lot of white-on-white decor lately. I really enjoy it, very minimal and clean. This packaging is also beautiful.

The best part about Lenox is the shops are so unique, some of them being in historic brick buildings and some being overgrown with plants. I loved walking on the stone streets and enjoying the sights.

lenox2lenox3

Aren’t these little mouse matchboxes adorable?!

lenox4

We also went to one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever been to. It was very old and used to be a courthouse.

Here was one of the main rooms that you walked into from the front. The photo unfortunately does no justice. Everything was beautifully preserved and the rooms were gorgeous. If you’ve ever been inside a library like this, let me know where it was. I love discovering new ones.

lenox5lenox6

So many of the leaves this year are browns and yellows. I think they aren’t as saturated as usual because of our lack of rain this summer, but I love the golden colors. They covered the sidewalks and and decorated the streets, giving the best picture of a New England town in Autumn.

lenox7

This is the outside of the library. It was also huge in the back. How incredible! The brick work and architecture was jaw-dropping. We were speechless the whole time inside.

lenox8

This was one shot of the main room inside.

If I had a library to go to like this near me, I would be very happy!

I think there is something magic about libraries (did I mention I got a job in one?). Seeing the shelves and shelves of books is incredibly comforting. The world is getting a little crazy and a little scary. But going to a sanctuary like this is a beautiful thing, and we are so lucky that they exist. It was a lovely, lovely place.

 

Have you ever been to Lenox? Let me know your thoughts/suggestions!

-Heather

footer