As temperatures finally reach the 70s, my friends extend invites to eat lunch together or catch up on readings outside, particularly on the Lawn or the steps of the Amphitheater. Although I agree these spots are great places to mingle and people watch – whilst soaking in some much needed Vitamin D – I actually prefer the less-crowded and more shaded garden spaces that border TJ’s more popular and bustling Lawn.
Enclosed by artfully designed serpentine-like brick walls, these Gardens function as spaces for study, picnicking, reading and simply enjoying the flora. These small biomes are particularly beautiful during the springtime, when the tulips and flowering trees are in bloom. White benches welcome hungry readers and rectangular plots of grass draw in the occasional picnic blanket. The Gardens provide a sort of privacy, not offered on the Lawn – the tall brick walls and fair amount of tree cover form a tranquil atmosphere that is hard to find in such a central university location.
Although spring is my favorite time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Gardens, I also remember – as a first year – taking in their splendor the morning after a snow storm. My friend and I explored the untouched landscapes, entering through the Garden gates and creating the first footprints in the untouched snowcover. We threw snowballs and watched as the dogwoods glittered in the sunlight, the typically bare December landscape dazzling in its new winter coat.
The photographs I included depict a recent stroll home through the Gardens and feature the plethora of flowering plants that make the spaces that much more appealing.
Post by Elizabeth Knipp