Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's novel "The Secret Garden" marked its centennial a couple of years back, but the concept of wondrous places existing behind impenetrable walls has existed as long as there have been wondrous places and impenetrable walls.
Of course, Ms. Burnett's book was about so much more than hard-to-see flora -- think friendship and fortitude and Dickon, swoon -- but our desire to peep inside pretty yards is a fairly human one and definitely common.
And we'll get to revel our good-natured nosiness on Sunday, April 28 and Sunday, May 5 when homeowners in Pasadena, Hollywood, and Los Feliz participate in the nationwide Open Days Program.
Overseen by the Garden Conservancy, Open Days Program invites people to wander a clutch of local gardens at their own pace, stopping to smell flowers or gaze upon ponds or admire what other gardeners are doing with their fruit trees.
The Open Days Program for Pasadena happens on Sunday, April 28, while Hollywood and Los Feliz follow on Sunday, May 5. There will be six gardens on each Sunday, for a total of 12.
This is the best bit, we think: You don't have to buy a ticket to all six gardens, though you can. A ticket for a full day is $25. But if you want to just take in a couple of gardens, you can pay for just those. The price? Five dollars a garden. This is preferable if you're the sort of lookie-loo who gets so involved and excited over a gorgeous, flowery space that you feel plum tuckered out after one or two stops.
The April 28 Pasadena tour starts at Arlington Garden at 275 Arlington Drive. The May 5 Hollywood/Los Feliz tour starts at Fern Dell in Griffith Park.
Ready to finally peep over some garden walls? Well, better than that: You'll walk in backyards of strangers, but strangers you have something in common with: A deep love of nature and beauty. That practically makes you pre-acquaintances, right?