Did you ever read it? I did. Mine was a giant book (at least 8.5x11) with a thick hardback cover and uneven edges on the pages. Growing up in my school, we were required to read for 15 minutes, X number of times a week. In my ignorance, then, my job was to read words for 15 minutes. Who wants to bother with the trouble of comprehension? No wonder I have such a poor retention rate. Needless to say, since I was quite young at the time, I don't remember much at all from the book (and what I do remember might well be from a movie version) other than that there was a sick kid in a big house and a lonely girl who found a key that fit a door all covered over in vines that opened to an abandoned garden.
I liked that idea. That was the sort of story that I would make up for myself when I spent my recess periods hiding under the steps of the apartment next to our elementary school playground. Tiny places, secret hideouts, mystery and adventure of the mind.
The reason I was thinking about this was because there are a lot of alley ways in Charleston that look like they should lead to a secret garden. Very narrow, framed by old stones and bricks and canopied by vines... you never know where those paths will take you; they practically scream to be investigated. Alleys like that could turn a corner and drop you into Anthropos or Narnia or have an old red bike at the end that will fly you away.
Is this an "every girl's dream" sort of fascination, or am I weird like that?