Earlier this summer I visited Olbrich Botanical Gardens, our award-winning city garden in Madison, Wisconsin. I discovered that they had created several small sitting areas throughout the garden where visitors could stop and rest and enjoy the views of the garden or perhaps become a part of the garden. I decided that guests might enjoy doing the same thing at The Speckled Hen Inn.
I often feel that some guests, with their desire for privacy, fail to take advantage of all the extra little places around our property where they can share a quiet conversation, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings, and disconnect from whatever it is that they need to get away from. Our rooms in the Inn are great places but we have more to offer.
So, Bob and I set out to create those spaces on the property for our guests to enjoy. One space that already existed is our garden gazebo. The Gazebo was constructed in 2002, just in time for a wedding on the property. It is made of Canadian red cedar and still carries that sweet smell when you step in the double doors. There is comfortable seating in the gazebo and the screen covered windows provide a panoramic view of the garden pond, pasture, gardens and the Inn.
To make the gazebo more guest friendly we added a larger top on the dining table so sharing a meal there is a bit less cramped or the scrabble board now fits nicely on the table. We installed a new CD player and stocked the collection of CD’s there with more relaxing titles. We also installed a wine refrigerator that has dual temperature sections for red and white wines. Of course, it is fully stocked with wines from our wine list and glasses, cork screw, and menus from a couple of local restaurants that will deliver right to the gazebo (or the Inn) are on hand.
Since the gazebo is right in the middle of the garden we also decided that it would be a good spot for our collection of books that will help guests identify butterflies, wildflowers, and birds. Of course the gazebo is a great destination for guests looking for a comfortable spot to settle in with a good book or their laptop. The gazebo gets a good strong wifi signal too.