From her early years, Keller, as she describes in her memoir, had a love of nature. Being blind and deaf, she enjoyed going into the garden near her house, Ivy Green, because she liked the scents of the flowers and the boxwood hedges. She says it was a "joy" to go from place to place in the garden until she found a particular vine that meant she had arrived at the summer house at the garden's far end. This suggests that the garden was a place of mystery and wonder to her—she wasn't quite sure where she was at any given time, and she had to rely on her senses of smell and touch to guide her.
She writes of loving the clematis, jessamine, and butterfly lilies, but especially the climbing roses. She says she has never, in northern greenhouses, found roses like those that bloomed at her childhood home, describing them as
filling the whole air with their fragrance, untainted by any earthy smell; and in the early morning, washed in the dew, they felt so soft, so pure, I could not help wondering if they did not resemble the asphodels of God's garden.
It must have been a pleasure to escape a domestic world, where it was difficult for her to communicate, and enter into a place where she could feel free and experience the beauty of nature.