Secret Garden – Building a Sanctuary

Secret Garden – The Story

The Secret Garden is a children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which was written back in 1909 and has enjoyed wide popularity in the years that followed. The central theme revolves around a young and sickly girl who, orphaned by cholera in India is sent to Yorkshire, England to dwell with her uncle. Her uncle is still mourning the loss of his wife, which occurred ten years prior.

A secret garden exists on the property, where his wife once enjoyed spending her time. After her death, he locked it up and buried the key. The girl happens to discover the key after it is unearthed by a robin hunting for worms, and eventually makes her way into the garden. Enlisting the aid of the chambermaid’s brother, who has considerable skill with gardening; she is able to restore it to its former beauty.

The garden seems to have healing properties, as the characters that spend a great deal of time within it tend to start feeling much better both physically and mentally. In the end of the story the secret garden manages to make her uncle feel better while providing an appealing social gathering site for the entire family.

Secret Garden – Building a Real One

The idea of building your own secret garden can be greatly exciting and appealing to many gardeners. The general idea is to create an area that can be used as a sanctuary away from the rest of the world, where you and only you can relax and enjoy time alone. Building one is easier than it might seem, and we’ve put together a number of ideas to help guide you along.

One of the most common themes in secret gardens is that of a wall or encircling structure that protects the inner regions. This can be accomplished in several ways:

· Wall – Building a wall is the most secure way to enclose a secret garden, although perhaps the most labor-intensive. One of the benefits of a wall is that you can install a locked gate with ease, enhancing the security you can enjoy within. Another benefit is the ability to plant ivy and other species that climb walls, which can eventually make your wall appear alive.

· Fence – A fence is another great way to enclose a secret garden, especially with varieties that allow limited or zero visibility from the other side. Gates can easily be installed in a fence as well as a wall, and the entire structure is usually easier to build and more affordable than a wall tends to be.

· Hedge – A hedge can act as a living wall. Many species grow so thickly that seeing through them is often impossible, which can lend a very peaceful privacy to any secret garden. The only disadvantage of working with a hedge is that you must wait for it to grow to an appropriate size, which can take years.

Secret Garden – Interior

Once you have an enclosing structure set up, preferably with a controlled access point like a locked gate, you must turn your attention to the interior. This is where you’ll be spending your time, and should thus reflect your own personal gardening desires. If you have favorite plants or flowers, this is the place to include them. In addition, there are a number of other ideas you can consider:

· Garden Bench – Every secret garden needs a place to sit. Installing a comfortable bench can give you somewhere to relax and enjoy the beauty of the plants and flowers living inside. You can tuck the bench in between two segments of hedge, or perhaps between to shrubs or bushes with pleasant-smelling flowers.

· Gazebo – If you have the space, a small gazebo can be perfect for a secret garden. This gives you somewhere to sit while sheltered from the rain or hot sun, and helps to increase the feeling of safety and solidarity. Placing a picnic table inside can give you a location to enjoy activities such as reading, writing or even doing a puzzle.

· Pond or Fountain – Elements of water will complete the peaceful ambience of your secret garden. Listening to the sound of water pouring from a fountain and bubbling into a pond can be immensely relaxing. Including some small fish or turtles can give you some silent friends so you won’t feel entirely alone.

Secret Garden – Where to Find More Information

These are just a few ideas for building your own secret garden. You can often find a great deal of inspiration by walking around your favorite garden center. If something there stands out, it might be a worthy addition. Share your plans with the staff in order to benefit from their own suggestions. In the end, you can create something truly wonderful.

Copyright (c) 2008 – Brant Florist

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