The Secret Garden

Victoria Plum

We just moved house (last week infact) and I’ve started work on bringing the garden back to life. Our new house is pretty cool, bigger, better, quieter, now featuring a garage – the usual. But it was the garden that really sold it to me. The minute I stepped foot into the garden I knew the house had to be ours.
One of my favourite books when I was growing up (okay, one of my favourite books now) is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s not the story that I love, which is good, it’s not the characters in the book either, even though the old gardener is a dude – it’s the part where they find the garden and start working on making it beautiful again. The bit where they find rose bushes underneath years of weeds and scrape away the leaves to reveal tiny flowers. It’s the best!
So when I saw this overgrown walled garden, with its cherry tree being choked by nettles, the plum trees struggling under the weight of an overgrown tree and wild strawberries growing in the cracks between the paving stones I knew that I had to rescue it. So surely if I’m Mary Lennox then that means that the Undergardener is Dickon, no?

13 Comments on “The Secret Garden

  1. Hi mtp, How lucky are you? I would love a walled garden, so lots of pics please so we can share it with you.

  2. What a great time of year to be taking over an old garden … don’t even think about sorting out the house, you’ve got all winter for that.


  3. Can’t wait to see pics too! I am sure the garden will become a beautiful oasis… as that seems to happen with everything you and UG touch!


  4. Having had the pleasure of spending a beautifully sunny afternoon in the aforementioned garden, I can indeed vouch for the fact that you’ve got a great one! I’m sure there are many treasures you’ll unearth as you go through it… and I want to know what lurks in the mysterious shed at the back!

  5. Wow, how exciting is that? I’d love a walled garden. Be sure to post lots of before and after photos.

    When I first moved into my house, the yard was uncared for and completely overgrown. I wish I took more pictures before I ripped out the mess.

  6. Hello. I recently discovered your blog and enjoyed your humorous writing so much that I went back to the 1st entry and read a bunch of archives about how you got started. It’s wonderful to see how comfortable you are with so many things after just 2+ years. Your enthusiasm for edibles gave me a boost in my own garden.

  7. You are so lucky mtp, what I’d give to have such a garden to work on! As others have said, I look forward to seeing some photo’s and hearing of your progress with it over the coming months. How will you cope with both the garden and mtp?

  8. Thanks everyone – I’m excited to get going on my garden refurb. I will certainly post some more pictures – both before and after.

  9. Every happiness in your new home and garden! mtp may have to share your time with the new project, but hope ‘us fellow plotters’ can continue to enjoy the pics, recipes and inspiration. Good luck!

  10. The Secret Garden I loved that book too. It’s the walled garden that stayed with me I would so love to own one. If I see a wall all covered with ivy with a gate I have to try and see what’s behind it

  11. Your new garden sounds absolutely wonderful. I look forward to seeing photos of the transformation!

  12. hello i am doing a dissertation on walled gardens and would love to know more about yours. please contact me.

  13. Hi Lucy,
    Can you contact me through the ‘About’ page. Thanks