Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What’s the Secret Garden?

Before I post about my Spring Fever list update this week I’ll first need to explain to you what I mean by Secret Garden, since several of the items on my to-do list refer to it.

It’s not something I meant to be a secret from YOU, oh no.

Quite the contrary. I think you’ll totally “get” what this is about.

You see, growing up a middle child in a teeny tiny house surrounded by my parents and 5 sisters every minute of the day, I was known as the quiet child who most times could be found curled up in a corner behind a chair with her nose stuck in a book. 

As a matter of fact I would often shut myself in the bedroom closet with a flashlight to read by (yeah, I know, anti-social behavior there) in my attempt to find my own space.

Don’t get me wrong, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors with the other kids, but I always craved time alone too. 

Probably because it was so hard to come by in our loud and crazy household. Why, we shared everything; 3 girls to a bedroom, each getting one drawer out of the lone dresser in each room. Clothes, toys, bikes, even friends were shared by all.  We had only one bathroom in the house so even that was not a place to be alone.  As a result I tended to favor stories that had some sort of secret place, be it a secret tunnel, a cave,  a room, or a garden

One of my favorite books  was “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett

(If you click on the link above it will take you to a free website where you can read the book online )

That story stuck with me and I’ve always wanted a “secret” garden of my very own.  It doesn’t need to be very big, no, not at all.  It just needs a door and some kind of walls but not necessarily stone walls.

It’s funny how the kid we once were always remains inside us.  Even though I now have a whole house shared only with my husband and dogs; a house with rooms we don’t even set foot in most days (weeks even), I still dream of having my own space like that magical secret garden I read about way back when I was 9.

When we fenced in our yard several years ago it occurred to me that the small side yard bordered by the house on one side and the 6 ft stockade fence on two other sides just needed one more wall to enclose it to make my very own secret garden.  I kept that little thought to myself while I  I worked on the more public areas of the yard, like the gazebo sitting area, the patio and Outdoor Kitchen, the Rainbow Memorial Garden, and even the potting shed.

Finally, this spring I’m ready to tackle the Secret Garden, where that little 9 year old Rose who so desperately wanted her own quiet space will be able to enter at will.

Will I be able to pull it off?

Only time will tell.

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  1. It's funny... you always want what someone else has. Having grown up with just one sister, and jamie being an only... I think we both long for a large family. :)
    You HAD a large family and wanted some time alone. :)
    I've never read the book. I am really anxious to see your dream come alive in your own secret garden!

  2. Nine year old Mimi is a little jealous! When we finished our potting shed I was "playing" in it with my four year old niece and I kept thinking how much I would have loved a playhouse as a child. My garden area is my secret garden. I just love being in it. Can't wait to watch you build yours! I love this post.

  3. Coolest thing ever! You will finish and you will enjoy because of it's significance in your life.

  4. Great post, Rose. I hope your secret garden turns out to be everything you always hoped for.

  5. Lovely post. I loved the book and two movie versions. I usually list Secret Garden as a favorite movie on those silly surveys people send around! Maybe because I was one of four children sharing all spaces & things.

  6. What a special place to collect your thoughts. I can so relate coming from a large family... I just wanted to be an only

    Can't wait to see what a beautiful paradise you make your special garden.

    Hugs, Deb

  7. One thing I know for sure, you'll have your choice of doors to pick from! I can relate to the alone time. It's a physical and mental thing. I NEED my alone time every day and if I don't get it, I get just a wee bit cranky. I can't wait to see your secret garden. I'm sure it will be a magical space just for you. Oh, and us.

  8. I think yes, you will pull it off. :)
    I can relate to having no private space growing up. 7 kids sharing 3 bedrooms~it was kind of a circus.
    I loved that book, too.

  9. LOVE the back story of your secret garden!


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