Thursday, May 17, 2012

Secret Garden-Started

A few weeks ago I shared my desire to have my very own Secret Garden, as in the book. 

I have the space all picked out for it and I actually started on it already. 

Some before pictures are in order here, so you can get a sense of what I’m working with.

These are pretty embarrassing. 

Here goes…


The grass is spotty, the stepping stones are awkward, and the garden by the fence is totally overrun with flowers and weeds. I can’t tell which is which anymore.  By midsummer it’s totally wild.

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It’s come to look like a garden junk graveyard.  

Somehow it has all migrated to this part of the yard. 

Lots of material to work with, but lots to say goodbye to as well.

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It didn’t always look so bad….in previous summers the side yard looked like this.


And then this…


Ok, so it did look so bad. 

It’s high time I try to tame it and edit some of that junk out of there.

All the garden planning articles suggest using a garden hose to form the edges of the planting beds.  So I  pulled out some old hose to try to figure out what to do with the shape of the beds. 

Well that trick must only work in warm weather. 

The hose was so stiff it didn’t really work out so well.

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I decided a center planter would break up the narrow strip and give the eye a place to pause before the gate on the end.

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The bricks are staying, I will use them as edging.


They all came from the yard to begin with.

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As a matter of fact we decided to take apart that old brick bbq oven and use those bricks too. 

This was here when we bought the house.  It had obviously not been used in many years.

Mike has begun the task of breaking it up.


It just made no sense trying to fix it up when we don’t really need it.

(Pretty soon we can strike that task off the list!)

Once I decided on the shape of the planting area I removed all the grass, and used some pavers to border the new center planter. 

I broke out the paint sprayer and used it to stain the stockade fence AND the lattice panels I had been saving for just this purpose. 

It worked out pretty good to lean the lattice against the fence while I was spraying, that way the overspray wasn’t wasted as I needed to paint the fence anyway!



I like the white, it gives it a fresh look.  Like a blank slate.

The dogs were most interested in what I was doing.  Pretty soon this whole area will be off limits to them. 

I think Katy knew this, she promptly left me a “present” on the new path.




Next I laid down landscape fabric, then added a thick layer of mulch over that to make a soft walking area. 

I don’t want Mike to have to come in here with the lawnmower ever again!




It’s a start, but there’s lots more work to be done.


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  1. So happy to see some pictures of this area! It's much wider AND longer than I had imagined. It's going to be awesome!!! I love what you have done, and what you plan to do. It's really going to be a're such a hard worker! I can't wait to see it all play out. very excited for you to have your own secret garden!

  2. I too will follow along your path and see your creative mind at play. Lots of work but it will be so worth it to sit back and enjoy your secret palce when it's done...less the dog doo:)Have fun!

  3. Lots of potential! cannot wait to see it come to life.

  4. Love it darling!! maybe we can follow each others blog?! XoXo

  5. It's gonna look great! You have totally inspired me to get out in the yard today!

  6. Rose this is going to be so pretty! I look forward to watching the Secret Garden take shape! (presents and Hugs, Linda

  7. It's a great start! You'll have it looking like a million bucks before you know it.

  8. You have so much to work with! It's going to be amazing! I know it's hard work, but enjoy the process! Getting your hands dirty can be really rewarding!

  9. I'm anxious to see the finished project. I have a similar area only quite a bit smaller. I try to pretend it's not there and you can tell. I'm thinking of throwing all my hollyhock seeds in the dirt and just see what happens. Then I'll do a before & after post of the fruits of my "labor". That would be the throwing seeds part. :@

  10. Doh! Katieeeee!! (watch where you step!)

    Looking good so far, painting the fence IS an improvement. Love all the window houses, actually, I kinda like the 'wildness' of the before...but it will be very nice and neatened up when you are done!! A lovely place to sit and read.

  11. Awesome!! Someday I want a secret garden!!

  12. ok i see that you HAVE been busy... I think Mike is just as excited about not having to mow that part as you are to NOT get back into that part with the mower. You have the touch to make it wonderful , magical, and your secret. Love the lay out.

  13. Rose the anonymous above is from me I hit the wrong drop down..

  14. I love, love, love it!! Someday, I will gave a secret garden. Right now I'm happy I have my veggies in :)
    Can't wait for more pix :)


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