‘The Secret Garden’ Party 5/31

Sheila of The Book Journey
posted a Read a Long button
‘The Secret Garden’
that caught my attention this month ~

Having enjoyed the various movie adaptations
and live theatre performance while living in Prince Edward Island
it was the perfect timing for reading the real deal
The promise of a Secret Garden Party at the end of the month
clinched my participation!

The Secret Garden
tells the story of Mary Lennox, a neglected child, left in the care of her
Indian ayah and servants while parents choose life as if childless.
When those servants die in a cholera outbreak,
along with her parents, Mary is unexpectedly discovered alone in the home
necessitating arrangements that will return her to family in Yorkshire England.

Thus begins the new life of our young Mistress Mary quite contrary…

I love author Frances Hodgson Burnett’s depictions of
Yorkshire characters populating this story ~
Martha and her brother Dickon, key figures of good and influence
on the young and entitled cousins of Colin and Mary.
brought fully to life through dialect and activites ~
realistic and colourful servants such as gardener,
Ben Weatherstaff, and protagonists alike,
kept me interested in the development of  both story
and maturing of the spoilt master and mistress of Misselthwaite Manor.

I can imagine the anticipation of reading the original story,
published in serial format, autumn of 1910,
preceding it’s publication as a novel  in 1911.

Descriptions of the Secret Garden itself
allowed for creative and  imaginative visualization
of native plants and the Yorkshire moors


alongside the cultivars of the Garden’s original owner and gardeners,
piqued my interest in the role of the Garden itself…

Some of my favourite quotes?

“Tha’ worlds all fair begun again this mornin’, it has.”
~ Dickon
“When th’ sun did jump up, th’ moor went mad for joy..”


an’ i come straight here. I couldn’t have stayed away.  
Why the garden was lyin’ here waitin’!

“They had come upon a whole clump of crocuses
burst into purple

and orange and gold.”

“There was every joy on earth in the secret garden that morning…”

“It’s part o’ th’ springtime, this nest-buildin’ is,” he said.
“I warrant it’s been goin’ on in th’ same way every year since th’ world was begun.”


“Two lads an’ a little lass just lookin’ on at th’ springtime.”

“…there’ll be peach an’ plum trees in bloom against th’ walls,
an’ th’ grass’ll be a carpet o’ flowers.”

“…the plum-tree, which was snow-white with blossoms and musical with bees.
It was like a king’s canopy, a fairy king’s.

There were flowering cherry-trees near


and apple-trees whose buds were pink and white,
and here and there one had burst open wide.”


Here’s a brief intro to the story from the lovely 1987 movie ~

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed 
if I had been found doing so. 
Now that I am fifty I read them openly. 
When I became a man I put away childish things, 
including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” 
― C.S. Lewis

a bit of background from wikipedia-
“The walled garden of Great Maytham Hall

 provided the inspiration for one of the most famous of all books for children, 
The Secret Garden
Its author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, lived at Great Maytham Hall from 1898 to 1907, 
where she found the old walled garden 
dating from 1721 sadly overgrown and neglected.[5] 
Aided by a robin, Burnett discovered the door hidden amongst the ivy, 
and began the restoration of the garden, which she planted with hundreds of roses. 
She set up a table and chair in the gazebo, 
and dressed always in a white dress and large hat, 
she wrote a number of books in the peace and tranquility of her scented secret garden.”

“You and I who still enjoy fairy tales have less reason to wish actual childhood back. 
We have kept its pleasures and added some grown-up ones as well.” 
― C.S. Lewis

And now it’s time to join the rest of
The Secret Garden Party
with our host Sheila …

“Someday you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” 
― C.S. Lewis



11 thoughts on “‘The Secret Garden’ Party 5/31

  1. My aunt gave me a copy of The Secret Garden for my 7th birthday. I still have the book and I read it to each of my children. Thanks for the beautiful reminder of things past!

  2. glorius pictures! I'm sure they are going to be with me as I continue reading the book to my Mom this week.

    Thanks for visiting. i wish I could have participated in real time yesterday but was unable to get to Shelia's and read the discussion and leave a comment until well after midnight. now i'm trying to get some visits in while Mom naps

    i have downloaded half a dozen of Burnette's novels off guttenberg.org and can't wait to try another. I'm very curious now about the one titled Robin.

  3. What lovely photographs you have used to embellish your post! This was such a great book especially for this time of year when we anticipate the flourishing of a garden. Even if it's not necessarily hidden.

  4. I loved the way you formatted your post with those wonderful pictures…. I'm jealous that I didn't think of that 🙂

    And believe it or not, I've never even seen the movie, but after watching the trailer I want to go get it now.

  5. These photos are fabulous and I did not know the true background for the book.
    I will buy a copy of The Secret Garden and read it, I've seen some pretty illustrated editions at the book store recently. Thanks for the inspiration.

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