“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Just like Mary in her Secret Garden, I like the name and the still more the feeling that when its walls shut me in no one knows where I am. The Handyman built my walls five years ago and I’ve been planting and revising ever since. This sheltered spot is maturing nicely and is being discovered by others who see the merit of a trickling brook, pond and shelter from the wind. It’s becoming a mini bird, bee and frog sanctuary.  A family of racoons and another of skunks also make frequent visits to the pond, mostly at night luckily.

Here are a few of the plants blooming today:

Highly-scented iris, unknown variety


Gentiana acaulis

Aquilegia which I grow from seed in my greenhouse, I no longer can call them Columbines…too sad, reminds me of the poor school kids


Aquilegia viridiflora ‘Chocolate Soldier’, a rare collector’s item with seeds from Thompson & Morgan. It’s very fragrant.
Leopard’s Bane, the earliest-blooming of the daisies brings some colour to my pond.
Two new pink azaleas are planted outside the secret garden round gate. They will be more spectacular next year. 
This little guy was was one of the first things we planted. The next photo is what it looks like today.
Shishigashira Japanese Maple has heavily curved green leaves giving an interesting texture to this compact, shrubby tree. It is spectacular in fall and its highly sculptural form will only improve with age. It will slowly reach about 15 feet tall.
Close-up of the Lion’s Head leaves


Another ideal small tree, Japanese stewartia, frames the lady’s head. It gives you lovely peeling bark all season, hot fall colour and it blooms with white June-into-July flowers. It’s a distant relative of the tea family.

Another “before and after”…here is The Handyman installing the edging that will eventually form the garden paths.
Here is the same path lined with orange-scented thyme which will soon be in bloom. I grew all these thyme from seed in the greenhouse. A lot of wins here. It’s extremely fragrant with a delicious scent of balsam and oranges. The flowers are long-lasting and very pretty. It’s drought tolerant and easy to care for. On top of that it is one of the most useful herbs for the kitchen. I ordered my seeds from seedaholic.

Like any good secret, my garden is best revealed in instalments. I’ll post more when new blooms arrive.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden.