The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
“Might I," quavered Mary, "might I have a bit of earth?”
“The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place. "
“There's naught as nice as th' smell o' good clean earth, except th' smell o' fresh growin' things when th' rain falls on 'em.”
“One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live... surprising things can happen to any one who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.
"Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.”
“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"..."It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”
The 1987 Hallmark tv adaptation of The Secret Garden was one of my top 3 favourite films growing up. Grandma had recorded it for me, on video and I watched it over and over and over and over again. I must confess that I loved the emotional Hallmark adverts that were recorded with this as well, so even though we have managed to find this movie on dvd, it will never be quite the same as it was on the video version.
If you can handle a bit of cheese and cringe-inducing acting, skipping to 34.34min into the video below will bring you to the best part of the movie and my inspiration for the shots above.
I love the garden as she finds it. Neglected, chaotic and full of potential. The makeover at the end of the movie was always a bit of a let down for me. A perfectly tidy, and well ordered garden is somehow less desirable to me.
But each to their own.
The actress playing Mary at the end of the film is quite refreshing. And of course, the totally romantic moments with Colin Firth at the end: 1.36 into the film. I'm pretty sure I swooned at this every time, even at my tender, young age; my heart swelling along with the music.
One day, I would love to visit the Highclere Castle where this was filmed, but of course, this place is now very busy with the Downton Abbey tourists.
Another place to visit on my bucket list is Maytham Hall in Kent, where the setting is believed to have inspired the setting in Burnett's The Secret Garden.
Little Notes:I found this door on our bike ride for the Team Honk Relay from Eynsham to Chipping Sodbury. I wasn't carrying the camera with me at the time, so we rode back to get this shot a few weeks later. It was interesting to note the changes from ride to ride. The adrenaline was missing, but the enthusiasm was still there. The floods had gone down considerably, the weather was on our side and combined with our strengthening muscles; we were cruising.