Thursday, 20 March 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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.
One day:-)

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.  

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?


  1. I love that door too ... and will be have a nostalgia session soon watching The Secret Garden. Thank you so much for sharing it. Popping by from #HDYGG and wishing you a Very happy Spring Equinox!

  2. Ahhh I LOVE that you found it whilst on the relay and then went back - makes me feel very happy indeed. I've been packing ready for my stint of the relay today and I must say the thought of white water rafting in Edinburgh fills me with dread! Luckily the climb on Sunday less so :)
    I too was always fascinated by The Secret Garden as a child, something that really lets the mind imagine and create mental images of the perfect rambling garden to explore.
    I love these all - I want to go and explore there now too. We must try and arrange to meet up in the holidays :)

    Thanks for joining in again xx

  3. i never read the book but i love that movie and these images are just so fitting and beautiful. well done. happy spring!

  4. Lovely photos, and I love the secret garden! :)

  5. oh get you! so arty and i bet this took time to pull together with all those gorgeous shots what a lovely door and key #HDYGG

  6. I love this book/film too. It makes me feel so nostalgic and I would love a walled garden with a little doorway. Colin Firth, well I didn't know he was in this - I prefer him now - swoon!

  7. Oooo, you have some interesting photos! x

  8. I love that film, too. Love your photos, especially the key and those shoots coming through x

  9. I find your pictures magical and fairy tale like =) I love pictures of empty benches too. So serene to look at.


  10. I loved reading the Secret Garden (book). Thanks for bringing back some nice memories.

  11. My favourite book. Ever. I remember reading it over and over as a child - and after reading it to my teacher in school, he loaned me the video (which I also love).

    Beautiful photos :-)

  12. It really looks as though the tree and bench are one and the same. The door is amazing, and The Secret Garden, a wonderful story

  13. wonderful photos as always, you just get better & better!
    the key in the leaves just makes you want to bend down & pick it up.

  14. Really love post - fab piccies and so nice with the excerpts!

    I have very fond memories of the secret garden - lovely to be reminded by your post :)

  15. Bet that seat could tell some tales!! What a brilliant find. Lovely photographs. #hdygg

  16. Oh wow what a wonderful post! I love the bench and the door but all the photographs are beautiful. Had a huge flashback reading this too, the Secret Garden was a favourite at school. Oh my word was that a long time ago. Must have a look at the film, have never seen it!


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