How to Create a Secret Garden

Flowers are blooming, vegetables are growing and you’re looking for new ways to expand your gardening prowess! The rise of exotic and hidden landscapes has property owners itching to learn how to create a secret garden. Before developing your very own secret garden paradise it is essential to understand what they embody. With this knowledge, you can then turn these ideas into your personal luxurious nursery. Here’s some helpful advice as you embark on creating your secret garden space! 

First, What Is a Secret Garden?

The concept of a secret garden was first mentioned in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden as a secluded oasis. Its story navigates the life of a little girl struggling to get along with others after her parents’ passing. Eventually, she’s sent to England to live with a relative, and it’s there she finds herself sadly alone. That is, of course, until she discovers a neglected garden behind an ivy-covered wall. 

The Secret Garden book cover by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Illustrated by Maria Louise Kirk, 1911
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Illustrated by Maria Louise Kirk, 1911

The mystique of secret gardens is created by using a variety of technical elements and botanical interpretations to create an enchanting assortment of greenery. Its location and seclusion in relation to your home are essential when establishing your secret nursery. Ideally, hidden gardens feature some hideaway element wherein people feel separated from reality. 

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A magical secret garden door (Photo by Neil Roger)

Private gardens come in a variety of extravagant sizes, shapes, and dimensions. Most include basic features such as lined shrubs, hedges, bushes, exotic flowers, and vegetable plants. To protect these appeals, you can install expensive fences, plant shade trees, build brick platforms, and incorporate other structural designs. It’s best to find inspiration and discover your personal design preferences before starting!


How to Start Creating a Secret Garden


Find a Spot With Sunlight

The first step in developing your secret garden is to find the right spot separated from your home that is exposed to sunlight. This spot must receive sufficient amounts of sun rays to cover the growth of flowers, shrubs, and vegetables. The perfect hideaway should feel secluded while being at a walkable distance from your home; however, it’s your luxury landscape, so feel free to make your hidden garden as distant as you please. 

Build an Entryway

Something vital to consider when developing your secret garden is to design an attractive entryway. Your entryway is essential to creating an appealing garden oasis of secrecy and luxury. Try using tall steel gates, bronze doors, or a grand brick arch surrounded by shrubs, flowers, and other extravagant plants to create your ideal entryway.

Merdon Manor Secret Garden in Winchester, Hampshire (Photo by Anguskirk)
Merdon Manor Secret Garden in Winchester, Hampshire (Photo by Anguskirk)

Create a Sense of Privacy

Privacy is a necessity when creating a peaceful place away from chaos. You can create privacy by implementing strategic patterns of shade and seclusion during the development. For example, by using wooden fencing, brick barriers, tall hedges, or layers of stone you can create a zen garden or an isolated garden where you can feel as comfortable as possible. Strategically incorporating sufficient shade within your garden can help create a sense of isolation. It’s critical to create shading that will limit your exposure to excruciating sun exposure. 

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What to Include


Explore Design Options

When exploring design options, it’s best to choose a theme to build around. Decide what this space will be used for, whether that is for meditating, reading, vegetable growth, or having elegant garden parties. When creating a glamorous garden, consider a variety of architectural design options that best fit your designated theme. 

Secret garden party! (Photo by Kirsty Liu | Wikimedia)
Secret garden party! (Photo by Kirsty Liu | Wikimedia)

For example, create curved paths with brick or tile to evoke mystery and adventure when navigating your herbage. Using bright flowers as an archway is a reliable way to promote natural beauty and calmness. Planning a sunken garden by using small hedges to create a layered terrace in the center of your garden area to create organization. 

Decide What Plants Are Best

Depending on the purpose of your garden, you can choose your plants accordingly. For meditation and reading, some herb suggestions include gotu kola, hawthorn, and kettle. All three are believed to promote heart health, mental alertness, and overall comfort. In order to promote food growth, pick and plant your preferred vegetables. Some examples include tomatoes, carrots, herbs, and even beans.

Cliveden Secret Garden (Photo by Graham Horn)
Cliveden Secret Garden (Photo by Graham Horn)

According to House Beautiful, there are some plants that almost every garden should include. When picking out the right plants, take your time to research which features appeal to you the most. Here are a few essential plants to grow that tend to stand out amongst the rest:

Roses

This plant brings an attractive and romantic sensation to your garden while supporting the body’s natural collagen production, which promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair. Upkeep is relatively minimal for these plants.

Succulents

These plants are a great addition to every garden because they survive in periods of drought and can increase oxygen generation. Like hydrangeas, they come in a variety of colors, and features.

Hydrangeas

Their roots provide additional protection from kidney damage while providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These shrubs thrive in almost any climate and come in a variety of mixes; they are practically essential for every garden. 

A secret garden wall bursting with hydrangeas (Photo by Eole Wind)
A secret garden wall bursting with hydrangeas (Photo by Eole Wind)

How to Maintain Your Secret Garden


Tend & Water Your Secret Garden

Maintaining your garden is essential to creating an oasis that will be worth the ultimate investment. In order to successfully maintain your garden, there are several things every homeowner should do. 

Routinely check your plants. This way, you will be able to analyze their overall health and growth. Consistently treat your soil so you can give your plants the best chance to flourish. And most importantly, water your plants properly, create a schedule or set up a smart sprinkler system that will do the work for you.

A secret garden at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire (Photo by Anguskirk)
A secret garden at Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire (Photo by Anguskirk)

By regularly completing these three things, in addition to conducting periodic plant maintenance, you can successfully maintain your secret garden.

Protect Your Water Supply

Water is essential for the growth and health condition of every plant in your garden. Decide which watering options are best for you, either by doing it yourself or utilizing a smart sprinkler system. However, be mindful. Whether you’re using an underground irrigation system or oscillating sprinklers, it’s important to ensure that your pipes are consistently clear.

Your water main and plumbing system are essential for pumping water throughout your residence and especially into your garden. In order to protect the flow of water from your water supply to your garden, use a home warranty. This plan can streamline any natural disruptions that can alter your pipes. Obviously, lacking access to water can negatively impact the livelihood of the greenery in your secret garden. 

In Conclusion

When creating the secret garden of your dreams, take inspiration and turn your luxurious floral concepts into reality. There is something magical about building a secluded garden from the ground up. Use these tips to create a special garden, where you can find prosperity and peace of mind!

The Secret Garden at Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California, USA (Photo by Wonderlane | Flickr)
The Secret Garden at Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California, USA (Photo by Wonderlane | Flickr)

Feature Image: Secret Garden Entrance to a Walled Garden at Farmleigh. Photo by Karora.


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