My Secret Garden

Secrets are the spice of mysteries.  When I was a child and found out that Nancy Drew uncovered secrets, I was forever hooked on mysteries.  I love to read a good book full of secrets.  So, this month’s discussion of blossoms and all their lovely comparisons to books and writing reminded me of my new secret garden.

You enter my secret garden from the towpath.  Horses used to tred along the towpath back in the day, towing canal boats behind them. Yes, that’s right, my secret garden is hidden alongside a canal in England.


It’s a long way from Colorado, but it’s very near my brand-new granddaughter and her family!

Following along the ghostly memories of horses, you come to an ancient climbing rose that arches across the towpath. You have to bend down low under the branches, and then you will see a narrow passageway that leads into a wall of tangled, green leaves. Enter through that mass of lush green—a shade of green that Colorado never achieves—sharp turn left, and voila!  The path opens into a patio, lined with pavers.  It’s only large enough to hold one small round table and chair.  It’s a hidden place, behind entwined branches, thorns, vining plants and sprinkles of unknown flowers.  It’s separated from the rest of the world, as secret gardens are, but through its gaps you can glimpse canal boats and reminders of time holding still.  It’s a perfect, hidden place to spin the secrets of a mystery!

Do you have a secret place where you like to read or dream up your mysteries?


9 thoughts on “My Secret Garden”

  1. Sue, how lovely! What a great place to plot, plan, or just kick back. How did you find it? Is/was there a house attached or was it built to be a secret garden?

    I have a favorite place at my house in Maine. In our woods there is a granite rock…cliffette… trees surround me at the top and there’s a flat fronted boulder that serves as a backrest. I would often take a book or my laptop up there in the summer and fall. Depending on the time of day you could spy on tons of wildlife and get a lot of writing done., or just have a picnic breakfast!


  2. That sounds fabulous. And how wonderful you get to visit the garden AND your granddaughter. I’m with Kait – how did you find it?

    No secret spaces for me – yet. All my writing/plotting/reading is done out in the open. But maybe someday…


  3. What a magical place, Sue! Your secret garden sounds so amazing. My secret place isn’t so secret–it’s my backyard. We have a patio table underneath a thriving maple tree that’s surrounded by our vegetable garden, flowers and shrubs, and birds nibbling from feeders. It’s my favorite spot to write, read, or just muse 🙂


  4. I love that. You’ll have to take your granddaughter back there when she’s old enough. No secret anything for me. Not until the kids are older.


  5. “Secrets are the spice of mysteries.” How true! My garden isn’t so secret; it’s my backyard too. But it’s my private sanctuary. I’m working on an English cottage garden: lavender, cora bells, ladies’ mantle, lots of roses, peonies, azalea, hydrangea, lots of columbine, lots of fern, some hosta, lots and lots of forget-me-nots, pansies. Right now the forget-me-nots are in bloom and the trollius is not far behind. Two rules: no grass, and if you can see the ground, there aren’t enough plants. I’d rather crawl around on my hands and knees pulling weeds than mow a lawn.


  6. Thanks, ladies! I found this garden with the help of my daughter and English son-in-law. The garden comes with our canal boat, and Sam, yes, I will definitely take the girls back there, maybe for a tea party?

    Kait, your granite rock in the Maine woods sounds very inspirational!

    And backyards are just the best place of all, Kate.

    Mary, I wish I could write out in the open. It would make getting it done easier.

    Keenan, your garden sounds amazing. Love your rule of no grass!


  7. My home is in a tiny subdivision (99 homes) off of a fast-moving street (Parker Road) in the Denver area. But I can leave my subdivision, maneuver across six lanes of traffic, walk a bit more, and drop down to find myself in a completely different world. Beaver and mule deer. Acres of trees and wildlife completely set apart from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s always felt like a secret, special place to me.

    Thanks for the reminder, Sue. I’ll get back there soon.


  8. Thanks so much, Cynthia! And yes, definitely you need a secret place.

    Peg, isn’t that the wonderful thing about the Front Range?


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