Sunday 1 May 2011

One day it will be a secret garden........

There is an old saying that tells you to take a lover to secure short-term bliss,

while the traditional recipe for a few more years of joy is to be married.
But if you want your whole lifetime to be filled with happiness and contentment
you should plant a garden.

I remember reading Beth Chatto's words in a gardening magazine, "I think I would die if I could not garden."

Whilst that is extreme, I can relate to the depth of emotion, with regard to her garden.

Yesterday afternoon I had the time to work in the garden. Down on my knees, removing creeping buttercup from the beds.

Several bees joined me, and I found that I had drifted far away. Watching them work had calmed me.......given me a moment simply to be.

I was conscious of myself, and all that was around me,

not wanting to move or to change or do anything at all.

Simply to be.........

"Cup of tea for the gardener" Mr P brought me back to earth. His smile made me smile.

"Have you noticed the gardens closing in?" he said

And do you know, he is right. The garden is starting to wrap itself around me.
This has always been my dream, a secret garden.
A space of tranquility, restfulness,

a place to forget the stresses and pressures of life outside.

I am humbled by the toughness of nature, its ability to look after itself,
the eternity of it all.

I leave you with the words of Bliss Carman........

'Where is heaven? Is it not

Just a friendly garden plot,

Walled with stone and roofed with sun,

Where the days pass one by one.

Not too fast and not too slow

Looking backwards as they go

At the beauties left behind

To transport the pensive mind.

Love your garden and enjoy the sparkle it brings to your life.


  1. Be4autiful words - I do so agree with you and your garden is lovely.

  2. Such beautiful words and pictures Cheryl, thank you.

    Your garden is such an inspiration! Even though I only have a small space in which to garden at present I am continually making plans for when I have more space and I'm always inspired to add more plants to my wish list after reading your wonderful posts.

    I never feel quite right in a garden that is too manicured, it goes against nature somehow! Yours is a perfect mix of working with nature and respecting her inter-dependance with other creatures.

    Happy Beltane for yesterday!


  3. Hi Lucinda, my last garden was very tiny but very much like this one, except on a much smaller scale. They say that small is beautiful and I am inclined to agree. I love the intimacy that a smaller space gives us.
    I used to grow lots and lots of herbs, alpines etc in hanging baskets to add to the garden. It worked well.

    I understand, I have visited many gardens, and am always more in touch with those that have a wild heart. They transport me to places I understand and would much rather be.....

    Happy Beltane....

  4. Hi Cheryl...lovely, lovely post....your words a always so inspirational...if I could just get past the overwhelming feelings that come and go!!
    There is so much that needs to be done,and the list is ever growing,but I have to remember I am one person and can do only one thing at a time!!
    I love my gardens, and when I am there walking about or on my knees with my hands in the warm soil I go to a whole different place!!
    Your gardens are your own little paradise...thanks for sharing it though I always enjoy when you do!!
    So happy for you to have a hubby to spoil you..sweet : }}
    ♥ Grace

  5. Grace, thank you. I am always aware that you are on your own. You know that I admire you.
    My own dear daughter is bringing her children up, running a house etc alone. We help but that is not the same as having someone to share your life with. Life often does not turn out the way we plan.

    I count my blessing each day....Mr P is top of that list. I do not know what I would do without him.

    BUT Grace there is always hope. My friend has just remarried, she is 64. She is so very happy.
    You never know there may be a knight in shining armour waiting to find you.

  6. What a lovely post Cheryl. I guess the garden allows you to switch off, relax and focus on what you are doing and just get absorbed in the moment. Nice that you have a supply of tea on hand too!

  7. Hi Cheryl,

    Wow, your garden looks well ahead of itself! Poppies already???! Well, I never.
    I've seen some perennial poppies in bloom, but no annuals yet.
    My wild poppies have furry little heads on them and I really must get them moved into the borders (they've come up in some pots, and I've no idea how they got there!)

    Wonderful photos as always...

    One of these days you'll be walking through your wood and come across me hiding.

  8. Hi Liz, Ha! I assume you are speaking of the last photograph. That is a parrot tulip....did it catch you out? It did me the first time I saw them. Gorgeous aren't they??

    I would probably have a heart attack if you were hiding in the copse. My grandchildren do it all the time.....then jump out on me when I am day dreaming...Ha!

  9. I do so love your garden. When I look at the photographs I can almost hear the birds and smell the wonderful smells of earth.

  10. Such beautiful words and your garden is gorgeous. I've never had a chance to try gardening but knitting and crocheting give me similar bliss - when your forget everything and totally submerse in a quiet process.

  11. The moment I visit your lovely posts my whole being relaxes Cheryl and I thank you for that...

    Your photos are lovely again and your beautiful garden is always a joy to see. I remember the first time I found your blog, long before I plucked up the courage to make comments, I immediately felt I had 'come home' :) I am so pleased you have been able to share it with us all this time. With gardens as large as yours to tend it cannot be easy!

    Lovely poem too:)

  12. Such a beautiful post, Cheryl. Your garden is so lovely--I went through all the photos twice just to enjoy them all. You have so many curves and little nooks that I'm sure there are lots of good hiding places for little fairies; I can see Poppi having so much fun playing here.

    We've had so many rainy days here that I haven't been able to work in the garden much. But I have spent a lot of time just "being," enjoying all the spring blooms. This is my favorite time of year and a good time for reflection. Off to the wedding in just a couple of days--have a great week in your secret garden, Cheryl.

  13. Hi Cheryl - you've said it all in words and pictures. My comments seem intrusive so suffice to say ...thank you for these moments of bliss

  14. Oh Cheryl, I just love your garden. I wish I could stroll through and become immersed there with you and the bees. I know that feeling of being enveloped by the garden. I call that feeling going back into the womb. So warm, safe, secure. A marvelous feeling. I am so happy you have been able to get out there and enjoy it.

  15. Hi Cheryl,
    Your garden is looking rich and full of life.
    Mine is also a secret garden so I really enjoyed this post.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  16. Hello Aluajala, It does not matter what hobby we choose, if it gives us quiet times then it is right for us. Tku for your comment.

  17. Thank you Jan, It is good to know that you can give a little quiet to others. In this hectic life, that we all seem to lead these days, peace is sometimes hard to come by

    Your blog always takes me back to a bygone age. A time when life was slower, more genteel.
    My gt. grandmother kept a journal, sadly it was misplaced after her death. I would have loved to have been able to keep it safe and pass it on to my daughter one day. Nevermind, it was not meant to be.

    I have to say Jan that most of the time I manage to cope with everything but every now and again things pile up and I have to remember to slow down and cope with one thing at a time. The garden is a great source of comfort to me. To share with the wildlife each day is an honour, and a blessing.

  18. Rose, Thank you. I am so pleased to read that you are finding time to just enjoy the moment.
    Music to my ears.

    I do so hope the wedding plans fall into place and everything is as you want it to be.
    Sending you and yours my best wishes.

  19. Hi Lisa, Thank you. I have made an effort this year to keep on top of everything. With the warmer weather have been able to work in the evenings.

    I have never thought of it like that 'like being in the womb'.........and you are right. I shall remember that.

    Have a lovely week.

  20. Absolutely refreshing!
    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)

  21. Hi Cheryl,

    Ah, a Parrot Tulip, I really ought to have known better! And here I was thinking to myself how your poppy petals were more pointed than the ones you send me last year! Doh :)

    I won't jump out at you, I'll be hiding away hoping Nella doesn't smell me to make me leave :D Just think of me as your very own woodland Fairy.....haha.

  22. Liz, you are just too funny sometimes......

  23. Dear Cheryl,
    I have so enjoyed my evening with you. I have been away tending this and that. The gardens also take me far away. I forget time....
    Your Mr. P is a treasure. He understands your need to be with the earth.
    My gardens are changing once again..
    Thank you for this post.
    Happy May.