A ‘Secret Garden’

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Hi Friends!

Brrrrr! Snowflakes are twirling down, covering my garden with a sparkling, white blanket today. It’s a perfect time to dream of sunny days… and to share two small gardens that hold a very special place in my heart.

First, we must visit my favorite garden spot in the whole world!

It’s just a few steps away,

through the arbor,

past our Friendship Garden,

and down the flagstone path to our Herb and Tea Garden.


Welcome to my favorite, little garden oasis.

The garden gate is open to welcome you.

Welcome to the 'Heart of 'our Garden!

Step through the gate, into the ”heart’ of our garden.

This garden is not a secret at all!

Friends are always welcome to pick herbs or mint for a cup of herbal tea.


Enjoy the heavenly scent of fresh cut herbs.

Our little, picket-fence garden, filled with culinary herbs and mints, will always be my favorite garden spot in the world. Although today it is covered in snow, our Herb and Tea Garden is a warm reminder of a special dream-come-true one summer long ago. It is filled with love and sweet memories!  Oh, the happy hours I have spent in my favorite little garden ‘getaway’.


But I also have a ‘secret garden.’

It’s a small, green oasis ~ a calm place of beauty, that makes my heart sing! What makes my ‘secret garden’ so special is the place where it is hidden, the people I share it with, and the memories it holds.

My ‘secret garden’ is so far away.

Just going there is an adventure of the very best kind!

It requires an eight hour flight to another continent,

a fast drive along the autobahn,

and a streetcar ride downtown.


Just behind this castle lies a beautiful park…

A walk past the castle leads to a beautiful park filled with many gardens. Sometimes it takes me a while to find my ‘secret garden,’ as I meander through the park, following the winding paths. Finally, I can spot it in the distance ~ my ‘secret garden!’


Each visit holds such special memories.

I first discovered this special garden over thirty years ago, on a warm, summer day, while walking with a dear friend who lives near the castle. Over the years, we have visited my ‘secret garden’  together many times.

Stepping through the green, living arches into the garden always fills me with joy!

I will always remember visiting my ‘secret garden’ one Christmas Day long ago. As I walked along the paths in the park, there were families out for a Christmas stroll, walking arm-in-arm, singing Christmas carols together.

One very special summer, I invited my mom to see my ‘secret garden.’  Imagine her first glimpse of a real castle, and our walk through the park together. Suddenly, we were caught in a huge rainstorm, but our umbrella and our sense of adventure let us continue. Being together in this faraway place is such a sweet memory for both of us!


It’s lovely to spend time, just sitting on a bench, enjoying this very special place.

Not so long ago, on an Autumn morning, my husband and I explored the castle and walked through the park with our dear friend. When we first stepped into my ‘secret garden’ together, it was a magical moment shared by all!

Oftentimes, I visit my ‘secret garden’ on my own.

I know the way.

I follow my heart…

… and I count my blessings,

for the special people in my life!

Wishing you warm memories!

♡ Dawn

          P.S.  Hope you will share your warm memories of a favorite garden or a secret garden spot of your own!  It will help to melt away the winter chill. (If you know the location of my ‘secret garden’…  shhhhh! Help keep the secret!) ♡

18 thoughts on “A ‘Secret Garden’

  1. Ha! I started reading this and I thought, I’ve read this before! Of course…it was one of my favorite posts you had! Made me smile, just reading it! Stay warm and safe.

    • Oh, Gert! What a sweet thing to say! A cold winter day is just right for reflecting on warm, summer memories. Our gardens hold so many great stories. Warm wishes! ♡

  2. A charming post to read on this cold winter morning, and a sudden urge to re-read “The Secret Garden”.
    There have been many secret gardens in my life, but, my personal favorite spot, really not very secret, is the arbor my husband built for me. It is where I sit with tea, a good book, watching life in our little corner of the world, and where our grandchildren like to have breakfast when they come. It is fondly called the arbor house (or, Penny’s Arbor House). 🙂
    Your garden is so very lovely, Dawn. I don’t know your other secret spot, but, a few of the shots remind me of the Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern. Have you been there? If not, another field trip to take.

    • Warm hugs, Penny! We are both so fortunate to have favorite garden spots just a few steps away. Perfect for a visit anytime! I’ve never visited the Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern. So, I’m adding it to my field trip list! It’s such fun to dream of gardens on a cold, winter morning. Stay warm! ♡

  3. What a beautiful “secret garden,” Dawn! Maybe I’ll discover it when Todd and I honeymoon in Europe. This reminds me of my own secret garden on another continent. I wanted to post an image here, but for some reason I can’t, so I’m posting a link to the image instead. Hopefully it works: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/430874_10101591074106539_1109068680_n.jpg?oh=bc39dce96b2f4c3041f5411e335592a3&oe=55609D76&__gda__=1432923133_ada64a82253360d9bffca7bb3c1e2991

    Stay warm in the snow! ❤

    • Oh, Chris! I LOVE your ‘secret garden’ on another continent!! It’s breathtaking!!I would love to visit that beautiful place. Perhaps one day you will share the secret?? It looks like you will be getting snowed in later today. Stay warm and safe… and dream about sunny gardens and your European honeymoon! Hugs. ♡

  4. What a treasure, Dawn! I have never been away from North America since I am a homebody to the core. But lately I’ve been dreaming and scheming. My own secret garden is my greenhouse. My hubby built it for me from salvaged materials. I not only use it for it’s purpose but for my own thinking spot, to sit on a comfy chair in the sun, surrounded by over-wintered plants or seedlings getting ready for the fenced garden. I’ve been ordering seeds and can’t wait for the season to begin!

    • Your greenhouse is such a wonderful secret garden, Barbara! It must be a perfect ‘getaway’ ~ filled with plants, sunshine, and inspiration! I love to visit the conservatory in a nearby park… just to soak it all in! Hope you can spend time in the greenhouse today! ♡

    • Oh yes, Deb! I’m sure you bake the best scones ever! The gardens at Aberglasney are just beautiful!! It would be such fun to visit there one day. They are planning a special Valentine’s Day tea for those touring the gardens. {sigh…} I just returned from a cold, winter walk. It’s definitely time for tea here! Stay warm! ♡

  5. Dawn,
    What a beautiful secret garden, especially since it’s located so close to a castle…oh the visions that travel through my imagination. I confess, my favorite secret garden is really quite close to where we live. It’s one of the City’s parks and it feels like you’re a thousand miles away from the suburbs. It even has a little stream that runs through it. I can walk from my home and enjoy the relaxation it’s guaranteed to provide.

    • Karen, it’s lovely to have a secret garden so close to home. You are so fortunate to be able to walk to such a wonderful, relaxing place! I love the thought of a stream running through your secret garden. Enjoy every moment you spend there! Wishing you a great week, Karen! ♡

  6. This is so lovely, Dawn…I love your beautiful little herb garden. I ordered seeds the other day, and my thoughts are turning to my gardens…I have a special Secret Garden, too! I love the first photo you shared…I have a big bag of those metal clamps that I had no idea what to do with…now I know just what to do with them! Thanks!

    • Welcome, Linda! So happy that you stopped by to visit! Cold winter days definitely start us thinking about spring planting. What do you grow in your garden? I’m so happy that you found a little inspiration here today! ♡

  7. Hi Dawn! I always sigh when I see that gorgeous picture of your sweet secret herb garden with the darling white picket fence! It is so cute with the grapevine wreath on the gate….so welcoming! I am sure you can’t WAIT for Spring to come again so you can get out there and nurture that special place into life! I must get down and see it this year! I cannot imagine where the German secret garden is but it sure is beautiful! Stay warm and cozy! I know you’re spending time in your paper garden this winter! xo

    • We’ve missed you, Karen! What a sweet thing to say! The picket fence is covered with snow right now, but it still warms my heart whenever I see it! The cold, gloomy days this month truly have me dreaming of spring. Do you have a special garden that you love to visit again and again? I do love spending time in the Paper Garden this winter. It’s a blessing to have time ‘in the garden’ all year long now! Warm hugs, Karen! ♡

  8. Am so pleased that I saw your lovely garden. Can’t believe how many years have past. Still, the memories are vivid.

    • Such sweet memories of your visits, Anne! Just wondering if you might have recognized my special secret garden? You probably walked in the park behind the castle a few times long ago. (Hint… hint!) Hope you are enjoying a sunny week, Anne! ♡

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