Welcome to my secret garden….

PinExt Welcome to my secret garden....

There were several books from my childhood that affected my view on life and how I wanted my home to be when I grew up. One of them was a book titled Mandy, and anther was The Secret Garden.  I have always wanted a space that was all mine. A space that maybe didn’t function as any thing other than a retreat and a place to image and dream.

As a child I would run an extention cord to the linen closet and climb up the shelves to sit at the top and read. I also built many make shift forts on our property. But now as an adult, I have a much better place…..

Welcom to my secret Garden.

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This garden took almost 4 months to create. Not only do I have 4 small children, but I was at the mercy of mother nature. If it rained, I was out of luck that day. Also, I do a lot of my projects at night.This one however, could not be done at night. Plus, I had to built the fence on two sides. It was harder to get finished that any other “room” I have ever done.

Here is a reminer of what the area looked like before:

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Let’s pan around and get a 360 degree tour, shall we? When you first open the door the flagstone path leads you to the bench.

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Next to the bench I have an outdoor solar powered lamp (tutorial coming soon!) and in the corner there is a trellis. I have white clematis growing there and I hope next year it climbs up even higher.

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Next to the trellis is one of my favorite thngs about the whole garden. My moss art! I LOVE moss so this seemed like the perfect fit for my space. This project started out a a big fat FAIL. I will tell the whole story and I will have the tutorial here in the next week or so.

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I showed the barnwood table already back when I had the drill giveaway. I love how it looks in here!

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I used an old apple crate for all my gardening supplies. I love that not only is it functional, but super cute!

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Under the crate jasmine is growing. It smells amazing!!! There are also some big crystals we found when we moved here.I saved them knowing I would find  special place for them. I collected rocks when Iwas growing up (maybe hoarded is a better word) so this is another nod to my childhood.

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And here we are back at the gate! Did you notice the key next to the gate? You can’t have a secret garden without a key, right? Even if it is from Hobby Lobby….. :)

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On the otherside of the gate there is a planter box I mounted to the fence. You may remember me showing you some other planter boxes on the fence last year. This is just another way to hang them. There is also the ladder from my Better Homes and Gardens photoshoot that I turned into a plant stand last year.

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I love this mirror! I got it for $15.00. I don’t think the pictures really cature the effect this mirror has on the space. It wasn’t until I hung the mirror that it felt like a room.

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This basket was a decoration at our wedding reception. It was filled with potted flowers. It is the only decoration from our wedding I have left. I love having it in here.

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And that brings up back to the bench!

I want to show you a few shots from above. This is the view from my office window. Aren’t you jealous that this is what I get to look at whle I work???

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While I was working one evening I found this guy. I was thrilled! As a child I was obsessed with frogs and toads. The last time I found a toad in my yard I think I was 10 years old. You don’t come across them very oftern around here. You might think this is silly, but when I was in the planning stages of this garden I told my husband that I wished a toad would come live in my garden so while I was reading I could look up and see his fat and happy self. So this was a fun surprise :)

A few more shots….

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Thanks for stopping by for a tour of my secret (okay, not so secret anymore) garden! I am so excited to have it done so  can start on the next project :P

Make sure and check back for all the tutorials that go with ll the projects in here fom the trellis to the moss art and solar powered lamp.

*UPDATE:

Here are the tutorials for the following:

Solar Outdoor Lamp

Moss Art

Other tutorials from my garden

Trellis

 

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  1. says

    You are an evil genius, my dear. You just gave me about 5 projects I want to do NOW. Sadly, we learned our current house that we thought we’d be buying is no longer for sale and we have to move in the next 6 weeks. I will pin these projects for when my life settles back down. I even have moss ready for my own wall art! Dang you for sparking my imagination. Seriously, though, I absolutely love it and your toad is adorbs. Have you named him?

  2. says

    Absolutely gorgeous and amazing, Stacy!!! I love it! I wish I could have a space like that too. (away from the boys) :) Mine would have a sign that said “girls only” on the door. :)
    Love ya!

  3. Esther says

    this is a tremendous amount of work but soooo rewarding! i love the solar light idea & am looking forward to seeing how it’s done.

  4. Colleen says

    Wow Stacy, everything looks amazing! What a beautiful retreat right in your own backyard! I am looking forward to your tutorials!

  5. says

    This is probably my favorite of all your projects so far! Maybe it has to do with my love of the book, or my love of gardening. I’m very jealous. :)

  6. says

    Fabulous! Can you believe I only just read that book for the first time last week? Picked it up at a yard sale because I’d always wanted to read it but never got around to it. I’m in love with that book and with your gorgeous space. Wonderful job!!

  7. says

    What a perfect retreat! Love what you have done with the space – must have been a ton of work! It really is beautiful. Have you got a tip for keeping all of that awesomeness weed-free (please don’t tell me the secret is weeding ;-)

  8. says

    Love it! The gate is amazing! What a great space. :)

  9. Jennifer says

    Everything is amazing Stacy! What a beautiful space. I always loved having secret places to read also.

  10. Christina says

    Love, love, love!! I really want to do this too. Which direction does your little garden face? Are you getting sun all day or some shade? I’m pinning this for sure!

  11. says

    There is so much to love about this space! It’s AWESOME! I especially like the moss art because I’m a vertical gardening freak but the whole space is just so special.

    And I should have KNOWN we were kindred spirits! I’m reading “The Secret Garden” to my 9 year old daughter each night as it’s one of my favorites. My other favorite is “Mandy” which I have on hold at the Library since it’s not available on my Nook and we’ll be starting it this week. Both were my favorite books as a girl and I’ve never met anyone else who has even READ “Mandy” let alone loved it like I did! Total kindred spirits (and yes- that’s from “Anne of Green Gables” a book I’m sure you love too!)

    • Trela says

      Dear Stacy,

      Separated at birth — for sure. Favorite book? Mandy (in fact, last year I splurged and ordered an old copy with the beautiful watercolor cover on ebay), of course. Julie Edwards is Julie Andrews — you knew, right? Pretty sure a star today writing a book would make MUCH bigger waves. My next fave is definitely The Secret Garden, as much for the Tasha Tudor artwork my book had as for the story itself.

      And, obviously, the garden is beautiful. LOVE the mirror, it so makes it a real room!

  12. Pam the Goatherd says

    What a sweet space! I hope you get to spend many relaxing hours there. I have plans for a retreat area out in my small woods that I’d love to get to work on, but the interior of my house needs work much more desperately. Until the inside is done I will just have to be content with my wicker chair and glass-topped table under a tree overlooking our pond. And then if I could just find the time to sit in that chair for a few minutes each day…

  13. says

    Stacy, Your garden is absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to see how you did the moss art (I’ve been meaning to give something similar a try). As always, you are a force to be reckoned with. (And I mean that in a good way.) xoxo

  14. says

    Eek!! I’m in love!!! Stacy, that is just fabulous!!! I dream of my back yard looking like that. I have a neighbor who is a breast cancer survivor and she has turned her entire back yard into a secret garden. She started gardening as a way of taking her mind off of her cancer and her treatments. It is so peaceful to sit out there.

  15. says

    So beautiful!! I love it all so much but I think my favorite part is how it’s so nostalgic for you! I have a few books from my childhood that I feel that way about (The Secret Garden is one of them!), and this would just be so meaningful! Great job!

  16. says

    Stacy,
    You are AMAZING…you did such a fabulous job with the space…the moss, the mirror, the key, the flowers…..everything just came together beautifully you should be so proud of yourself! Well worth the 4 months of work!

    Julia

  17. says

    Your garden is amazing! I would love to have a space like that. It must have been very hard to get it all done with the kids running around. I can only do yardwork in little spurts with my two year old chasing after me. The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books when I was a kid too. I always wanted one. :)

  18. Kim says

    LOVE IT! Never would have thought to hang a mirror in the garden, but it completely makes the space. What a super little hideaway. Great job!

  19. says

    Um – I need to hire you to come do my house! Although, in KS, not much survives.

    Also, I LOVED Mandy when I was a kid and was pretty convinced I was the only person who’d ever read it. Glad to know there are others!

  20. says

    I remember reading that book when I was a kid and loved it too! This space is amazing!!! And I thought you were going to build a fort for your boys, instead you created a secret hide-out for the momma – way to go! I can’t believe how you transformed such a small area into something so magnificent…with all the points of interest tied together with the beautiful white flowers. How do you keep everything watered? (ie. did you put in an irrigation system, enough rainfall and/or native plants, or are you watering by hand?

  21. says

    WOW Stacy, this is amazing! I loved the Secret Garden as a child and this truly captures the magical feeling of that space/movie. I am super jealous that you have such a green thumb, I kill plants so quickly so kudos to you for taking this on!! :)

  22. says

    i love love love it!!! Can I move in with you?? what kind of tree is that in the corner behind your wedding basket?
    You did an amazing job move over yard crashers!

  23. says

    This is so breathtaking I can hardly stand it! Can I sign up for a time to come and sit for a while? Perhaps you could have a sign-up sheet outside the gate. :)

  24. says

    Friend– I love The Secret Garden! I think the next time I come to Utah, I’m bringing this vintage dress I have that has lace, and a high neck and its cinched… you’re wearing it, sitting on the bench and having a photo shoot.
    That’s all.
    I love it.
    I teared up thinking about all the daydreaming I did… thank you!

  25. Ashley says

    I love this Stacey! Great job!! I totally loved the bookMandy as a little girl too. One of my very favorites!!

  26. says

    Stunningly beautiful! Your details are just so amazing and different. The mirror, ladder, lawn art… I can barely fathom the before being the same space! Beautifully done!

    I’ve just shared you all over the land. :)

    Donna

  27. Darlene says

    The Secret Garden was my very, very favorite book growing up also The Boxcar Children.
    Who knew that your beautiful garden would be so special. Now all you need are a few tea parties with
    Friends and it is complete!!

  28. says

    What an amazing space! You really made it feel like a room. I love love your moss art too. Enjoy your new relaxing space. Megan

  29. says

    Oh my goodness…this is amazing. If I could grow anything I would want a secret garden too. You did a beautiful job right down the the real life frog. Can’t wait to see it again next year when everything has grow out! Lisa~

  30. Kristiana says

    I love how you tell a little personal story with each item. It’s what really makes the space special. Great work!

  31. says

    I’m in LOVE with all the daises!!!! I want to pin for our future dream house!!! =oD May I?! SO jealous! Of course in a good way. ;o)

  32. says

    seriously so freaking cute! i love this idea and what an awesome view from your office window! i, too, collected rocks as a little girl. lol. i wanted to own a ‘rock’ store….(whatever that is!) but you did a great job here! xo

  33. Elizabeth H says

    I have looked at your post three times and see something different each time. It is amazing and beautiful. The key is the perfect touch. Love everything. I will view this post many times. Thanks for posting. I wish I had a place to so something similar.

  34. says

    It’s beautiful in so many ways! Every single element is so special and it all comes together perfectly. I can’t pick my one favorite part because they are all lovely. Can’t wait to see the tutorials you have planned, especially for the moss art! Amazing!!

  35. shawn'l says

    you are killing me… I LOVE daisies and they do not grow well in Southern Utah. Not much does here other than rosemary, sagebrush and cactus anyway. I would love to have a pretty secret garden too but *sigh* not possible where I live. Sooo jealuous!

  36. Jerri C. says

    Girl…………. You win YARD OF THE MONTH!!! This space you created is beautiful and is magazine worthy. Love those doors too!!!

  37. Amy says

    What a lovely space! I love the daisies, the key, the bench, the mirror, everything! Oh, I thought the toad was fake at first glance, lol :)

  38. says

    So beautiful! Are you going to let it get all wild and overgrown like the original secret garden? I love my yards a bit wild…… I also have a “pet” toad or two here, I love talking to them (they don’t love it so much).

  39. says

    This is INCREDIBLE!!! I need to see it for myself!!! I have a few lil places in my yard I have wanted to do something like this in… You have oodles of talent and patience.. BRAVO!!!!!
    XOXO
    Andrea

  40. Maureen says

    I also loved The Secret Garden, and you certainly created a beautiful version for yourself. I rent, so I can’t do this, but your space turned out fantastic and I hope you enjoy it every time you look out on it, or sit in it.

    I loved the tad as well, and I think he was a sign or you!

  41. Jusa says

    Wow! Gorgeous. So sweet and serene. Really captures the spirit of The Secret Garden. The toad is definitely a good omen. Love all the details. The lamp kills me. What a great idea. Love every inch of it.

  42. says

    It is absolutely wonderful and will only get better with time! Congratulations on your new lovely space. I love toads too, your little guy is cute!

  43. says

    oh my word that is bloody gorgeous. my mouth was dropped the whole time reading! you and I are more alike than you’ll ever know. I created a “secret garden” for my children, because that was one of my favorite things as a child too, but it is seriously NOTHING like that! Just a bunch of big bushes they can hide in! LOL!

  44. Eden Claire says

    Wow how positively darling and quaint. And yes, I am jealous that you can look at that while you work, especially considering the fact that I have not an ounce of green thumb in my body! I love the “indoor” effects you have like the mirror and lamp. Takes everything up to a whole new scale of sophistication.

  45. says

    Oh, Stacy! I am on my way! The daisies…the bench…THE MIRROR! I swoon.
    I have been looking forward to seeing this and it is amazing!
    Thank you for sharing your secret garden!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  46. says

    WOW! This is amazing! I remember the before, what a transformation! I love the arched gate with the glass knobs, the moss art and the lamp. Can’t wait for the tutorials. You sure have been busy ;)

  47. Chris N says

    Your secret garden is lovely – I’d love to have one as well. Will you plant bulbs this fall? I think it would look wonderful with tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers!

  48. Holly says

    Holy cow! Gorgeous garden! It is just so beautiful! You can tell so much thought was put into every little detail. Pretty, pretty.

  49. says

    I love the Secret Garden. Man, I need to see if Netflix carries a version. Love your Secret Garden too. That moss art is to die for. Amazing! Enjoy!!!

  50. Jane says

    Love your toad. They are very good luck-they keep pests out of our gardens and just look cool! You did a gorgeous job on your hidden garden-especially the mirrors. Mirrors add such depth to a small space. Keep up the good work.

  51. Karen says

    very cute! this is the first post of yours i’ve ever read, but you’ve definetely got a new follower.

  52. says

    This is too much! Too much! I can’t get over all the great things in your secret space. I just adore it. A solar powered lamp! So clever. The mirror – double the beauty! Yes, I am jealous of your office view. I have a garden path view at my office but it’s nothing like this gem. Thanks for sharing it.
    Liz

  53. says

    I just saw your feature over at the DIY Showoff and I knew I had to comment! It’s beautiful!!! I am currently working on a garden for my daughter. He name is Lily and it started off as a Lily Garden with only lilies (and one hydrangea, a gift the day she was born from my grandmother). It now includes other plants but we still call it our Lily Garden. Here’s some of what we’ve done: http://thebrickbungalow.blogspot.com/p/lilys-garden.html I’m looking forward to fencing it in. Your fence makes me want to do a privacy fence but I’m thinking of doing something more open too. It’s definitely a work in progress and I’m jealous yours has taken only 4 months! It looks great! Mine has been a work in progress for 4 summers now! Thanks for the inspiration!!! Oh, by the way, are you keeping it with all white flowers?! I’m curious because I’ve been into “Moon Gardens” and am planning on doing that in my front yard.

  54. says

    OMG! That is absolutely gorgeous! I love the mirror and the shadow box on the wall, and of course the chair and the stone walkway. Simply amazing! It makes my garden an overgrown jungle. Which it has lots of great plants in it, but there are tons of weeds and no added embellishments. Except for a few plant containers. Here’s a thought for you too. I photographed someone’s garden last summer and she had an antique metal headboard in her’s. Or an old antique tub could be another pretty idea. Food for thought.

  55. says

    I love it! Our summer has been so horribly hot and dry it’s been a terrible one for my garden….so glad I happened upon yours and got to enjoy how beautiful it is!

  56. Ann Strickland says

    Wow!! I just spent about two hours reading your blog!!! I absolutely love your secret garden! I found it and your blog on The Inspired Room blog! I will be visiting you now! Hope to win the Fish Foam!!

  57. clabbers says

    This is a wonderful garden. It will only grow to be more beautiful. Small suggestion. That is a lovely basket from your wedding. Find something to put underneath to lift it off the ground because dampness will get into the wood and it will rot away quickly. Kudos for an amazing job.

  58. says

    Stacey! Your garden is perfectly dreamy and beautiful beyond belief. You did an amazing job and should be SO proud of your hard work! It inspires me to do more with the gardens around our yard! Everything about your garden is so perfectly planned! I loved, “The Secret Garden” too! Have a fanatstic week! Angie xo

  59. says

    Wow Stacy, you have outdone yourself with this one! I love the flagstone path to the bench and how everything is perfectly pulled together to truly feel like another room. Lovely and peaceful.

  60. says

    i found your blog through the inspired room and i must say i’m jealous! i am a huge fan of mandy and the secret garden books, too. i dreamt of having a little place all my own to fix up. you’ve done a fantastic job on your secret garden!

  61. says

    What an ethereal space… I could lock myself away in there for hours!

    I well remember the days of trying to get projects done at night when I had little ones – you did a great job!

    gena

  62. Marie says

    Oh my goodness, where have I been? The last little while has been so crazy that I missed this post! I love your secret garden! Someday I will have a house of my own where I can create my own special space. I’ve been cutting out magazine clippings of amazing gardens and outdoor spaces since I was in high school. Someday it will be reality!

  63. Screendoorgirl 3 says

    Hi Stacy! I love your “secret” garden. I found you through Pinterest, so it’s certainly not a secret anymore. I love all of your ideas and I will be stealing the key one . I started a video blog , if you go to my Pinterest Videos board or Screendoorgirl 3 on You Tube , check out my Fire Pit and Side Garden Tour. Hopefully I will have found and added my key by then. Do you recall the paint color of your gate? I want to paint my shed door a color like that. I share your love of moss and my next project is to fill a large crack in my driveway with it. Hope it works! Thanks for sharing ! My name is Jodi…..

  64. says

    Hi,
    Love your little “Secret Garden” area. Looks like a very relaxing place to be. I have a small area that I’ve been wanting to do something with. I’ve been mentioning it to my husband off and on for several months now, he wonders why I want to do something since it’s a small space that not many people see~I always tell him it would be like a little secret garden tucked away. You’ve inspired me to give it some more thought on doing~not this year though, it will have to wait till next Spring to get started. But hey, that gives me a while to plan…plan…plan.
    Congrats on your feature from Beneath My Heart!

  65. carol jane says

    Wow. Just stunning. Seriously you did all this yourself? Would love to know all the plant names that you used. Soooo beautiful. Cool and airy with all the white! Im going to show this to my husband and beg to do this same thing!

  66. Lisa Van Gemert says

    Oh! You’re the first person I have met who knows “Mandy” by Julie Andrews Edwards. I love that book! I actually have a first edition of it in hardback. It’s the most wonderful book for little girls ever. You just became one of my fave peeps, just with that. Seriously.

  67. Tamra Turner says

    Amazing! I am so in love with this garden! This is what happens when creative people like yourself tap into there imagination! Way to go I am in LOVE!

  68. Julie Schneider says

    Hi Stacy! Absolutely love your secret garden. I had to laugh while reading your description of things you did in your childhood! Are you by any chance an only child? It reminded me of my own childhood ( I am an only child). My inlaws live in a house on Lake Erie, and I can still frequently be found rummaging along their shoreline collecting ( hoarding) seaglass and interesting rocks and shells! I’m contemplating doing my own secret garden next spring- thanks for the inspiration! Julie

  69. Kim says

    I love, love , love everything!!! Did you make your gate also? The idea of hanging a key to the gate is wonderful. I have toads and frogs in and around my garden and like Christine’s comment, I talk to them! But them seem unimpressed, maybe I need ‘Rosetta Stone’ for frogs and toads! :0

  70. Terri says

    I love your garden and can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can try a few of your ideas! I too have a thing for daisies- they were my wedding flowers. Just want to call attention to mirrors and the sun and how powerful that can be. You may end up being responsible for starting a fire so I would only add a mirror if it is on the north side of the house and in the shade. I personally had an experience of the sun shining in a south window and bouncing off a hand mirror on the bathroom counter and then to the tassel of my cosmetic bag zipper. The tassel started to smoke. I was shocked to witness what was happening and so thankful that I was there to move the mirror so my house didn’t start on fire. I also had an experience in the car when I was moving. I had a mirror in the backseat of the car and ended up having a hole burned in the head cover fabric of the car from the sun. Please be careful with mirrors!

  71. Joan says

    I rarely comment on blogs, but this is DROP DEAD gorgeous and clever. The creativity is simply amazing! I so love this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  72. Angela B. says

    This is simply AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, AND STUNNING! I have an old ladder that came with the house that I’ve always wanted to do something with outside. Now where is my white paint?!

  73. aimee gordon says

    Could you please give a list of the plants that you planted, other than the daisies? I am already gathering for my spring/summer projects and your before looks much like my before. THANKS!!

  74. Screendoorgirl 3 says

    I am so in love with your garden. I need a key like that for my gate. I have the garden pinned and refer to it often, especially during January in New Jersey! Thanks for the joy it brings!!

  75. says

    This is just amazing!! I love what you’ve done. Some of my favorite books were the Secret Garden, The Little Princess and Mandy when I was a kid. I always wanted a secret garden, yours is awesome! Love the touch the vintage key adds (even if it is from Hobby Lobby!)

  76. Vanessa says

    Muy Excellente! I think the mirror’s impact is clear in the photos – mostly it the white that shouts out though, the flowers, the bench and the stones. I like toads too, we have a little croaking frog here in my Oregon garden and although he is very noisy, I have yet to track him down. I don’t even know what color he is.

  77. Anna says

    Simply awesome. I love that book as well. Was Googling “Secret Garden”…..and came to this post. When reading the book….I could always IMAGINE iT!!!!

  78. says

    Anyone who receives as many comments as you, needs a secret garden to escape to, just to read them all! Did you say four (4) children? Good heavens. You really did a beautiful job here! What a transformation!
    Cheers!,
    Barbara, The Treasured Home
    (Check out the home blogger’s directory: http://www.TheBlogSisters.com)

  79. Ana says

    You have an amazing secret garden, I have been wanting to see how make one, you definitely gave me much tips. Thanks.

  80. E Miller says

    I just got chills when I read that your favorite books were “Mandy” (my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK) and “The Secret Garden” (A CLOSE SECOND). I’ve never met anyone who has read Mandy. I have my copy displayed in my home! :)

  81. says

    I had to hop over here and comment from YHL’s site because Mandy is one of my favorite books ever! I kept my copy to give to my future daughter. I don’t know many people who have read it so I just got a kick out of seeing it in your post. Now, as a 27 year old, I feel the urge to read the book again!

  82. says

    saw your site on YHL, I LOVED Mandy, it was cool to see that blast from the past book, I used to dream about finding a place like that for my own. Hope your secret garden provides you much peace, serenity and joy!

  83. says

    I love this garden so much but I agree with you. My favorite thing is the moss art. It livens up the space and gives it a bit of personality. Bravo!

  84. says

    I loved this when you did and I was so happy to see it featured on YHL today. I hope you are seeing lots of traffic and gain lots of new followers. You deserve it!

  85. Jane Stona says

  86. Cameron says

    Hi there!
    Lovely, charming personal secret space. Love the white and green. Really digging the moss art. WOW! I have one suggestion for the garden tools – mailbox. They are not the cheapest thing in the hardware store (I was sorry to find out), but they do keep out the weather and most bugs. A mailbox would keep your garden gloves and tools dry if you forget to pull them inside before rainstorms.

  87. says

    O.M.G. – I loved the book Mandy! How much do I still want my own little Shell Cottage in the woods, where no one can find me. What a beautiful little sanctuary you’ve created!

  88. Syamala says

    Your secret garden is amazing.I love the combination of white and green.In such a small space u created an awesome garden.superb.

  89. says

    This is jaw-droppingly awesome and charming. It truly is a Secret Garden worthy of the book that bears its name. I recently cleared my hot mess of a backyard and this definitely gives me a lot of inspiration! Thanks for posting!

  90. Screendoorgirl 3 says

    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely garden. I finally found my secret garden key at Hobby Lobby. ($3.99 with 40% off!) . Anyway, your blog and secret garden are a lovely inspiration for me after this New Jersey winter! Thanks, and come on, Spring!!

  91. Meg Negrey says

    Absolutely love your garden! Definitely inspired me :)

    Any chance of updated shots once the plants had a chance to grow in to the space?

  92. Faerie Moon says

    Just found your blog. Love, love, love the mirror, the ladder, hanging boxes……well, everything!!

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