There are lots of ideas of a secret yard and lots of locations that assert to have them, from quiet London squares to the more well-known “visitor attractions”.
On a domestic level, it could describe a small back garden with a rustic arbor close old vine or an ultra modern den surrounded by tree ferns for a home worker. However the enduring picture of a secret garden, to me at least, is the description in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book of an old ivy-covered door with which can be glimpsed an overgrown increased garden.
When he first sees it, the kid Dickon describes it “as if a body was in a dream”. Whatever the design, size and shape, all secret gardens need to perhaps make us feel, similar to Dickon and young Mary Lennox in the book, that something wonderful has actually occurred when you enter this space; that you are “shut out of the world in some fairy location”.
No 2 yard designers would probably agree on exactly what makes a garden so secret. Some will certainly state it is surprises and others will have the tendency to the standard idea of an enclosed personal area.
Caroline Knight, a designer with Perfect Plants (perfectplants. co. uk) based in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, says: “The nature of a secret garden is its privacy, or a minimum of its illusion of seclusion. There are few of us who are lucky sufficient to have a walled garden which may make sure seclusion however we can recreate the experience of seclusion by the smart use of plants.”.
Caroline recommends that creating yard departments with such hedging as hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) or, even better, the evergreen yew (Taxus baccata), as was done at Sissinghurst.
She adds: “Include an intelligently overlapping entry space which will be undetectable from a distance and your secret yard on the far side is yours to create how you want.”.
Secret definitely has nothing to do with size. Caroline states: “Even small yards have prospective for secrecy. Tuck a bench seat on the limit and use tall growing such as decorative yards or flowering perennials to conceal it from view. A few stepping stones will certainly be the only idea about the presence of a tiny secret yard offering an undisturbed read.”.
The RHS is running a series of Secret Garden Sundays at its London HQ Lindley Hall, in Vincent Square. Next Sunday will certainly be dedicated to coastal plants and designs. A Secret Garden Christmas Unique will be hung on November 2.
Leading 5 walled yards in Britain.
Plants at Alnwick Garden in Northumberland include a caution [ALAMY]
Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, Kent.
World-famous Sissinghurst was grown by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson, who prepared the architectural yew-lined spaces and the much-loved White Yard. nationaltrust.org. uk.
The Garden Gates Home, Oxfordshire.
Concealed behind wrought iron garden gates, the yards of this period cottage in the heart of Oxfordshire include a covert lawn area enclosed by a mature box and yew hedge, another hidden courtyard and a captivating herb yard close to the cooking area.
On the market with John D Wood priced at £ 400,000, the three-bedroom Yard Cottage in Middleton Stoney is found at the end of a row of homes on a corner plot and includes a covert rear courtyard area. Cheap garden gates are available at wickes.co.uk or more expensive and ornamrental ironwork from www.gatesiron.com
The Chelsea Physic Garden.
Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to study the medical qualities of plants this is now among the most important centres of botany on the planet. chelseaphysicgarden.org. uk.
Toxin Yard, Alnwick Garden, Northumberland.
Discover the killers in your own backyard in the Toxin Yard at Alnwick and hear the misconceptions, legends and stories about poppies, belladonna, laburnam and foxgloves. alnwickgarden.com.
The Secret Gardens of Sandwich.
Commemorating 100 years, the Secret Gardens of Sandwich surrounded by the city walls surround the Grade I-listed The Salutation manor home, made by Sir Edwin Lutyens. visitkent. co. uk.
Scampston Walled Yard, North Yorkshire.
Designed by Dutch meadow mastermind Piet Oudolf, this is the location to study modern yard planning. Modern perennial meadow plantings are a certain feature. scampston. co. uk.
On the market: House with secret gardens.
Location Court, Devon.
A thatched cob walled garden is an excellent rarity today, and one that encloses 1.5 acres of gardens is even more uncommon. Place Court, a Grade II \* provided house has other tricks, including a chapel hid off the major bed room reputed to have actually been where Sir Walter Raleigh, born in close-by Hayes Barton, was christened.
The manor was built as the country seat of the Dean of Exeter and dates in a large part back to the 13th century. It was owned by the church for 750 years. The primary house, well remodelled, has four rooms and there is a different converted barn forming a threebedroom annexe as well as a detached two-bedroom mews home.
Place Court, at Colaton Raleigh, is on the market with estate representative Wilkinson Grant priced at £ 2million. wilkinsongrant. co. uk / 01392 427 500.
No 14 The Green, Suffolk.
How about this for a surprise: a confined yard filled almost entirely by a concealed heated swimming pool in Hadleigh, near Ipswich? It features a good-looking 16th-century removed house which needs some modernisation but provides great deals of accommodation consisting of a kitchen with Aga, home office, three receptions and 3 bedrooms.
The property has actually exposed beams and open fireplaces, and is on the marketplace with Fine & Country priced at £ 640,000. fineandcountry. co. uk/01473 289 700.
Roses Bower, Durham.
The name of this home could completely explain The Secret Garden of literature, other than that its yard is completely turned over to vegetables, with raised beds and composting bins, as well as a pond full of fantastic crested newts.
Set in the Tyne Valley, with breathtaking views to The Cheviots and surrounding countryside, the home comes with a large number of outhouses including a workshop, garage and removed barn along with the 15.5 acres of gardens. Your house is a remodelled period building which has actually been extended into its surrounding barn to produce a seven-bedroom estate.
On the market through Corbridgebased Finest Characteristics, offers are invited in the region of £ 1,650,000. finestproperties. co. uk/01434 622 234.
The Glebe, Moray.
This previous manse in the mysterious town of Urquhart, in Moray, started by Scotland’s King David I, dates from 1822 and is probably the work of the designer William Robertson. Both your home and the gardens have been restored considering that the property was offered by the Church of Scotland without any loss of character however with the addition of such comforts vital to the Scottish winters as an Aga and new central heating.
The gardens are especially uncommon and they include a walled garden with a dovecote, and a topiary garden. The property also includes a cottage that is used for vacation lets.