4 Elegant Secret Garden Ideas

secret garden ideasOn the old urban homestead, we lived on a quarter-acre lot smack dab in the middle of the city. Two blocks in once direction were the downtown high rises  while eight blocks the other way sat the strip malls and auto dealerships. We were surrounded by consumer growth. Our goal was to remove ourselves from it, and Wendie and I started with a few back-to-nature. secret garden ideas as a toe-dip into the pool of homesteading. 

Our urban homestead property was ringed by a five-foot wooded fence and crowned with some of the most gorgeous old-growth maple trees you've ever seen. Aside from the random car back-fire or motorcycle gunning it's engine on the street out front, the backyard was an oasis of tranquility. To improve upon it, we began brainstorming secret garden ideas for the kids, the goal being to give them a special place where the world was left on the other side of that fence. From that idea, our shade-heavy secret garden was born.



#1- Homesteading Secret Garden Ideas

secret garden ideas
The kids were able to enjoy their shade secret garden for one year before the sudden move to our forever homestead in the country.  Yet the heart of the project came with us. 

As we walked our new land, one thought was always there. We would revisit our secret garden ideas scheme and build a new one for the kids. It would be their special place, a magical paradise nestled lovingly within the boundaries of our homesteading adventure  We found the perfect location close to the house, nestled away and perfect for such a garden space.

We haven't told the kids yet. With luck and some solid planning, we can create it without them realizing it's happening. We think it will help them maintain a last hold on childhood if they are unaware and can then discover it on their own. That was our starting point for any of the secret garden ideas we've had so far, and if it comes off, it could be as special to their young memories as any trip to an amusement park.

#2- Secret Garden Landscape Planning

secret garden landscapeThe starting point for our homestead secret garden landscape planning is incorporating elements of both hardscape and floral features. It won't be large, just the right size for a few stone-wall supported raised beds, a comfy wrought-iron bench and perhaps a table, all ringed by a high shrub wall. 

Over the years we've gathered ceramic and cement animal forms, perfect to nestle between wildly growing cover plants. Rabbits, chickens and even a garden gnome will hide among the plantings.

Our secret garden landscape plan also includes a pea-stone walkway, opening in the center under full sun, while the beds are mixed with dappled and deep shade. An ornate bird bath would fit in well, as would some larger stones covered in moss and lichen. The idea is to create a special place and these are the elements we believe will help achieve that atmosphere.

#3- Secret Garden Rare Plants

secret garden rare plants
With a unique, mixed growing area of full sun to deep shade in such a little place, we've decided to stock it full of magic. This means skipping traditional homesteading cultivars and going with secret garden rare plants throughout. 

Some we can source from our local organic greenhouse, while other will have to be special ordered. As luck would have it, there is a grower in Florida actually called Secret Garden Rare Plants, that will have much of what we are looking for.

The general plan is to balance floral and foliage mixes, with lots of variation in size and color. These need to be heavily the perennial side and hardy for our zone 5a/b growing conditions. With some serious perusing of the Secret Garden Rare Plants site, we're confident we will land on the varieties to make our secret garden ideas come to fruition.

#4- Homestead Secret Garden Landscape Design

secret garden landscape designOur secret garden landscape design will comprise three growing zones. Deep shade against the surrounding boxwood and arborvitae hedge, mid-sized variegated hosta and hydrangea, and a floral explosion in the center under full sun of violets, crocus and hardy hibiscus. These fit into our secret garden ideas of low-maintenance, color and perennial hardiness.

We are looking forward to sharing this secret garden landscape design project with you this spring, and would love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever acted on your own secret garden ideas? Do you have secret garden memories? Do you have suggestions for hardy secret garden rare plants? Join the conversation below and share your expertise!

Comments

Unknown said…
Oh I love this idea! There is something so magical about gardens to begin with...I get overwhelmed with all the planning because I don't know much about plants but get inspired by the pictures!!
WT said…
I think for us, the idea of secret gardens started when the girls used to spend so much time crafting fairy houses out in the woods:)
Cheers, and thanks for dropping in:)