“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.” – William Goldman
The moment I read this quote for the first time, I fell in love with it. I’m not sure why… I can’t completely relate to its essence, nor am I (quite) that dramatic. I actually wear my heart on my sleeve and, whilst I may sometimes shield my heart, I wouldn’t go about building a bloody wall around it. What if no-one could be arsed to climb it, or knock it down?!
There’s something quite fantasist about the quote though, isn’t there? The whole notion of secrets, adventure, mystique, wonder… and, yes, drama. C’mon, who doesn’t love a dramatic quote now and again? The kids on Tumblr totally dig them. You know, the one’s who are like twelve and really know heartbreak.
I think it is perhaps the English rose in me which gives this quote such affinity. ‘The Secret Garden’ was a favourite childhood novel of mine – and one I remember reading whilst staying with my grandparents in Yorkshire one hot summer when I was eight or nine. My grandparents had a lovely house in the sleepy little village of New Mill, with sprawling green gardens packed full of secret cubbyholes and hideaways. Each day, I would take my homemade lemonade and cucumber sandwiches, neatly packed in a knapsack whilst I marched off on an adventure at least ten meters from the back door with my buddy Boson (their ginormous Old English Sheepdog) to find a cool spot where I could settle and read my book. I loved the story of Mary and her friend Dicken and was completely enchanted with their adventures that entire summer.
I’m often asked what I miss most about living in England. Friends, family, history (and fashion) aside, I truly miss the rolling green hills, the earthy, leafy woods and the oh-so-English country rose gardens. Yes, I really do miss the lush things all that darn rain and drizzle brings. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learnt about Perth’s Secret Garden…
Yep, Perth has a Secret Garden. Well, a not-so-secret-garden actually – thanks to the copious amounts of coverage it attracts on Social Media! Located close to several highways, and right in the middle of suburbia, it’s difficult to see how such a magical garden could ever remain a secret even without Social Media (and Google Maps)! Stepping into the garden, you’re immediately immersed into an enchanted wonderland, with wild vines sprawling across the woodland floors, twining into hollow logs and around fallen branches. The vines have even crept up the willowy trees, dangling over the banks of the still, glittering river – completely transforming the space into something quite magical.
I first learnt about the garden over a year ago when I saw a snap of it on Instagram, captioned ‘finally found it!’ Totally appealing to my curiosity, this lead me to research the garden further and after reading through several social dialogues, it became apparent that some locals did not want this garden to be found – in a bid to protect it’s very definition. And so, I added it to my list of things to explore here in gorgeous WA, and made a mental note to revisit the adventure the following winter when the garden would be at it’s lushest. Fast-forward to a few months ago and I’m planning my blog editorial calendar for the remainder of 2016. The Secret Garden pops up in my brainstorming and so, I pencil it in for a feature and go on with my day.
Now, you know that feeling you sometimes have over a couple of days when a series of serendipitous events happen one after the other, each relating to one thing in particular – and therefore completely making you believe that it is absolute paramount that this ‘thing in particular’ is explored further, because, well it’s basically fate and meant to be? Yes? Well this happened to me with the Secret Garden. Only a few hours after I updated my blog calendar, I hear a caller on the local radio tell the DJ that she’d been out with the kids to Perth’s Secret Garden. Later that evening, I saw a Perth fashion account feature the Secret Garden on their Instagram. The next day at the gym, a girlfriend (@lennyhops – gorgeous Insta feed, a must-follow!) shows me some pictures she found online of this cute little Secret Garden that she thought I’d like to feature on my blog. The next evening, @So.Perth repost a stunning picture of Perth’s Secret Garden on their feed. So, a Secret garden blog-post was totally meant to be.
With an excited vision of glittering sunbeams poking through the trees, into a lush woodland fit for the fairies, I got in touch with the dream team behind the Out of the Woods and Stormborn styled shoots/blogs to get a date in the diary for some Secret Garden magic… This time with the addition of the lovely Hayli from Ebb & Fleur who created a gorgeous flower crown for the occasion! Unfortunately, we had a weeks worth of rain pour on the day of the shoot which at one point, we nearly had to cancel. However, we soldiered on… Cat went for magical, lush green eyes (WHY can’t I ever do my eyes like that?!) and Rachelle tightened up curls so defined even my tangle-teezer struggled to get them out later that night! Despite the muddy, blustery and wet elements, talented Terry managed to capture some really magical, candid, earthy shots in-between me jumping around and swearing like a trooper as I tried to stay warm! Well, I was going for English Country Garden… Just don’t let the bamboo fool you. It’s was freezing!
Yes, you can almost smell the tropical woodland in these magical pictures… But ssshhh, remember it’s a secret x
“If you look the right way, the whole world is a garden.” – Mary, The Secret Garden.