Monday, November 11, 2013

My Secret Garden and a Surprise

This is the entrance to my Secret Garden. I tied together a couple of branches to create the arch. Other than that, it is fairly non-descript to preserve its "secrecy". 

Once you enter inside, the magic appears. This overgrown section of our woods used to be some kind of dumping area--long before we got here. When we cleaned it out, we found the random stones and concrete pieces and lined the edges of the path with them.

You can see all the over-arching branches that create the shade. It is 15 degrees cooler in here than the rest of the farm in the summer time. A nice cool, quiet, peaceful getaway place. 

In the center, under some gnarled trees, I placed my angel and bell trellis, creating a little sacred space.

We found these moss-covered foundation stones scattered in this area, and encircled the tree with them. There are hosta and ferns planted under the twisted tree. 

We covered the ground with mulch and added benches and birdhouses. 

Across the garden, we added an old swing, revitalized with fresh paint, hanging from a reinforced branch. 

The swing is illuminated by these little solar lights, and they line the path as well, guiding you inside in the dark. 
  Although I enjoyed the summer coolness of my Secret Garden,  it was a bit too cold for autumn and winter. It just seemed to be begging for a cozy cottage in the corner, to really create a sense of place. My husband indulged me for our anniversary, and our carpenter went to work on it. 

This was the little 8' x 12' house after the construction. Our carpenter nestled it under the trees, and created all the gingerbread details. 

Here is the interior in process. He added a bench seat all along the back wall, and a shelf above it. 

The ceiling fan gives light and a breeze for the summer. 

This is the finished exterior, painted to match our barn. I love the frilly screen door and the little stoop.

This is what you see when you open the door. I'm a tea lover, so I decided to create my own little tea room. I call it the "Tea House of the August Moon". 

I left the interior framing exposed, and painted it all white. I furnished the house with tables, chairs, and a food prep area. It's a cozy girly space, with a touch of British propriety. 

I like to go fancy with my tea parties, so this is my formal tea service. I also have a nice variety of glass and china tea pots I have collected over the years. 

This is the view of the garden out one window. Around the table, you can see the nail head upholstered chairs and the shelves laden with tea supplies. My floral and polka dot apron fits in nicely. 

This is a peek out the other window, and a view of my other prep area with its electric tea kettle. It heats the water almost instantly.  The cupboard holds other essentials. The various handmade hearts on the wall  are sentimental and were gathered in my travels. 

This table holds tea cups, and the shelves hold a variety of tea snacks, in case I am not baking and just need a nibble of something sweet with my tea. 

This is the view toward the door. I like all the cubby holes the exposed interior framing creates. 

This is the shelf above the bench with an antique tole painted tray and some of my other treasures.
The 85 year old typewriter was given to my husband  when he was 10 years old by an elderly neighbor. The silver stand holds a  unique black and white plaid tea cup and saucer. 

There is room enough for up to six guests, or I can make the table smaller as needed.

When I step outside, this is the view from my Secret Garden looking out toward our barn. If you didn't know it was here, you wouldn't even suspect!

I feel like I stepped into a fairy tale here. 
This wonderful little place helps me do just that!


  1. Oh my goodness! I could spend a lot of time out there. Just beautiful. You have such an eye for decorating. Enjoy your special secret garden!

  2. Every time I visit this blog, you have expressed your creative hospitality in a new, fresh way. You continue to inspire and surprise with your vision & talents! It's simply lovely.

  3. Hmmm....left a comment but it's not here. So I'll try new one:


  4. Karen! I just took a virtual tour down the lane of your secret garden. I nearly squealed like a little girl when I saw what was!s in your comfort cottage! Lovely! Thank you for sharing it. I can imagine the conversations and bonds made within those white walls...whether those conversations be human or divine or a bit of both! I love the GENEROUS deposit of creativity that the Lord has given to you. I am inspired! That's definitely going on my bucket list.