There is something quite mystical about the idea of a ‘secret garden’.
Perhaps influenced by the nostalgia of fairies at the end of the garden and growing up reading enchanting children’s stories such as the Faraway Tree, I have always yearned for my own ‘secret’ hiding place where I could camp out with a good book and a glass of wine and forget about daily life for a while!
Some of the best secret gardens I have discovered are below, you will notice they have several things in common - very pretty (tick); peaceful (tick); interesting landscaping (tick); folklore or fairy magic (added bonus!).
Here’s my pick of the best!
Fenton House & Garden, London
Situated in the centre of London, the panoramic view from the balcony offers one of the highest points in London from which to view the city. However this hidden treasure offers surprising peace and solitude and the sunken rose garden with it's pretty cobbled paving and clipped yew hedging is beautiful and secluded.
Japanese Garden, Tatton Park, Cheshire
Nestled away in the glorious and very English gardens of this National Trust property, the Japanese gardens are the last thing you expect to see and are truly spectacular. Recognised as the finest Japanese garden in Europe, the design is styled on a tea garden rather than more traditional dry garden. There is a quiet serenity to this place which makes for peaceful contemplation and awe.
The grounds of this 18th century house are vast (13,000 acres) so most visitors miss the secret walled garden. Built in 1760 to grow fruit and vegetables, today it is full of the most beautiful flowers which provide a wonderful aroma during the summer months. A small pond, Mary Pool, feeds a stream which trickles through the garden aiding the lush vegetation.
Castle Drogo, Devon
The beautiful sunken rose garden at Castle Drogo was a gift from Julius Drewe for his wife and is lovely, but my favourite part is the hidden Bunty House, a tiny house with it’s own garden which was built for Drewe’s youngest daughter and is every little girl’s (or big girl's) dream!
Plas Cadnant, Anglesey
Set between the Menai Bridge and Beaumaris, these gardens have undergone extensive restoration work over the past 20 years to restore them to their former glory. I love the rugged wildness of the Hidden Gardens with their abundance of wild flowers and meandering paths - are those elves I see under the toad stools?!
All of the above gardens are open to the public, but please check opening times before visiting.
If you’ve been inspired to create your own secret hideway, have a look at our ranges of Flagstones, Paving Slabs and Cobbles. Based on sourced originals our collection of aged effect Paving and Shingles are perfect for creating meandering paths, cottage garden terraces and secret arbours - fairy magic is extra!