Posts Tagged ‘Secret Gardens’





we listen to the trees

river-dance on wood


plant a colour palette –

Viburnum, Geranium

Busy Lizzy, Stock


hide from everyone

but the birds


the city

almost too far away

to notice


my garden

in the roof tops.


Inspired by Rebecca’s response in the Get Involved section on June 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm


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In the winter, it was nothing much to look at – a scrubby triangle of grass studded with cans and crisp packets. But on a day like today, with the sun glinting off the broken garage windows at the back, and the tree thick with leaves and the tiny, spiked beginnings of conkers – on a day like today it was irresistible.

Mily had English homework to hand in tomorrow – they had to write a story set in the future: peak oil, climate change, robots. She’d got as far as secret portals to alternative realities, but she was running out of energy. Her bedroom was hot and stuffy. From her window, she could see the patch of grass in the industrial estate across the road – like a cool, green pool.

She left her radio on and her school books open, so that if anyone looked, they’d think she’d just slipped away for a minute or two. The industrial estate was Out Of Bounds. Her mother’s mouth went all tight at the edges when she even mentioned it. But there was treasure to be found there – reels of shiny copper wire, old shoes, perfect metal circles. Mily closed the flat door as quietly as she could and ran down the stairs – six concrete flights.

The triangle of grass sat wedged between twin buildings – single storey, with flaking paint on their window frames. She bent down, and unlaced her shoes, left them at the edge of the grass with her socks pushed into the toes. As she walked, the ground began to soften and cool. Within minutes she found herself wading through shallow green water, which stretched away into the distance as far as she could see. Her mother would never believe it, Mily thought, as the water deepened and she started to swim.

Inspired by David’s answer to the question: Where is your secret garden? May 20th, 7.04pm,

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My Secret Garden

At the end of the street where I grew up, there was a black-painted wooden door in the middle of a tall brick wall. The wall stood amongst a row of suburban semi-detached houses; there was no crack to peek through, and the wall was too high to climb up and see what lay on the other side. Inevitably, we called it the Secret Garden. I walked past the wall every day on the way to school, and dreamt of the ancient trees, garden fairies and magical plants on the other side.

The wall has since been knocked down, and two plain-looking brick houses now stand where I once imagined bluebell glens and silver rivers. But I still remember the promise of it; the possibilities of a hidden-away space in suburbia.

I am looking forward to discovering London’s Secret Gardens – tucked away spaces in a city that can sometimes seem too grey, too public, too fast. I am excited, too, about discovering the gardens of people’s imaginations and memory, and creating some moments of magic and discovery in the Word Garden. Please email your ideas to wordgarden@upprojects.com, or leave a comment here.

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