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Secret Gardens

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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For many, the garden is one the of the most important parts of the home. It can be a perfect setting for outdoor dinners, garden parties or other forms of entertaining, but it can also provide a peaceful, reflective space.  Sometimes, we want to go outside to escape to our own little secret garden. The following pictures give some ideas on how to create hidden, restful spaces in your own garden, whether it is large or small.  

Hidden in plain sight

This spherical summer house is a place to enjoy a quiet moment while surveying the rest of the yard.  Because it is elevated, it gives the impression that it is not easily reached so that while inside, you feel like you are in your own world. The green colour and glass windows keep it from being too obtrusive among the plant life, while the shape adds a fun, sci-fi atmosphere to the garden.

A path to a retreat

In this garden, a set of stone steps meanders up a hill, hinting that there is a another garden area just out of sight at the end of the path.  Whether or not that place actually exists, the implication that it is there makes the whole garden feel both more expansive and more intricate, suggesting that you could wander in it forever, continually discovering new, hidden retreats.

Walled in

Key to creating a secret garden is a wall with a small door or window that lets you peep into the tranquil space just behind. Through the door in this ivy covered wall, we can see a green clearing complete with garden furniture. This is just a glimpse of a lovely space to sit with a cup of tea.  

An urban sanctuary

Victoria 1, London:  Terrace by Urban Roof Gardens
Urban Roof Gardens

Victoria 1, London

Urban Roof Gardens

Those who live in the city also want to have a private garden they can escape to. This terrace roof garden doesn't have to be hidden completely out of sight to feel like it could be your own private retreat; the fact that it is so unexpected makes it seem like a luxurious escape from the everyday. 

Lush surroundings

Maltese Road  - Copyright John Glover:  Garden by Aralia

Maltese Road —Copyright John Glover


Here, we get just a hint of a cosy sitting area behind the lush greenery of this garden. The thick branches provide ample protection from the rest of the yard, creating the perfect space for you to lie back with your book, or simply close your eyes and enjoy the peace and quiet. Notice that the seat has a round shape, almost like a nest? In addition to giving shelter from the sun, the roof helps to separate the seating area from the rest of the garden, making it feel like its own private space.  

Discreet spaces

Party garden in Sevenoaks, Kent:  Garden by Earth Designs
Earth Designs

Party garden in Sevenoaks, Kent

Earth Designs

Even a small yard can be designed to create the illusion of a secret garden. From above, we can see how the landscape designer here has added partitions through out the space to divide it into discrete areas.  Some of the partitions are clear glass, and some are slightly translucent, allowing light to filter through so that the space never feels too closed off.  In addition, the purple colour adds a fun, funky touch to the outdoor living space. 

High above

As you step outside this home, you encounter a set of stairs, which, just like in our earlier photo, promise to lead to a secret garden. Here, we can see the breathtaking space hidden at the end of the stairway. Although completely open to the air and sky, this roof garden is concealed from anyone else who may be around, making it a truly relaxing spot to lay in the grass. 

For more garden design inspiration, check out our garden section.

What do you think of these garden design? Tell us in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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