Friday, February 17, 2012

My Mother's Secret Garden

When I was a child, my mother told me that one of her favorite books was "The Secret Garden" by Francis Hodgsons Burnett.  Even though she told me this on several different occassions, I never read the book.  She never told me what the story was about.  I don't even remember seeing the book in our home and we had lots of books. 
Going through her books, we came across several different editions of "The Secret Garden." 
Illustrated by Tasha Tudor, this 1985 edition can be found at CAROLINABLUELADY Book Treasures
This story was originally written in 1910, first as a series written for a magazine and then the book with the entire story published in 1911.
The Secret Garden by
Francis Hodgsons Burnett

After researching the book and reading reviews, I think I now know why this was such a special book to her.
My mother felt very alone growing up and told us kids many times that she didn't feel that her mother really loved her as a child.  She didn't feel that she fit in and always had a hard time trusting anyone.  It was really very hard for me to understand.  My relationship with my grandmother was very different from the relationship my mother described between her and my grandmother.  When my mother was around 16, she went to live with her maternal grandparents on the family farm.  It was the place where my grandmother was born and also, where my mother was born.  My mother loved following her grandpa around the farm while he did his chores and loved talking with him.  He always made her feel that what she had to say was important.  She lived there through high school.  The farm was always a special and beautiful place for her - it was where she felt she belonged and she could be free to dream her dreams.  Great-grandpa's farm was my mother's secret garden.  This is a picture of my mother on her graduation day from high school taken at the farm.  The year was 1939 (I think).  It might have been 1940.
I have added one of the copies of my mother's "The Secret Garden" to my library.  It is a very special story and a children's classic.  Everyone needs a "secret garden."  And, just maybe, it is easier being a grandmother than a mother.
Please check out my bookstore, CAROLINABLUELADY Book Treasures where you will find The Secret Garden and other favorite books.   


  1. I loved the The Secret Garden when I was a kid. What a great picture of your mother. She was very pretty.

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