Tuesday, June 30, 2020


There is a saying 
in old Celtic folklore 
that if you linger 
between two different worlds,
 such as 
 a before and an after
 you might be visited by fairies.

 You may never 
actually see them 
but they will always leave 
a token of their time there,
 a feeling 
that you can carry with you 
no matter how far
 you may go.

As a little girl, 
I sat beneath an old acasia tree
 in my grandmother's garden, 
reading over and over again,
 the delightful story of 
the Secret Garden.

When that ivy clad gate
 was first opened,
 I think that was where 
my imagination took wing and 
fairies became
 a part of my nature. 

 I know the story
 didn't tell of fairies,
 per say, 
but I may have seen 
Mary Lennox, Dickon and Colin 
as magical beings,
 transforming a plot of forgotten land 
into a beautiful garden.  
In my small mind, 
I couldn't fathom it
 being done
 any other way.

When we first took up residence,
 in 1989, at the Cottage,
 this was the space 
that designated itself 
to be my Secret Garden.

 The curtain had been pulled back and 
it seemed that 
I had just stepped out from under
 those low hanging limbs 
of that long ago acasia tree 
onto a stage 
that could portray my dream 
of a garden 
just like Mary had accomplished.

 Of course, by then, 
I knew there would be
 no actual fairies 
coming to my rescue,
 I wanted a special place
 for them to reside, 
if they would
 so choose.

This is the very first "before" garden. 

Notice the floor of the gazebo.
 It was a large round of cement
 that the Captain poured and 
I painted "bricks" onto.  
You can barely see 
the ivy starting to climb the fence. 
 It was a very 
simple and basic start
 to the dream.

Over the years,
 the garden has taken on 
many different looks and 
as I look back
 over each old photo,
 I feel myself
 being drawn back and wishing,
 just a little,
 that nothing had changed,
 that this photo had been
 the final one...

I think this 
might have been
the one to keep...

...I did love 
this one 
so much...

...but this one was
 the very best...

...this one was 
so romantic...

...but this one 
 more romantic...

... and 
the simplicity of fall 
was splendid.

 when the wild life 
started becoming part 
of the decor...

...I knew 
that it was time 
for the curtain to be lowered and
 the show 
to be cancelled.

All those wonderful times 
spent in the Secret Garden 
were not to be forgotten so...
we enclosed the porch 
with screening and
 the magic began again...
and, now,
when we take our seats and 
the curtain goes up...

...and we catch
 our first glimpse 
of the 
coming attraction...

...the garden is 
a jumble of green,
 with the occasional touch 
of a faux or real blossom for color.

The ivy parts and 
opens a small pathway 
that leads to all of
 the garden's secrets.

on the hot 
summer days and nights,
 when the garden gets the most use, 
the calming green, 
along with the slight summer breezes
 that move the wind chimes, 
I feel again
 what Mary must have felt 
when she first saw
 her garden...

...and as for the fairies...
I know they are content and 
even though 
I haven't actually seen them,
 I know they are there,
 somewhere between
 the befores and the afters...
because they 
told me so!

A hush has fallen over all.

The stage has been set and 
the lights have come up.

Cue the music.

The show must go on.

after looking back over these photos,
 don't be surprised 
if you happen to see 
another after
 and this, 
that you have just witnessed,
 will have turned into 
all of 
the befores. 

Of course,
 it depends on what
 the fairies want.


Have a great week, 
stay smart and well
 and wear your masks.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


Keep In Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles


  1. Hi Judy,
    It is so much fun to look back at all the different vignettes you had in your secret garden. Fun to remember and see how things have changed through the seasons. Love all your sweet pics today. Such a beautiful sanctuary you have created in your backyard.

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. A lot of you, I know, have seen all of the pics over the years, but I couldn't even remember how some looked so it was a fun post to do..Stay well..xxoJudy

  2. What a haven. I have always wanted a secret garden but you have mastered it. So truly beautiful with the pretty furniture, the flowers, the enclosure. It really is divine.

    I have never heard that expression before but I feel as though we've been limgering between two worlds for the past four months or so and boy, do I wish the good fairies would come by soon!

    1. Thanks, Jeanie. I read about the saying in an old Victoria magazine, so I took it and ran with it as best I could. Yes, eventually the fairies will be here doing their good deeds. We have to believe that..Stay well..xxoJudy

  3. Dear Judy ~ what a wonderful and lovely secret garden you have. Thanks for sharing it through the years, and may you have more to share in the future. Enjoy your week ~ Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thanks so much, Lorraine. We do enjoy our Secret Garden and plan to have more to share one of these days. I wish all the same for you and also good visits from the fairies..Stay well..xxoJudy

  4. So loved the journey your secret garden has taken. Oh the happy memories you must have of all the changes over the years. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. I love the journey too. Why can't we be satisfied with what we have, or is it only me? I would love to have any one of them back..Stay well..xxoJudy

  5. Judy, i love them all. You have transformed the garden many times. It was beautiful each time. I would enjoy such a place. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

    1. Thank you, Susie. I did love them all and I love how it is now also. It is just a nice place to sit without bugs or birds!..Stay well..xxoJudy

  6. Judy,
    You are such a wonderful story teller!! what an enchanting post, my friend!! Loved seeing all the beautiful before and afters!! And of course, LOVE the red in your enclosed porch!! Visiting with you is always such a treat!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comment!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

    1. Thank you so much, Deb. I love telling stories and paring them with photography. It is a fun hobby and that is why I love blogging so much. I appreciate all who follow me and enjoy most of the same things I do. You are too kind and I always enjoy your visits and mine, to you..Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

  7. Oh Judy.... your secret gardens over the years have just been wonderful! I love each and every one. Love the "canopy" that looks like twigs that have been intertwined this way and that... I'm sure the fairies flit in and amongst those twigs! The ivy is so wonderful and makes such a nice green cool barrier to the outside world. My parents had a ton of ivy in their yard, it did kind of take over some areas, but with a bit of pruning, we tamed it when it needed it. I do also love your "secret porch" and can imagine how nice it is on a summer's evening when the bugs are out.. and glad you can still gaze out to your garden area and do a little dreaming. You do tell a story so well! Have a great week! Marilyn

    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn. The canopy of twigs is nothing spectacular. It is wisteria that has died and we are afraid to cut them because there is still growth way far up in the trees and we don't know which twigs are alive or dead. This should be a hint as to how we garden!! We do need to trim the ivy but I do like the majority of it as I tend to enjoy things that "take over". We watch the humming birds and since they now stay on their "side" of the garden we are all happy. Thanks for your kind words and stay well..xxoJudy

  8. Hi Judy! SO nice that you have pictures of your different garden phases. All wonderful! I didn't read The secret garden when I was young, but became enchanted by the early film. I watched it again recently and it is a wonderful story. You are so lucky to have a good garden climate. I enjoyed hearing about your wicker furniture! It must have been wonderful! There is a wonderful white wicker garden room in the film Driving Miss Daisy that I think about sometimes. Dreamy. Hope it's a nice 4th for you! Hugs, J.

  9. Thanks so much, Jacqueline. It is fun looking back over older photos. So many things are forgotten. I have seen all the different version movies of the SG and love them all. I even found a newer version of the book while out thrifting a time ago and reread it. It was just as special to me as an adult as a child. I saw Driving Miss Daisy long ago, but now will have to see it again..Stay well and hope you had a good 4th..xxoJudy

  10. Hi Judy - I just loved going down memory lane in your secret garden - what a treasure. I always enjoy your posts, but your words were just magical this time. Magical. You have such a gift. Jane

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. Thank you for your kind words and it always so good to hear from you..Stay well..xxoJudy

  11. So beautiful in all seasons, Judy! Love seeing all the different scenes and what a fun place to play! Gardens do evolve over time, don't they? Love your screened in porch, though, and that the secret garden is once again home to the fairies. Sending hugs xo K

    1. Thank you Karen. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and, yes, the fairies are here always, even if I don't see them!..Stay well my friend, xxoJudy

  12. Everything outside is so perfect:)

    1. Thank you so much, Kinga. It is a place we enjoy so much..Stay well..xxoJudy


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