I’m currently reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett to F. We have the hardback edition of the book illustrated by Inga Moore, and it’s exquisite. I started reading this to her when she was younger – maybe when she was three, but it was a little too much for her then. She’s more than ready now – the chapters are long and detailed and she hardly stirs while I read, and then she begs for another one at its finish.
We’re on Chapter 16 now, just as spring is starting to arrive on the moor. Mary has discovered the secret garden, still gray and overgrown from years of neglect.
She’s met Dickon, and together they are coaxing new life out of the garden. Green things are starting to appear and the garden is beginning to awaken. Mary’s discovered the disagreeable Colin, and we’re getting close to the start of the friendship between these three in their secret hideaway.
This book is perfect reading for this time of the year. When I finally close the book each night, I’m amazed that I can read page after page after page of descriptions of tiny green points pushing through the earth, or the discovery of lighter green parts on gray vines, and F is completely engaged – almost holding her breath with anticipation. We’re headed to Biltmore Estates in a few days, and I’m looking forward to wandering through the gardens with her. I know that it will be cool and damp and early springlike there, with little color outside of green, but I don’t care. I love an awakening garden almost more than its showier version later in the season. We’ll pack this book and take it with us while we look for secret gardens along the way.
Find this title at your local independent bookstore. Happy reading!