The Secret Garden

We have many beautiful local parks where we live. You would never believe it from the reputation it has as a grey industrial city. But it’s one of the greenest cities I’ve ever visited and it happens to be where we live. I doubt we would still be here if it wasn’t for the plethora of parks. That and it’s convenience for getting out and about to the wonderful countryside that surrounds us!

There’s a local park I know well. When my daughter was a baby I used to spend many an hour pushing her through there as it was just round the corner from our home. It’s where she first smiled as she lay looking up at the trees.

It’s a lovely expanse of wide open green spaces, with unusual and unexpected little moments within it. These I already knew about because it used to be the formal gardens of a country house owned by the Cartland family (that of Barbara fame.) It has always had a slight air of mystery for me because there is very much the sense of something lying hidden beneath all the over growing nettles and brambles. If you take a side path you can suddenly find yourself walking on a tiled floor or looking at something that looks very like a walled garden. Only the wall is crumbling and there is only one section.

My sister now lives close by it, so we decided to explore some new paths she told us about. As the weather was predicted to be rubbish yet again we snuck out before it was due to rain. What we found was really like a secret garden. There’s a pond (just about recognisable through the undergrowth) and a viewing platform that must have led down from the house. We found so many places we’d never seen before and it rally did feel magical.

Apparently it is totally thanks to local volunteers that we are now able to enjoy areas that were once fenced off. How fantastic are these people to open up such a wonderful secret garden for us all to enjoy. Its the kind of thing that fills me with joy.

Needless to say my two had loads of fun. Eldest was busily practising the new found climbing skills she learnt over halt term:
tree climbing
tree climbing
And of course, we couldn’t have left without the obligatory staff:
outdoor activities
And I pretty much had to give up on getting any photo’s of my son as he tore around after his big sister:
running
But I did get this shot, which I thought was rather lovely and summed up the day really:
portrait
I love feeling like we’ve discovered something new and exciting, don’t you?