Wednesday 24 July 2013

A secret hidey-hole ...

Most people must be able to remember a secret place where they loved to go, as a child. The den in the shrubs, or up on a bough of an old apple tree or in a corner of the garden shed. When you recreate those places in your mind, the safe, warm feeling comes flooding back. Those secret places made you feel secure and protected from the world at large. When everything conspired against you, it was a place you could go to for solace. If you were in trouble at home or school, temporarily without a playmate or just plain sad, it was the place to head to.

My own children had a series of dens around the garden, and I remember us all being together in one of them, which was in the middle of a huge Box shrub, furnished with little stone seats. Outside it was raining hard and there was a huge storm. Inside, we were safe and dry, listening to the sound of the raindrops. It brought back those feelings from my own childhood very vividly, and I could see through my children's eyes for a brief moment.

So, as adults, does that need for a secret hidey-hole still exist? And if it exists, where do we go to get that fuzzy, warm feeling. There is so much to escape from in the real world, and we are accessible at all times by mobile or computer.

I have a place, way down the garden, where there is no phone, tv or laptop. No one can reach me, or even find me !

It is hidden away in the sub tropical garden, tucked away from sight, flanked by trellis covered in honeysuckle.

It smells of warm wood and dust and is full of only the things you REALLY need !

It contains a lantern, some candles, rickety chairs, cushions covered with bonfire spark burns, something to read  ('Gardener's World 2009'... honest !), a snuggle blanket to wrap up in when it gets chilly and some matches. Oh, and a bottle opener and corkscrew, naturally!

On summer nights we can sit down there through the growing twilight, talking, drinking a glass or two of wine, listening to the owls and the church clock chiming.

When I want to climb off the world for a little while, I can go down on my own and read, nap, or just ... sit ! The world seems very far away, and I can feel again that childlike feeling of being safe and secure.

If I want to look at the sky through a canopy of leaves, I can go and lie in the hammock (harder than it sounds - getting in is a real art !). I can swing gently and listen to the birds until I am ready to walk up the garden again and enter the world of phones and laptops again.


  1. This is lovely! I want one too!!!! One day, one day...until then I'll have to settle for my walk in closet!

  2. Ah, but does it have copies of gardening magazines from 2009 !! (Why don't I replace them !!)

  3. Ohhh! What I wouldn't give for one of those hidey-hole retreats! I love my cashew-tree 'room' with the umbrella-shaped canopy almost touching the ground, but it won't keep me dry in our monsoon season. Nor can I stash cushions (the rock seats can be hard to perch on after the first 10 minutes) or magazines. Hmmmm ... I'm feeling so deprived!

    (Jane, I must tell you that when you commented on my post, I clicked on your hyperlinked name and Blogger took me to 'hoeoegrow.blogspot' and said it didn't exist. Then I remembered reading your post about the new blog and typed out the missing 'h' and reached here. If it's an error on Blogger's part you may want to contact them about it. I'm sure that a lot of interested readers will be losing their way trying to reach here.)

    1. Hi Sunita. Thankyou for your comments. Your cashew tree room sounds fantastic. I bet it is lovely and cool in there !

      Thanks so much for the heads-up about the hyper-link. I will check it out now, but I have a funny feeling that the error is human and ... all mine ! I think I typed it, as the default is Google+

  4. Oh gosh, I need one of those places! Actually, I guess my back screen porch partially serves that purpose. It's a little messier than your garden getaway, though. Love it!

  5. Hi Plantpostings.

    your back screen porch sounds just fine , as long as you can't hear the house phone ringing , and you have no service on your mobile :-)

  6. Wonderful hiding place Jane. Lovely shed and comfortable hammock. The last pic, a fern? The foliage is beautiful and I love how you snapped the picture :-D

  7. Thanks Stephanie. The last photo is a Tree fern which we have to coddle over winter as it hates the frost ! It is very happy in the sun at the moment !

  8. That is a beautiful hidey-hole. I hope one day to have something similar. At the moment there's just nothing grown big enough for me to hide behind so I have to stick with the cubbyhole under the stairs :)

  9. Hi Grace - I remember that waiting ! Things grow so slowly when you are watching them !!

  10. I remember an small area at the bottom of our garden for us three boys to play. It was actually a "digging area" where we could do (almost) anything we wanted. Inevitably the weeds would grow very tall, covering us so as not to be seen as we were searching for fairy treasure (we were too far from the sea for any pirate treasure to be found).
    I'm now 65 and many people that I've talked to, of a wide variety of ages, have very fond memories of a part of the garden like that.

  11. A digging area sounds like fantastic freedom ! I hope today's children have the same kind of experiences as we did alongside all their other opportunities.

  12. digging areas - yes! kids love mud. and other 'toys'. look at this -


Thanks for visiting and reading.
I really welcome comments and have learned much from them, over the years of leaning over the virtual garden gate ...