Uncovered secrets

During his self-isolation husband Stuart is unearthing secrets in the White House garden. What began as a bit of trimming back overgrown hedging has turned into archeology. First he found a flagged path, then some wall, then a step in the wall, and then, a brick pathway lying underneath lawn.

I have no idea what else he will find but it is certainly intriguing. Past occupants of the White House put in these features, others covered them up, or time covered them over.

This enterprise has called to mind my favourite read as a child: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published in 1911. No, I’m not that old but it had become a classic by the time I got to read it in the 60’s. It has always stuck with me for two reasons I think. The adventure that unfolds through the breathing new life into a long-neglected garden, especially a hidden garden, gripped me. It probably sowed my love of gardening. The second reason is simple. It was the first story to make me cry. I can still remember the joy of reading the moment when Colin’s father sees the son he has always thought a cripple and likely to die, run out through the door of the secret garden into his arms and proudly announce that he has beaten local lad Dickon (my first heart-throb) in a race.

During this time of enforced staying at home you may also be getting stuck into sorting out something neglected, something put off – the garden, the kitchen cupboards, the attic…? Or maybe you are enjoying time for a good read! What is the book that has stuck with you? Why not send me your favourite reads?!