My very first book that I read as a child was the Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett I was enthralled at how the transformation of this secret space was inextricably linked to the transformation of the children’s lives. I have always loved gardens. My childhood memories include swinging on the swing Santa Claus gave me, climbing up walls and trees, and clambering across the roof of our greenhouse to peek over the walls into other people’s gardens.
The Secret Garden is the culmination of: living beside the sea; holidays in Northern Ireland’s lake district; Fairy tales and Irish legends; the story of Noah’s Ark; Arabian Nights; and Beatrix Potter’s tales. Sensory Processing and Attachment Theories have provided me with the grown up excuse for creating this magical Tir na nÓg* space. Everyone who enters the space is invited to let go and become a child again. The idea is to have fun and reconnect with the magic of mythical beliefs.
Creating the garden has been a wonderful journey involving my husband, my grown up children, artists, craftsmen, and workmen in the building trades. My aim has been to provide a special therapeutic place for children and adults who have suffered trauma. Because of that everyone involved in the garden has personally sought to do their best and more. I regard their efforts as part of the healing energy in the garden.
The garden is still very much a work in progress. The spaces will be revealed as they become more mature and complete.