Secret Garden

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Tucked away behind a gate is a secret garden in the concrete jungle. A secret getaway to eat your lunch or to sit and listen to the peace and quiet.

The sensory garden in the grounds of St Anthony’s Hall used to be a playground when the hall was a Blue Coat School. Now it has been transformed into an island of texture, an oasis of calm and a verdant haven nestling in a sea of concrete. The garden was designed by students at Bishop Burton College who were asked to make it user friendly for the disabled, the partially sighted and the blind.

The beautiful flowers of the Cornus bloom in the garden.

The upper part of the garden has retained the lines of all the original pathways with the addition of a water rill. These meander their way up to the City walls, from where you can look down and best appreciate the overall pattern of the garden.

Elements of spirituality, practicality, education and historical timelines have all provided inspiration for the garden design.

Heraldic Courtyard Area

Transparent grasses catch the light; the scent of lavenders catches the air.

Tactile plants such as Lambs Ears make it difficult for the visitor not to touch and interact with the flowers. The central ‘wavy’ sculpture mimics the wavy grasses which form a linking theme throughout the garden, adding movement and texture.

The circle haven is entered through one of the four metal arches which follow the same design as the other metalwork within the garden.

Box squares either side of the seating provide all year structure and texture whilst the Katsura trees, Sedum and naturalised meadow planting envelop the visitor with colour and a wildlife haven. The air is filled with the scent of thyme and the red-barked cherry tree and under-planting of pink-leaved Cornus provide a focal point as people sit and relax.

Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

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