The Secret Garden

We’ll still be able to get our weekly bunch of flowers come the Revolution (Brexit).  We shan’t need to worry about just-in-time-deliveries via the Dutch flower trade.  We’ll carry on just as we are, strolling to The Secret Garden, just outside Ripon, to choose a bunch of just-picked seasonal blooms.

On Saturdays, as you arrive there, you’ll find a somewhat retro caravan – this one.

Look inside, and there are jugs and buckets crammed with bunches of flowers chosen and gathered by the Secret Garden’s owner, Victoria Ramshaw.  Every bunch includes a mix of varieties that complement and enhance each other.  Every bunch was picked the previous day and plunged into water overnight to be ready to arrange, tied with raffia and presented in a twist of brown paper. Pick one up… then another …. it’s hard to choose….

Now you’ll need to go and pay.  Wander up the garden to Victoria’s hut, and enjoy a chat with her.  Listen to the River Laver as it tumbles and jostles alongside.  Watch the butterflies and listen to the bees.  Spend time looking at the flowers.  Enjoy the moment, even though the garden’s now just past its best and a bit end-of-termish. Take your flowers home, and as you look at them, you’ll remember the pleasure you had choosing them, and taking a few moments out from the daily round.

It sure beats cramming a bunch of chrysanthemums into your trolley as you do your weekly shop.

This is an entry for  Fan of….. #9


Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

38 thoughts on “The Secret Garden”

  1. Oo love the look of this. It’s a kind of upmarket version of people selling flowers at their garden gates in country lanes. Some folk still do that round the Suffolk villages.

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    1. She does point out that it can be mighty cold gathering flowers in the English dawn and plunging your hands into buckets of icy water! Summer-time Saturday girl more appealing perhaps?


  2. In the same way as I like to eat seasonally, I like to buy in season flowers if I’ve not got any to spare in the garden. Whatever happens with B….. it wouldn’t worry me if I never saw another Dutch flower lorry!

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  3. I’m glad you live near enough to be able to support the Secret Garden. I have a lot of respect for florists and especially for those who grow their own material. It’s hard work, and not easy to compete against mass production – not many people are willing to go out of their way to treat themselves to fresh flowers. I often look at bunches of flowers and wonder how on earth they got to the supermarket for not much more than £1 a bunch. Even daffodils. How do they do it?

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    1. Well, exactly. But these are so delightful, and the ‘back story’ that brings them to our table adds so much value to them. Long may the Secret Garden remain an open secret!


    1. Definitely. And one thing I found odd about France – our bit, anyway, was that flowers, which did tend to get sold by small producers in markets, were often at or just past their best, rather than still having a promising future. This was especially true of daffodils, which were never sold in bud. Still, if that’s all I had to complain about …..

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  4. We have a “Secret Garden” here in Newbury, too: a bit of reclaimed land the other side of the canal lock that had been virtually abandoned and was very overgrown. I’ve been part of a team of volunteers making a nice area of flowers at the front for the Britain in Bloom competition. It’s an ongoing project and will eventually have seating areas, a sensory garden, etc. along with a proper bridge so visitors can get to it. For now we have to scale the perilous lock crossing every time, carrying all needed garden tools!

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