Friday, 26 February 2016

Enchanted Places ... A Secret Garden


It's a wonderful feeling when you come across something unexpected.
I was being the intrepid explorer - wandering into the unknown.
It was a patch of land behind a churchyard that first aroused my curiosity.
Venturing in, I did not know what I would find - probably trespassing on private property.
There were firs and tree saplings, old dried out grasses and ivy scrambling along the ground.
It was eerily quiet.
I spotted a clearing, and then gasped in surprise, there, right in front of me, was a woodland glade full of snowdrops.



Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something else.
An old dilapidated building.
In the middle of this wildwood.
Three plastered walls; the roof long fallen in, roof tiles shattered on the floor like a terracotta mosaic;  glassless windows with ivy hanging like curtains.





My imagination went into overdrive; what was the building used for? Who had lived there? Why had it been abandoned?
I went inside to get the feel of the place but it held on to its secrets.  It remains a mystery.

I called out to my husband excitedly - 'Look what I have found'.
I could hear him approaching as he stepped on fallen twigs; the cracking and snapping echoing round this secret place.
We poked around for a while searching for clues - but found nothing.

I had originally been hunting for aconites to photograph, and instead found a snowdrop wood and the romance of a mysterious building, or at least the remains of one.  It made my day (it doesn't take much to make me happy)!

Behind dark, twining ivy
On an old Victorian wall
Where moths and small flies flutter
And spiders weave and crawl
There's a rusty lock that's hidden
In a peeling old oak door
They who find the key are bidden
To unlock a treasure store
For behind those creaky hinges
lies a garden of delights
Only known to special people
Who appreciate such sights.

M. Nash ~ The Secret Garden


Elaine

59 comments:

  1. What a lovely discovery, Elaine! It's certainly a place to make you think of mysteries and stories. The snowdrops have obviously spread here unchecked and look beautiful.

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    1. It was just so unexpected Wendy - that's what made it so special. You just never know what you will find when you do a little off the cuff exploring. I think I will go back in May-ish to see if there are bluebells in there.

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  2. What a wonderful find, snowdrops and an old ruin. It reminds me of when I was a child we would all troop off into the woods and play around the empty shell of the old keeper's cottage - mysterious and a bit scary too. I'm sure you could dig in history books or archives to find out what the building used to be - but then that would take away the thrill of the unknown:)

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    1. Many years ago I explored another part of this estate and found a beautiful grotto with running water and ferns in crevices - I wonder if that's still there?

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  3. Everyone wants to find a secret garden - and you did! Thank you for describing it so beautifully so that we could share it too.

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    1. I agree - this wasn't a 'real' garden but it was exciting to come upon it unexpectedly - I would love to know what the building was.

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  4. I love snowdrops en masse - our aconites haven't shown up yet!

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    1. Me Too Sue - perhaps it was a little early for me to go aconite hunting - I shall keep trying.

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  5. Beautiful.............and so mysterious.

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    1. It was both of these things Cheryl. Hope you are keeping well - I have missed our little chats.

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  6. Elaine - how wonderful, and exciting.
    Your photo's look lovely.

    Enjoy your Friday and have a lovely weekend too.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan - you have a good weekend too.

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  7. Elaine, if you were to write a book, I'd curl up by the fire to read it. I wonder what it would be about? Fairies in the garden, a damsel hidden behind the garden wall, or brave young woman setting to escape the wall? Living on the drylands, I find the woodlands magical and mythical then you add snowdrops in the wild, and I'll be daydreaming of a visit to England. I shall call my travel buddy and see if I can pry her lose from her life for an adventure. Well, now. You have gotten my day of a good start. Thank you.

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    1. Ha ha - this would definitely be the place to inspire fairy tales. There are lots of small woodlands around here and hopefully I will get round to exploring them all. I do love a good adventure. Have a good weekend my friend.

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  8. Lovely post and pictures. What a wonderful discovery. You'll have to try and find out all about it. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty,. I may well just do that.

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  9. What a wonderful adventure!
    And so lucky to time it just right for the snowdrop season.
    I wonder what the history of the place is...
    All the best :)

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    1. It was Pat - I do love a bit of exploring, you never know what you might find. I know a little of the history but may look further into it just to satisfy my curiosity.

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  10. I love mysterious places. May be it's good not to know the history and leave this to our imagination.
    So beautiful to discover so many snowdrops together in the woodland.

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    1. It was a delight Janneke - great to see so many flowers in such a neglected area. Mother Nature at her best.

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  11. Elaine, I bet you just had a ball. Lovely walk. I always wish I had taken a spade, metal finder and this and that when I go exploring. Watch out for nails on wood when exploring buildings. Found that out the hard way.

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    1. I did Donna - perhaps because it happened out of the blue. I will heed your advice about nails. Thanks.

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  12. What a brilliant find and that drift of snowdrops is fantastic. As a child "The Secret Garden" was one of my favourite books. Will you be revisiting through the seasons?

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    1. Yes, I think I will go back and see if there are any bluebells later in the year - who knows what else I might find.

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  13. What a wonderful discovery. I always feel these moments are special gifts.

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    1. Absolutely Susan - that's just what I thought.

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  14. Such an abundance of snowdrops, how very, very lovely! And the discovery is exciting, Elaine.

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    1. I was thrilled Britta - especially as I didn't expect to see them or the mysterious ruin, for that matter.

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    2. By the way: I love Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret Garden very much - and the film is quite nice too.

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  15. The sight of your photos of the snowdrops made me gasp! What a magical place to find. You'll have to make up a story about the dwelling.

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    1. I love to see flowers en masse - just as Nature intended. I have already made up several stories in my mind about the old building - but I fear that in real life it was probably very mundane.

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  16. What an amazing discovery, in a bed of snowdrops too. I wonder if an old map would give you any clues as to its use/purpose?

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    1. I have checked this out and it looks like it was probably the old Sunday school building - being so near to the Church - I was hoping for something a bit more romantic!

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  17. How wonderful the whole place is and those snowdrops - I have never seen so many.

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    1. I know Susan really lovely - a magical place.

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  18. I love it! A secret garden, indeed! The photos are wonderful. Do you feel at all inspired to make up a story about what the building was and who lived or worked there? It seems to me perfect fodder for fiction!

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    1. I agree it would be an ideal starting point for a story - who knows, I may give it a go and see where it leads me.

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  19. What a wonderful place, lovely to see all the flowers
    Amanda xx

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    1. It was a lovely sight Amanda and to find an old building too - wonderful.

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  20. The snowdrop glade is enchanting.
    I loved reading about the abandoned building, and you stumbling onto it. Forty years ago when we lived outside of Philadelphia we stumbled onto the ruins of an old manor house. For the three years we lived down there I visited the ruin often, finding shards of old china ware, bits of silverware and other interesting flotsam. I love a mystery!

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    1. It was an exciting find although not as good as yours, we found nothing but old roof tiles. Thanks for visiting.

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  21. How utterly enchanting! What a treasure to come across, highlighted by the path of snowdrops, leading to a mysterious secret. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experience just so.

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    1. It was the last thing I expected to find it was quite thrilling.

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  22. How lovely to be out wandering and come across an unexpected and enchanting mystery - only the snowdrops know its secrets.

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    1. Absolutely I wonder what else is lurking in there I think I will have to go back and investigate further.

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  23. What a mysterious place. I love to stumble across unusual and unexpected places hidden away. Would be fascinating to find out what the building was used for. It is very atmospheric. Have a great week ahead!

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    1. A mysterious place indeed, something I just hadn't expected to find. Enjoy your week.

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  24. Wonderful and abundant snowdrops and so lovely to see the yellow of daffodils too!

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    1. I do love to see drifts of any flowers - this was a lovely find.

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  25. What a wonderful place to stumble upon. There is always something magical about finding a glade of snowdrops they are beautiful enmass aren't they.

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    1. It was indeed, the snowdrops were a delightful find.

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  26. I love abandoned buildings Elaine ..... so mysterious and what stories they could tell ..... they also make wonderful photographs as yours show !!
    ...... and, snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers, maybe because they are out on my birthday. Such a pretty glade..... have you never come across the snowdrops or abandoned building before ? XXXX

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    1. No I hadn't seen them before which added to the pleasure of my explorations. There are so many questions that abandoned buildings raise - this was definitely a mystery.

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  27. Oh what a truly beautiful secret garden. I adore places that have a mystery to them. What a fun discovery. Perhaps you will have to revisit this spot. Who knows maybe there will be some lovely bluebells blooming there later. Hugs!

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    1. That's just what I thought Debbie - and I will go back later on to see what else is flowering - maybe I'll strike it lucky with bluebells.

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  28. That was a wonderful find, those snowdrops look such a picture. The secret garden was one of my favourite childhood books. I always feel so sad for abandoned buildings, will you be able to discover it's story? Sarah x

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    1. I have done a bit of detective work and it seems it was probably a Sunday school building as it is quite near to the church. I do love a mystery.

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  29. How exciting! I would have gone exploring into that old building, too and the snowdrops are wonderful! I prefer them in large masses.

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    1. It was exciting Tammy - I have an explorers spirit and love little adventures, especially when it turns up unexpected things.

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