The Secret Garden has always been one of my favorite stories. In fact, my sister claims that I married my beautiful husband because I finally found my Dickon.
She may be onto something.
Plus, it’s a totally mysterious and uplifting story that rocks my socks off.
The Secret Garden Flower Study
Several years ago, the boys and I read Burnett’s classic about a sickly, contrary girl who moves to the English countryside when she is orphaned and finds a key to a secret garden and friendships that changed her life. We did a garden/flower study while we read, and the book meant so much more to us because of the fun we were having.
It’s easy to do a flower study with this book, because the flowers in the garden play such an important role. Also, you can go about it several different ways, and all of them will get your kids outside. Win!Get outside this summer for a fun flower study with The Secret Garden and a free printable flower bookClick To Tweet
Plant a Secret Garden
Probably the best way to get your kiddos really feeling what Mary, Colin, and Dickon experience is to buy seeds, bulbs, or seedlings and plant your own Secret Garden.
If you have the space, you can grow every flower mentioned in the book. (There are A LOT. Just flipping through I found 18. And I’m betting I missed some.)
Even if you can’t grow every single flower mentioned, you could find 5 or 6 favorites and grow a small garden that would be beautiful. The great thing about growing the garden is that you can also incorporate a plant life cycle lesson. Your kids will also learn not only what it takes to grow flowers but about responsibility and how sticking with a plan can bring about great results.
Life lessons and scholarly lessons at the same time? I’m in.
Visit a public/botanical garden
Maybe you don’t have a place to grow a garden or you don’t want to wait for your garden to flower. I get that. Kids are impatient!
Visit a local public garden and search for the flowers from the book. Many of the flowers mentioned are quite common and will probably be on display somewhere.
Grab this free printable and get a list of the flowers I saw mentioned plus some other fun and educational stuff you can use while you read.
Study Flower books
Before you head outside to find the flowers, learn more about them by studying gardening books.
The Flower Gardener’s Bible lists over 400 and includes information on many of them and pictures that will help your kids identify flowers like delphiniums, larkspurs, and hibiscus.
American Horticultural Society’s Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers is another in-depth book that lists flowers with their pictures and growing information.
Annuals, Perennials, & Bulbs For Your Home is a smaller book that is jam-packed with information on flowers.
Especially if you’re going to try to grow some of the flowers, you should check out one of these books to make sure the blooms can survive in your hardiness zone and what, if any, special care they need.
Find a garden to read in
The best way to enjoy reading The Secret Garden is to read it together in a garden. I am 100% convinced of that. Reading aloud is such a bonding experience, no matter what ages your kids are. Getting outside and letting your kids enjoy the fruits of a garden while listening to Mary’s story makes the experience so much richer.
If you don’t have a garden of your own, borrow a friend’s or neighbor’s. Head on over to that public garden. Hey, if you paid to get in, who are they to tell you how to spend your time?
I know. I’m such a rebel.
A Reading Nerd Rebel.
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