12 Outdoor Reading Spaces That Will Remind You of ‘The Secret Garden’

The outdoor retreat in The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a place of reverie and healing, and it’s hard not to imagine that it’d be the perfect place for reading, too. Picture it: Nestling into a cozy spot with a book in hand, surrounded by warm sunshine, a slight breeze, the sweet smell of flowers, and the sound of birds chirping merrily. With the arrival of spring, we’ve curated a collection of secret gardens that are perfect for spring reading. Now if only we could hire a landscaper to make one of these for us…

1. A Step Removed

The stone path and wooden footbridge gives this garden gazebo a feeling of isolation — it’s just you, your book, and nature.

2. One with Nature

The beauty in this space lies in its continuity with nature. The gazebo is built from fallen trees and reaching it requires a stroll through the woods. The lanterns will allow for reading even after sunset, when the crickets start chirping and fireflies appear.

3. A Room of Roses

Imagine the scent as you settle in to read on this secluded bench among roses.

4. A Sophisticated Spot

Although not so much “hidden,” chandeliers suspended from the tree make a classy outdoor reading spot.

5. The Shady Nook

A bench beneath lush branches in a shaded garden surrounded by colorful flowers makes for a serene reading spot with little worry of sunburn.

6. Hidden Comforts

The curved path and wooden arch that lines up with the branches of the trees gives this spot the feeling of a “secret entry” just like Mr. Craven’s.

7. Calm and Cozy

A post-reading afternoon nap is definitely happening in this cozy secret garden spot.

8. A Garden Retreat

Forget the nap — start a reading session in this removed garden retreat, and you’re likely to end up spending the night!

9. Walled and Wonderful

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a walled space on their property, but there’s no denying those that do have the ability to create the ultimate secret garden.

10. Sweet Surroundings

It’s all about the details in this secret reading spot. We love the mint chairs, the iron arbor for the climbing roses, and the quaint garden statues. Ideally, a real rabbit (or perhaps a friendly robin à la The Secret Garden) will cross your path while you read.

11. All the Green

The lush design in this space makes it feel like Mary’s secret garden when she first happened upon it.

12. Tucked Away

Ultimately, the perfect secret garden will make you feel like you’re tucked away and removed from the world even when you’re not — and this shady spot does exactly that.