Gardening Guides

21 Magical Secret Garden Designs for Your Perfect Getaway

Why create your own secret garden? A secret garden is an intimate place where you can calm your senses and relax. It has all the benefits of a garden plus the intimacy you need to ensure that nobody disturbs you while you're there. In this post, we'll explore together wonderful secret garden designs that can inspire you to recreate a magical place for yourself and your loved ones. Forget your cares and worries, and let's tip-toe together into your next secret garden!

Whether you live in an area with unlimited wilderness at your doorstep or have only three square meters outside, creating a chill space perfect for you is achievable without breaking the bank.

The wonderful thing about secret gardens, alongside their privacy, is that you can personalize them to your taste.

You just need a bit of creativity--and the right ideas to get you started!

Creating Your Perfect Secret Garden

In choosing a spot for your garden, select an area where you feel comfortable sitting or just hanging out.

Picture what you will be doing during this time, whether that be reading a book, watching a movie, painting, or hanging out with friends.

Tip: Knowing beforehand what you will do in the secret garden can help you choose the ideal design for you and use your resources effectively.

mug in secret garden
mug in secret garden

There are many aspects to think about when developing your ideas, such as the layout, furniture, color schemes, lighting, and decor.

Choosing colors that you find calming is also important as the colors alone--apart from the obvious greens--can create a relaxing ambiance.

We believe your secret garden should be a reflection of who you are and what you stand for. So, the best approach to creating one is to take a piece of paper.

Tip: First jot down the ideas, all of them, in no particular order. Then at the back draw a simple design of your garden.

It's easy, it's fast, and it will commit your plan to paper which will make it easier to put into practice.

Best Secret Garden Designs

To inspire you to create your own magical nook of greenery, we've put together a list of magical secret garden ideas with photos. Explore it now!

1. Zen Secret Garden

This design with stones, ornaments, and a statue focuses on the aesthetics and can be an inspired choice for small backyards and other tiny spaces.

secret garden features
secret garden features

The sculptures and small plants give it a calming mysterious atmosphere, perfect for meditation or just to clear your thoughts.

2. Secret Garden with Archways

Your first impression as you walk into your garden is important so creating a beautiful natural archway is perfect.

floral archway secret garden
floral archway secret garden

Wrapping flower vines or long plants around an arc structure is a common design. Creating an archway purely out of greenery can be beautiful, too.

3. Aquatic Touch Secret Garden

Water can be soothing whether it's flowing or sits quietly in a pond, full of reflections. It can induce a meditative state and promote relaxtion.

aquatic garden features
aquatic garden features

Creating a small pond or placing flowing water features in your garden can help you finally achieve that feng shui effect you've been looking for.

4. Magical Fairy Garden

If you prefer to chill outside during the evening, lighting is essential to add to your garden. It will give it a more soothing and relaxing ambiance. And you won't be sitting in the dark, either!

fairy garden lights
fairy garden lights

Wrap fairy lights around your trees, bushes, plants, or ornaments. Another option is to fill some empty glass jars with lights or candles and hang them in safe spots.

5. Gazebo Magical Garden

Although it's great to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors for hours at a time, sometimes at least it's nice to have your home comforts around you.

gazebo magical garden
gazebo magical garden

Install a gazebo and outdoor sofa and chairs set. Choose a set with nice big cushions so you can invite friends around.

Tip: Hang some lamps or place some candles around for that nice finishing touch.

6. Quaint Corner Magical Garden

If you don't want to spend much time or money and are just looking to create a small relaxing spot, just choose a little corner in your garden and place a few chairs and a table like small cafe owners do.

secret garden terrace
secret garden terrace

This gives you the space you need and also leaves the rest of your garden to grow naturally. In other words, you get the chairs and the table and flowers minus the cement.

7. Converted Greenhouse Secret Garden

Got an old greenhouse or a barn that's not in use? Convert it into a secret garden! This is great if you want to bring the outdoors inside.

greenhouse renovation tips
greenhouse renovation tips

Make it modern and simplistic or funky and colorful. Or leave it mostly as it is to give it a rustic, vintage feel.

For this you can buy some wall hangings and hang them on the ceiling, to make your own little den.

8. Rustic Secret Garden

If you have some derelict walls or old broken sculptures, don't get rid of them! Be artistic and play around with some plants and maybe some old shed tools to create a quirky looking space.

rustic garden design ideas
rustic garden design ideas

The thing to remember about secret gardens is that they can be anything you want them to be. Creating one is a fantastic opportunity to reuse and upcycle items that otherwise may end up in the trash.

9. Japanese Secret Garden

If you practice meditation or would like to, having a Japanse garden can be wonderful. Building a small patio and buying a yoga mat or some pillows will create a space for your practice.

zen garden
zen garden

Add some features such as a little stream or some white sand to bring that zen. Then maybe some plants such as a bonsai tree or some white lilies.

bonsai tree in pot
bonsai tree in pot

Finally, place some buddha or little temple statues to complete the look.

[amazon bestseller="large buddha statue garden" items="1"]

Tip: Keep your Japanese secret garden simplistic to avoid sensory overload and make it easier to maintain.

10. Backyard Wonderland Secret Garden

You must have read Alice in Wonderland (or seen the movie) and imagined how cool it must be to escape to your own Wonderland. Well, this is a perfect opportunity to recreate that!

secret wonderland garden
secret wonderland garden

Buy or build a small gate and grow a bush around it. Create a windy stone path going around your garden.

Place some fairy lights, a few lanterns, and maybe even a fairy door on a tree to give it that wonderland vibe.

Last but not least, plant some flowers or even exotic mushrooms at the sides of the path and let them scatter over.

Tip: Small wooden signposts with directions painted on them are also a cute touch.

11. Treehouse Secret Escape Garden

This is one of the fancier ideas on our list and you may need a large garden for it. If you dreamed of having a treehouse as a kid, you can make one now in your secret garden!

treehouse design secret garden
treehouse design secret garden

You can either build one yourself or buy one pre-built and then design the interior as you please.

Either way, surround it with vegetation to give it that overgrown look and cover it in fairy lights to make it truly magical.

You can also build a stone or wooden path leading up to it or even just leave the area around it natural.

[amazon bestseller="tree house guide" items="1"]

12. Serenity Secret Garden

Sometimes all you need is a place of serenity. Water features are usually great for this as they bring calmness to your space.

serene secret garden landscape
serene secret garden landscape

Keep it simple but creative enough so that you won't get bored of it anytime soon. The thing to remember is that the bigger the pond, the harder it is to maintain, so you may want to start with something small.

13. Modern DIY Secret Garden

A more DIY approach is to buy or find some wooden planks and build yourself some garden furniture. Then cover the sitting areas with large pillows (color of your choice).

modern DIY garden furniture
modern DIY garden furniture

You can also create a roof area with beams to make it feel more enclosed.

For the decor, you can hang decorations such as small lanterns, dreamcatchers, or even make a birdhouse or bee house to attract some cute visitors.

14. The Original Secret Garden

The original Secret Garden movie is about a little girl who finds a key to a small gate that unlocks a magical secret garden in her backyard.

secret garden movie
secret garden movie

It seems untouched and natural, with lots of lush bushes and trees, filled with paths and a stream. It's a perfect place to escape reality, and your secret garden can be just like that.

Use different plant layers and lots of greenery like in the image above to build your own escape from reality, right in your backyard.

15. Traditional Tea Garden

Lay down some gravel or stay on the grass and create an area for a picnic table, benches or chairs. Surround it with large plants or some trees to make it feel cozy.

traditional garden designs
traditional garden designs

Tea has lots of health benefits, so you may want to get into the habit of drinking it too, if you don't already.

16. Vintage Landscaping Secret Garden

For a shabby chic garden, shop for antique things like the table in this image. Depending on your space, you can add other furniture items, old radios, old pots, and the like.

vintage decor garden
vintage decor garden

Upcycle old furniture that you no longer use by sanding it and painting it white.

17. Floating Secret Garden

Swinging furniture is perfect for adding a special touch to your garden and make things more comfortable.

floating furniture garden
floating furniture garden

You can purchase swinging benches or chairs to either hang from a tree or you can choose options with a stand. Either way, you want to surround them with greenery.

[amazon bestseller="garden swing" items="2"]

18. Enchanted Forest Secret Garden

If you want something more magical, lighten up your garden to look like an enchanted forest.

enchanted forest garden lights
enchanted forest garden lights

Placing different colored lights or lamps around your trees or bushes is the way to go. If you have a pond or small lake, put some floating lights or features on the water.

19. Old English Secret Garden

For a more traditional design, choose old-fashioned but charming decor such as a rustic English well or an authentic stone wall.

traditional ornaments garden
traditional ornaments garden

Tip: Red brick, uneven stones, and wood are three materials you can combine to achieve this look and create a nice interplay of textures.

20. Hammock Heaven Secret Garden

For a more outdoor nature feel, install a hammock or two. If you like a bit of fun, set up a slackline if you got space.

hammock secret garden
hammock secret garden

Place a few fairy lights in the trees so when you're laying in your hammock it feels like you're looking up at the stars. For that outdoor camping feeling, you can even build a fire pit.

[amazon bestseller="garden hammock" items="3"]

How to Create a Secret Garden

Being out in nature is highly beneficial, physically and psychologically. Filling your secret garden with plants, bushes, and ornamentals will create a refreshing natural space.

Greenery alone can add magic to your secret garden. Keep that in mind and devote a major portion of your budget to buying plants and plant seeds.

rose bush garden
rose bush garden

A mix of various plants is a great way to create a diverse area which, if you're lucky, may even attract some local wildlife.

Good to know: Purple flowers, roses, violets, and wisteria will attract butterflies and bees, whilst fruiting bushes and trees attract birds.

Step 1 - Choose the Divider

When choosing your spot, it's essential to know what kind of elements you want in your garden and how space you need.

If you already have a line of trees or bushes, use them as a divider line between your secret garden and the rest of your property.

Another option would be an arbor hung with different vines, a trellis, or some wooden fencing to create a structure for your garden. You can also use a divider or fence.

Tip: These landscaping ideas for your yard may inspire you.

Step 2 - Start Landscaping Your Secret Garden

Before placing your plants, you can build a rocky landscape to make a foundation for your secret garden.

Tip: You can find rocks in local forested areas or buy them from garden centers.

hedgehog in secret garden
hedgehog in secret garden

Various sizes are great as you can use them to create small paths, arrange them into artistic structures, or even use them to help stabilize plants as they grow.

Note: Installing structures such as fences or a pergola can make your secret garden look more formal.

Step 3 - Pick Your Plants

Choosing the right vegetation is essential in creating your perfect garden.

Growing larger bushes or plants is a great way to enclose the area and make it feel cozy, depending on your resource and space availability.

plants for secret garden
plants for secret garden

Place some smaller plants around the bushes and in the more open spaces.

You may want to plant bushes, vines, as well as flowers. Include a flowering fruit tree such as dogwoods, bayberries, cherries, and crabapples or flowering trees like magnolia trees.

These can provide food for mockingbirds, cardinals, chicks, and different sorts of wildlife and will blossom in the spring.

Tip: Airplants are great hanging plants that extract most nutrients from the air if you don't have much room on the ground.

You may also want to plant cottage flowers such as snapdragons, delphiniums, and poppies. Grow plants that can provide a fragrant smell to your garden.

Climbing plants are good to arrange around the fences or ornaments as they will overgrow them and create a more natural-looking space.

Tip: Ivy, violets, wisteria, roses, and jasmine are great climbing plants for a secret garden.

Step 4 - Add a Nice Path

A nice path will make you feel that you are actually entering a different place. Whether you choose a flagstone path, Japanese steps, or some other path design, give it the attention it deserves.

Plant any type of crawling flowers on the sides of the gate or on the trellis to give it a magical touch. Think honeysuckle, morning glories, or sweet peas.

Step 5 - Match Your Décor

Finish your garden by creating your chill space. This is where you and your guests will be sitting and enjoying the greenery and the quiet.

Include some benches or seats that match your decor, then chuck in some pillows or beanbags for comfort.

secret garden entrance
secret garden entrance

Top Secret Garden Questions Answered

We hear a lot of questions about secret gardens, so we thought we should answer the most common of them. Find them below.

How can I decide how to decorate my secret garden?

When you are choosing decor for your secret garden, choose things that reflect your creativity. We all have our own personal style, and that comes out when decorating areas like this. If you're feeling uninspired, try painting rocks, making wooden signs, or adding some figurines in. Let your imagination run wild and don't hold back!

Can a secret garden make my backyard look like a forest?

You can certainly style your garden to look like a forest if you would like. You will need to plant bushes and other green plants to get the desired effect. Flowers and vines can also add a nice touch. Keep in mind when planting these to choose a nice variety of plants that are both tall and short, and to use varying shades of green throughout your garden.

Should I add fencing to my secret garden?

Fencing can add an interesting layer to any secret garden. If you plant climbing vines, fencing can serve as a structure for them to climb up. You can also paint the posts bright colors, which can add a layer of artistry to your already unique secret garden. Learn more about how to create a secret garden.

Escape into Your Secret Garden

What could be more magical than having your very own secret garden in your backyard?

You need time for yourself. And you need a place where you can spend your time just the way you want it! A secret garden can be the perfect spot for unwinding and relaxing.

If you don't already have one, we say it's time to get creative and industrious and create one.

We shared with you lots of secret garden ideas, so you shouldn't have a hard time getting started.

backyard shed secret garden
backyard shed secret garden

A secret garden is a place to escape reality in a healthy way and let your thoughts be free. This is a perfect way to create your own little paradise, just the way you like it.

Let your secret garden be your own little haven. Create one for yourself and make your fantasies come true!

And tell us how it all goes! We'd love to hear from you, so drop us a comment or find us on social media. Good luck!

Foter Magazine is a premier architecture, decoration, interiors and design website. We inspire and guide you to make your home a more attractive place.


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