June 2013


The Secret Garden

By: Frances Hodgson Burnett

This classic novel shares the story of Mary Lennox, a lonely, ill-tempered girl orphaned in India by her parents' death and sent to live at her uncle's estate in England. Neglected once again, she begins exploring the estate and discovers a mysterious, abandoned garden that has been locked and forgotten for many years. Aided by a local boy, Dickon, she begins restoring the garden and finds that she is growing happier and healthier herself. Mary eventually discovers other secrets of the manor, and she learns that miracles take place in the Secret Garden!


  1. In The Secret Garden, Mary learns that growing a garden can be a rewarding and rejuvenating experience. You and your family can enjoy time together by growing a garden or planting this summer. In Tennessee, June can be a great time to plant beans, corn, herbs, tomatoes and more, and the Pick Tennessee Products website can help you find fruits and vegetables that are in season. We have enjoyed building a garden of our own at the Tennessee Residence, and you can visit our Residence blog to track progress of the garden at Tennessee's home.

  2. With five types of forest, over 4,000 plant species and more species of trees than in all of Europe, Tennessee is a treasure of natural resources. You and your family can visit Tennessee's many arboreta and garden places to learn about our native flora and discover Tennessee's breathtaking diversity. This website can help you find an arboreta or garden near you: www.tnvacation.com/nature-outdoors/plants-wildlife/gardens-arboreta/.

  3. This year's Summer Reading theme "Dig into Reading!" featured at public libraries throughout Tennessee inspires children discover a variety of topics through reading. There are thousands of books to choose from on the library shelves and many of them feature nature and garden themes. Visit your local public library or Tennessee's Electronic Library online to read books with new topics this summer. Online books can be convenient for families who cannot get to their local library as often as they would like!

  4. In The Secret Garden, Mary finds that she becomes happier and more energized with the growth of her uncle's garden. Do you think the author compares a child to a garden? What can help a child grow into a happy and healthy person? Discuss with your family activities that you might do this summer to help you learn and grow!