Secret Garden Coloring Book

I just wandered upon the most intriguing book. Only this book is not intended for mere reading. Not at all. In fact, it’s enchantingly interactive, a meditative marvel for the gardener whose hands feel unproductive this time of year. I feel myself being drawn in just by looking at the cover, don’t you?


Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the book’s title is Secret Garden, but it is not Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic. This nouveau garden grew, page by page, in the hands of Scottish self-proclaimed “ink evangelist” Johanna Basford, who subtitled her lush botanical adventure, An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book.

“Go on a ramble through a world of secret gardens created in beautifully detailed pen-and-ink illustrations—all waiting to be brought to life through coloring, but each also sheltering all kinds of tiny creatures just waiting to be found,” reads the book’s back cover. “And there are also bits of the garden that still need to be completed by your hand.”

Lest you dismiss Secret Garden’s peek-a-boo puzzles and mind-twisting mazes and as a “kids-only” kind of undertaking, watch this:

Looks to me like more than enough twists, turns, tendrils, and tangles to keep even the most mature mind occupied throughout the cold months of the year.

Basford’s work reminds me of gorgeously garden-themed Zentangles, so I can see how the two could be intertwined—a doodling farmgirl’s dream! Here’s another little video of the artistic author at work that is bound to inspire your own inner creative garden to flourish:

If you find yourself loving Secret Garden so much that you wish you could share your work with friends far and wide, extend your talents to Basford’s Secret Garden: 20 Postcards, which can be decorated, detached, and mailed.

And, mark your calendars—I noticed that a new book by Johanna is due to be released in March of 2015, Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book. I can’t wait to get lost in its wooded wonderland …


Photo by Immanuel Giel via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, such intricate and detailed drawings flowing over the pages. I like the video of Joanna doing the actual creations. The coloring book would be delightful for any child to receive this Christmas for those times when you feel like getting lost in tangles of flowers and bees. I bet her new book will be equally intriguing and fun!

  2. Deborah McKissic says:

    Ohh…this is a nice idea for winter time with the grandkids! They love to, do I , along with them. But, I also was the one in my master gardeners class that would sit with colored pencils and color in all the black and white sketchings in our huge master gardener notebook…and, the cover page of our notebook was absolutely beautiful but much more so when colored in….My mom is an artist and does beautiful sketches, paintings, etc. This would be a nice stocking stuffer for her on those cold, wintery days in her Va. cabin in the woods. So, off to amazon I go…..

  3. bobbie Calgaro says:

    I already own this book. It is absolutely lovely and wonderfully relaxing to color in. You can’t go wrong to have it as an inspiration and relaxation tool.

  4. Nancy Coughlin says:

    Looking forward to getting this book and sitting down with it and my colored pencils. As Bobbie and Deborah have already said, they enjoy coloring too. It is so relaxing and provides me with the quiet time I need to center and find the inner core of strength that sometimes seems to go into hiding.

  5. wow I sof failed at coloring, I could never keep within the lines, i was a total failure, this book would make me crazy I’m sorry to say.But for others I’m sure it would be a treasure.

  6. Tonya Waggoner says:

    I love Mary Janes Farm! I always read it (no, devour it) from cover to cover. I look forward to receiving it in the mail; I realize this is considered pretty ‘old school’-but I am, too. We live on a little 35 acre place where we have numerous critters, grow a few herbs & recently hosted two sizable wedding receptions, our oldest son’s and our niece’s, in our old barn! We had a great time with it & we’re thinking about using it as a venue now.
    The Secret Garden coloring book is so intriguing…I had been looking at adult coloring as a way to relax.

  7. Karen Pennebaker says:

    I enjoy all the little asides that I find throughout the magazine, in various columns, etc. Actually, I enjoy the entire magazine and send it as a gift every year to a young woman I know who would love to have a big enough place to farm. I live on 112 acres in Almost Heaven, WV that my late husband and I bought many, many years ago. Nearly all of the land is woodland and literally “in the middle of nowhere”, which I love!

  8. Keri Dunkelberger says:

    I am new to MaryJanes Farm and I feel like I have found a kindred spirit! I love all of the tips and insight offered, as well as seeing projects that make my normally non-crafty fingers, tingle with anticipation! I also appreciate all of the reader contributions! Thanks for a great read!!!

  9. JACQUIE WEGER says:

    I am also new to Mary Jane’s Farm and find it to be a treasure trove of inspiration, information and just plain fun. I am looking forward to going through the seasons of the year with you. Thank You so very much for all your effort and hard work.

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