Education & Family
by Aspect County

Son of the Secret Gardener

The story of the gardening father and son behind the children’s classic, The Secret Garden

Son of the Secret Gardener Cover JPG

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden (1911) remains one of the most popular children’s books of all time. Burnett based the story on her own beautiful and extensive garden at Maytham Hall in Rolvenden, Kent. At the time, the Head Gardener was George Owen Millum and it was he that Burnett drew inspiration from for the fictional gardener in her novel, Ben Weatherstaff.

About Son of the Secret Gardener
The story, Son of the Secret Gardener stems from George Millum’s time as a country house gardener. When Trevor Millum discovered the diaries of his father, he decided that they should be celebrated and made available for everyone to enjoy and, in the process, to tell the story of his green-fingered father and grandfather. The result is this engaging book, destined to become a much-loved novel for gardeners and nature lovers alike. 

Written and compiled by Trevor Millum, with extracts from his father’s diaries, this is an absorbing and entertaining read for all, which details the lives of workers on the country estates during the 1930s, during the war years, and in post-war Britain. The book is packed with fascinating details for gardeners and horticulturalists. It is illustrated with photos from the time and charming drawings by Twink Addison. 

A treasure trove of trugs & trowels, spuddling & shrubberies, pruning & potting, and weeding in all weathers! A window into a bygone world of great houses, serviced by a host of servants. Fascinating reading for all those who love historic houses and gardens – and a great gift for any garden-lover. 

About Dr Trevor Millum
Dr Trevor Millum FRSA was born and raised in Woking, Surrey, the setting of his father’s diaries. A former teacher and Head of English, Director of the National Association for the Teaching of English, and manager for Creative Partnerships. Now a freelance writer, editor, consultant and a keen gardener. Previous works of fiction include Images of Woman (Chatto and Windus, 1975) and The Poetry Guide (Troika, 2020). He has also published in the education sector; both plays and poetry and fiction for children and adults.

Published: April 2022 ISBN: 978 1 86151 971 9 Format: Paperback Pages: 120 RRP: £11.50 Publisher: Quadrant Books is an imprint of the Memoirs Group www​.quad​rant​-books​.com

Available to purchase via the publisher, internet booksellers and all good bookshops.