An English Cottage Look Inspired by the Book, The Forgotten Garden

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

Did you ever dream of having an English cottage by the sea.

At the center of the book The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton lies a magical setting: A neglected cottage, part of a Downton Abbey-like grand country estate and found at the end of a yew maze.  The cottage is perched on a cliff in Cornwall England overlooking the sea.  Its back yard is a hidden walled garden.

The novel is set in 3 different time periods united by a mystery that was inspired by the author’s grandmother.  One of the book’s main characters, Nell (like Morton’s own grandmother), was told at age 21 by her father that he was not her true biological father.  Unearthing the truth about Nell’s roots provides the action in the novel.

The cottage and its garden hold the key to this mystery.  The setting is spellbinding.  Once inhabited by the author of dark Victorian fairytales, Nell’s Australian granddaughter gains ownership of the cottage via a surprise inheritance from Nell upon her death.

It is a captivating concept.  Wouldn’t we all like to inherit a cliffside cottage overlooking the sea.  Especially one with a lovely walled back garden attached to a grand estate by a yew maze.

Here is what I think that might look like.


Awfully nice fantasy, don’t you think?

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

Illustration by Arthur Rackham


  • First, I would like to thank Carolyn from Diane James Home and Buzz blog for bringing this wonderful book to my attention.  Her blog always has something to offer, click here.  

  • The website for The Forgotten Garden is charming, click here.

  • Arthur Rackham is a famed ilustrator of fairytales from the early part of the last century.  First Arthur Rackham illustration via Melusina Mermaid blog.  Last Arthur Rackham illustration via Mary McAndrew blog. 

  • Yew maze photo Marcus Harper for March House & Garden.  Magnolia close-up by Dianna Jazwinski for March UK Country Living.  Doorknob photo by This Ivy House via my tumblr.  

  • First six photos of the inside of my imaginary cottage by Mark Bolton for the March UK Country Living.  Bedroom photo by Ian Kemp for the March Homes & Antiques.  Bathroom photos by Kristen Perers for the March UK Country Living.  

  • Other garden photos are from the garden at the Bartow Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx via the Pinterest  garden board I put together for them.  Please check this out–the BPMM has so much to offer.  

  • Cottage photo via  

  • Bouquet via Jamie Rugh at one of my favorite blogs, Found While Walking.  Read more about Jamie here.