The book – published in 1911 – tells the story of Mary Lennox, a British girl who becomes an orphan in India after a cholera outbreak. Mary moves to Yorkshire in order to be cared for by her uncle, and in so doing discovers a magical garden. She and her friends start to nurture the garden, and soon it begins to blossom and smell like the sweetness of spring air. But the garden is not the only beneficiary, and it might be said that the children too truly blossom and come to life over the course of the book. This novel has been a children’s favourite for over 100 years. The film’s producers are the same team behind the Harry Potter and Adventures of Paddington adaptations, and therefore there is no doubt that the new adaptation will appeal to a modern generation of readers and viewers.
“This is the perfect collaboration for Boodles,” James Amos, the company’s director, tells me. “Many of our customers know and love this story, they grew up with it, and now read it to their children themselves. When STUDIOCANAL and Heyday offered the opportunity to collaborate on this project, we knew straight away that this retelling would be a source of great inspiration for our designers.”
The Boodles team has been working on the Secret Garden collection for more than two years, and have, in that time, devised more than 40 pieces – each varying in complexity. Among these, one finds long sautoirs, pendants on a chain, cocktail rings adorned with stunning diamonds, as well as more modest earrings with pearls. Rebecca Hawkins, head of design at Boodles, was quick to note that she found no shortage of inspiration for the collection due to the fertile imagination Francis Hodgson Burnett and the rich source material.
“Between the film’s scenery and its costume design, we had no lack of ideas for new pieces. There are so many topics from which to choose: secrets, transformations, new beginnings, and, of course, nature itself. It is true that the British landscape and its flora have always been favourites of the Boodles brand. Our new collection continues this long held tradition. On top of this, we wanted to ensure that our new collection aptly reflects the film’s inspirational tone,” Hawkins tells me.
The Secret Garden Collection has been divided into a number of lines: where pieces are decorated with pearls, they are part of the 'Snowdrop' grouping; where they are adorned by coloured gemstones, they are part of the 'Walled Garden'; the final subsection – ‘Garden Gates’ – is comprised of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings that are almost all embellished with diamonds. Snow-white stones and pearls are used in order to convey the tenderness of the small bells in the garden, as well as the crystal clarity of new beginnings. Meanwhile, sapphires, rubies, tsavorites, pink opal and enamel are all used to convey the lush flowering of a garden awakened from a dream.
The use of red and white gold is representative of the overall intention of the collection – appearing before us in the form of branches, leaves, stems and decorative hedges. The sophistication of these ornaments’ design ought to be considered a hallmark of the brand. If a special collection is prepared by Boodles, it always consists of unusual jewellery with a multi-faceted design.
The key piece in the entire collection is perhaps the 'Poppy Meadow' necklace - composed of various colours of gold and platinum, and adorned by a waterfall made of more than 230 coloured and colourless diamonds. 31.30 carats of faceted diamonds flow around the four central poppies which are made from oval shaped rubies. Pay careful attention to the clasp at the back of the necklace – Rebecca has been deeply creative with what is so often a merely functional component, and has masterfully transformed it into a miniature motif comprising delicate flowers.
And lastly, I would like to mention a miniature bracelet, possessing a keyhole-shaped disc (inspired by the castle motif), which was also created specifically for the collection. All proceeds from the sale of this endearing piece of jewellery will be donated to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).
The Secret Garden will appropriately be released in the spring – on Easter Monday, April 13th, 2020. This is surely the most perfect moment to awaken the gardens of the world.