Secret Garden – Coloring Book

It rained here, by my mountain, for three days last week.

I realize most of Orange County did not experience the same amount of rain I did.

I live in a small mountain micro-climate.

Along with my many other creative endeavors, I had the sudden urge to color.

Yes, color …. like little kids do with coloring books.

Coloring is a rainy day activity.

(At least it was for me, growing up as a Southern California kid.)

Long story short, I began coloring in the Secret Garden coloring book – which has recently become quite famous.

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iPhone photo of the Secret Garden book cover

I purchased the book, originally, to give me something to do on my upcoming flights to, and from, the Derby.

I hate cross country flights.

I can never sleep on planes.

I like to read, but I wanted something to do besides *just* reading for six hours (each way).

Johanna Basford is a professional illustrator.

She has done corporate work for Nike, Starbucks, and a lot of other famous companies.

She was approached to make a coloring book for kids.

She insisted making one for adults would be a better idea.

She was right.

Her coloring book has been a top seller on Amazon, it has been translated into 14 languages, and it’s sold out around the world.

(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., are waiting to receive their next shipment of books.)

In the meantime, Johanna’s second book (Enchanted Forest) has been published.

(It is ALSO already out of stock … I’ve pre-ordered a copy on Amazon.)

Here are a few samples of the pages inside the Secret Garden:


The drawings by Johanna Basford are absolutely beautiful.

She is so talented.

(And, since I can’t even doodle, I really admire her gift.)


The art work is stunning.

The book also has little hidden surprises for you to find as you work your way through it.

For example, somewhere hidden in the drawings there are two frogs, five wasps, and one padlock – among other things.

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As you’re coloring, you find yourself getting really excited when you find one of Johanna’s hidden surprises.

She also leaves some areas for you to complete on your own.

You can add in flowers, butterflies, are whatever your imagination suggests.

I didn’t get too far, but I did make a start on one small section.


I expect to make a lot more progress while flying cross country.


Some people have complained of ink bleeding through the pages.

This is what I suggest … follow Johanna’s suggestions and you won’t have any problems.

She recommends Staedtler pens if you choose to color with ink.

I’ve used a combination of pens and artist quality colored pencils on mine.

(I wanted quite a variation of greens so I decided to experiment with mixed media.)

Sure – you can use crayons, too, if you want.

I find the drawings are small and detailed.

For me, pens and/or well sharpened colored pencils work best.

You can, of course, do whatever makes you happy.

(But, if you choose to use sharpies … KNOW the ink will bleed through the pages.)

I also searched #SecretGarden on Instagram for inspiration.

I was awestruck by the beautiful “coloring” people are doing.

There are no limits to people’s creativity and imaginations.

Coloring as an adult is fun and SO RELAXING.

You can do it while watching TV or listening to music … or flying cross country.

One of these coloring books, and a set of pens or pencils, would make a great gift idea.

But, for now, you will probably need to be okay with ordering and waiting ….

I hear the books will be in stock again soon.

I just don’t know how soon soon is.

8 Responses to “Secret Garden – Coloring Book”

  1. Missy Stalcup

    Another friend of mine posted a coloring book on FB yesterday. She loves it for the relaxing almost meditative effect it has on her.

    • Suzanne

      It really is relaxing.
      I always liked coloring with my kids when they were little.
      It’s fun to rediscover it as an adult.

  2. Julie J

    I love to color and a brand new box of crayons is just awesome. I will need to get colored pencils though for this very detailed book if and when I can get my hands on it.

    • Suzanne

      I like the prisma colored pencils.
      They’re linked above and/or you can just google search them.

  3. Mj

    I love the coloring books with mandala designs. With today’s technology driven mindset, it is really good to just allow your mind to turn off and just do something that requires no thinking like coloring.

    • Suzanne

      It is!
      I’m really enjoying my coloring book!
      : )

  4. Just me, Vee

    I had never heard of there being coloring books for grown ups! This is exactly what I need at night to unwind after a day at the office. Can’t wait to get my hands on one!



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