A coloring book for grown-ups: Secret Garden review

When I was a kid, I used to love coloring. Well, I loved drawing and painting free-hand, too, but a really good coloring book was always a treat. Once my family got a home computer, I even started printing and stapling together my own coloring books from clip art images. Those were the days!

Most kids tend to like coloring books - they're usually a safe bet for gifts to kids you don't know too well.  Have you noticed though, that as you grow up, you're supposed to stop liking them? Either you turn your love of drawing into a serious endeavor and attempt to become an "artist" (in which case coloring books are frowned upon because they're obviously not original art), or you just grow up, cut your hair, get a job and prepare for a life without this childhood treat. How sad is that?

Lately, though, I've seen a lot of  books which challenge the idea that coloring is just for kids. More and more coloring books are cropping up that are completely geared towards the adult population. Yay!

A few months ago, I picked this fantastic coloring book by artist and illustrator Johanna Basford. It's English title is Secret Garden, and it really reminds me of the classic children's book with the same name - which, incidentally, is one of my favorite books ever! What can I say, I'm a child at heart...

The pages in this coloring book are really beautiful and very intricate - there's a reason this book is not marketed towards six-year-olds! At 96 pages it's really thick, and since the pictures are so complex you really get a lot of bang for your buck! Animals and plants are (obviously) the main theme of the Secret Garden, and I love Johanna's drawing style. Flowers, leaves, vines and bugs intertwine into gorgeous designs that will keep you busy for hours. 

I use regular colored pencils or my Derwent Inktense pencils (dry, not wet) in my book - the pages are not super thick, so I'm not sure how well they would hold up to paint or markers. Plus, the book is the perfect thing to keep your hands busy in the evenings in front of the TV, so colored pencils are really the easiest way to go.

Aren't these pages just great? I definitely recommend checking this book out! If you'd like to try some coloring yourself but you don't feel up to buying an entire book, there's a  really sweet giveaway on Johannas blog - have a look here to download a Valentine's themed coloring page. I promise, once you get started you won't be able to stop!


  1. How wonderful! The pictures are so lovely and once coloured in I can imagine them being lovely framed up! xx

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