A Secret Garden Party At Stationers' Hall

July 29, 2014

When we were asked to help with recreating the magic touch of the classic children's film (and novel of course) The Secret Garden, we couldn't wait to start putting together a myriad of woodland and garden inspired ideas for the day's entertainment.

As well as carefully choosing the perfect mix of acts for the day such as our trio of strolling songsters The Wandering Hands and close-up magician Dan, we took great care in making sure that the themes and costumes were definitely of a secret garden variety.

But it wasn't just music and magic that filled the day's entertainment as we even called on a flock of songbirds and some living statues to help really make the event one that was almost impossible to keep a secret.

Is there anything more perfect for a summer afternoon than a secret garden party? Well if there is, I don’t even want to know about it – but do read on after the break for the full story with pictures, details and more. 

 Always a personal favourite (although to be honest, the topiary statues are probably number one for me) we called upon some living statues to lull guests into a false sense of security and scare them so hard they drop their glass of pim- just kidding, but they do occasionally jump a few people that are a little over enamoured with the other acts that it takes a good double take before they realise they're alive.

The living statues – fully themed and costumed by us might I add – stood atop granite plinths and gave this secret garden party a vibe a little more reminiscent of Covent Garden, only without the hundreds of tourists which can only be a good thing. 

 Now if we could train living animals to sit so still for so long we’d be in a whole different business. Alas, these furry woodland critters are merely an aesthetic pleasure to make the secret garden party feel tucked away and hidden from the frenzy of urban life – helping recreate that feeling of relaxing in a sleepy wooded glen.

The inanimate animals were fantastic props to really help guests feel immersed within their surroundings and help raise the production values of the event to a higher level. There’s a reason why theme parks so often spend so long on their landscaping and props – and we’ve found that the same reason works for events too.

 It’s not really a proper secret garden party without injecting some magic into the proceedings is it?

Luckily, our always-on-form magician Dan came along to add a sparkle to the event with his deceptively brilliant close up magic. Unfortunately he couldn't harness the power of the garden to cure physical ailments, but we've been told he's working on it.

These are living animals in case you were wondering – we brought birds, and lots of them.

To be more precise, we enlisted the help of several varieties of our avian friends to wow guests. Scarlet macaws, song birds and owls provided a beautifully natural cadence to the party and really helped to further drive home the careful theming of the event.

 A professionally trained owl handler also wandered throughout the event and allowed the attendees to get up close and personal with them, and also learn about these cute little guys.

Did the partygoers enjoy them? I think the picture speaks for itself.

 And as well as birds of song, we had dashing songster trio – The Wandering Hands – to stroll amongst the crowd and provide their exuberant modern pop covers throughout the party. In fact, they were so popular that one of the Macaws couldn't resist dancing to them.

It wasn't just the Wandering Hands providing the music however, as DJ duo Freight Train hopped on board toward the end of the evening to help keep the party going until later.

Perhaps it was the meticulously planned out theming of the event, the right combination of acts or the intricacies in creating the right costumes – but this event was an absolute blast to plan the entertainment for. It's always pretty nice when a theme comes together.

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By Stephen Warr