Mary Lennox is a spoilt young child living in India with her parents.
Her father is an important military general and her petulant mother treats Mary cruelly, showing her no love or affection. The only bright spot in her life is the kind Officer Blake who tries to show Mary there is more to life than temper tantrums and contrariness. But then one day a mutiny strikes the Lennox household and an orphaned Mary is sent to England. She must go to Yorkshire - to Misselthwaite Manor, her uncle’s house. There she meets the stern housekeeper Mrs Medlock and the friendly house maid Martha, who tries to encourage Mary to enjoy the outdoors.
Everything is very different to what she is used to but slowly Mary begins to explore the grounds of the manor, meeting the grumpy but good-natured gardener Ben Weatherstaff and Martha’s animal-loving brother Dickon. He introduces her to a whole new world full of some very special animal friends and Mary eventually plucks up the courage to ask her uncle Mr Craven for a patch of land she might make her own. But even as Mary gets to work in the grounds and begins to soften, she learns that there are hidden secrets at Misselthwaite Manor: the secret garden that lies somewhere beyond a huge wall with no door and the source of the terrible cries she hears in the house at night.
Mary starts out on an adventure to discover the truth, accompanied by all her new friends as she learns that friendship and self-belief are the most important tools of all.