It has been decades since Mary and Colin first discovered the secret garden outside Misselthwaite Manor as curious young children. Today as husband and wife Lady Mary and Sir Colin have turned the estate into a home for young war orphans. When Mary leaves to join her husband abroad she entrusts the children to her housekeeper Martha and the caretaker. Martha is also given the key to the secret garden but its mysteries are impermeable to the dour fearful woman until a new charge arrives. Twelve year old Lizzie Buscana has come from America for a new life at Misselthwaite. A girl of boundless enthusiasm she immediately befriends fellow orphans Robert Stephen and Geraldine. A little spitfire of endless curiosity Lizzie asks about the secret garden. But Martha with her strange fears about what lies beyond its walls has forbidden the children from entering. Such a command can t stop Lizzie however. With the stolen key to the garden in hand Lizzie invades its secrets late one night.