Bridget Sanders, orphaned during the war, comes to live in London with her gelid stepmother and she's thin and pasty and shy, wordlessly shy. She also reads The Secret Garden and Hilary, another girl in her class who befriends her, realizes that only a garden will make Bridget blossom. They find one, on an old bomb site, plant mignonette and marigolds, but still Hilary is secretive about Something in her past. Finally, driven by her stepmother, she runs away and only at the end does one learn what has been troubling her. Until then, the story has moved very slowly, with lots of horticultural detail, but there is a message within the herbal borders to supplement it and the girls seem nice enough. But it's quiet-- and British.