Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl, is born in India to wealthy British parents. Spoiled and with a temper, she is unaffectionate, angry, rude and obstinate. But one day, she became an orphan and then went to live with her uncle.
At first, Mary is her usual self, sour, disliking the large house, the people within it. But one day Martha Sowerby, her good-natured maidservant, tells Mary a story of the late Mrs. Craven, and how she would spend hours in a private garden growing roses. Later, Mrs. Craven was killed by an untimely accident, and Mr. Craven had the garden locked and the key buried. Mary is roused by this story and starts to soften her ill manner despite herself. While exploring the gardens, Mary comes across a badger hole and finds a key belonging to the untended garden. Mary and her little companions look after the garden carefully. They become tender and full of pity and learn a lot of things from the nature, which to Mr. Craven, who was traveling and mourning over his late wife, is a pleasant surprise.