I've recently just seen the TV mini-series "Over the Garden Wall", and I can't figure out what exactly the title was referring to.

I thought about this a lot, and the closest candidate for the titular Garden Wall was in Episode 9, when the two half-brothers climb over a shrubberied wall fencing a graveyard. However, that wall was nowhere near a garden, so what is the title referring to?

4 Answers 4


TVTropes explains:

The title references how Wirt and Greg are visitors in a strange land, but has a much more literal meaning. Right before ending up in the Unknown, Wirt and Greg climbed over the wall of a cemetery—one called "Eternal Garden".


It's a metaphor for the children leaving a safe and familiar environment and going on an adventure.

The garden (US, back yard) references the world that they know, and the wall is the barrier between that world and a world that they don't know. So they're crossing a barrier to adventure.


The phrase "Over the Garden Wall" has some precedent that may be referred to. Per ​"By the Milk-Light of Moon": Myths and Meanings of "Over the Garden Wall," Part One,

It should be noted that there were three movies prior to the show called Over the Garden Wall. At least two of them were romances about a man and a woman who glimpse each other over, yes, the garden wall and fall in love. However, the more telling appearance of the phrase "over the garden wall" comes from a children's rope-skipping poem:

Over the garden wall

I let the baby fall.

My mother came out

And gave me a clout

Over the garden wall.

The theme of being responsible for one's sibling is the primary subtext between the two main characters, Wirt and Gregory, and there's a literal falling over the garden wall involved. In general the show draws directly from 19th-20th century folklore as well, so it's unlikely the title is unrelated to this precedent.


I believe it might reference the poem by "September" by Grace Paley:

Then the flowers became very wild
because it was early September
and they had nothing to lose
they tossed their colors every
which way over the garden wall
splattering the lawn shoving their
wild orange red rain-disheveled faces
into my window without shame

  • 2
    Welcome to Movies.SE! Why do you think it might be a reference to this poem? Does it match the events of the series in any way?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 19:14

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