In the black-and-grey story of Jane Eyre, many of the scenes take place in some level of darkness, either at night or on stormy days. Since the story is set in a secluded part of England where it rains a good part of every season, the wilderness enhances the Gothic feel of the novel and lends it an eerie atmosphere; the dark stone walls and passages of Thornfield Hall would not have been half as sinister without the added effect of the weather and landscape outside. Bronte emphasized in her novel the haunting allure of Britain's moorlands, which set the perfect backdrop for Jane Eyre's story.
"I struck straight into the heath; I held on to a hollow I saw deeply furrowing the brown moorside; I waded knee-deep in its dark growth; I turned with its turnings, and finding a moss-blackened granite crag in a hidden angle, I sat down under it. High banks of moor were about me; the crag protected my head: the sky was over that." (Jane Eyre - Chapter 28.)
The Secret Garden, on the other hand, displays the opposite feature of the moors. While the frequent storms and rains do give the landscape a shadowy feel, they also mean that when the sun does shine, the scenery is turned into an amazingly beautiful, otherworldly place. Whereas Charlotte Bronte depicts black moors with stormy grey skies above, Frances Hodgson Burnett shows a rolling landscape of greens, yellows, purples, and whites beneath a clear blue sky. It is this sort of loveliness that characterizes her story and makes it magical, providing not only a background, but a vital part of the story as the beauty of the Yorkshire moors changes the main character altogether.
"'Look at the moor! Look at the moor!'
"The rainstorm had ended and the grey mist and clouds had been swept away in the night by the wind. The wind itself had ceased and a brilliant, deep blue sky arched high over the moorland. Never, never had Mary dreamed of a sky so blue. In India skies were hot a blazing; this was a deep cool blue which almost seemed to sparkle like the waters of some lovely bottomless lake, and here and there, high, high in the arched blueness floated small clouds of snow-white fleece. The far-reaching world of the moor itself looked softly blue instead of gloomy purple-black or awful dreary grey." (The Secret Garden - The Key of the Garden.)
While the moors are perhaps one of the most vivid examples of the powers of a landscape, there are few places that do not display this sort of change from one day to another, or from one season to the next. Deserts, for instance, are seen as flat stretches of sand, sand, sand, and more sand, but on that rare day when rain does fall, the entire landscape changes as plants burst into momentary flower. The endless terrain, rock formations, and blue skies of the Badlands of the Midwestern United States have a lonely appeal that goes beyond the dry, monotonous way they are generally seen. (Or so they say; I fail to see it, myself...) These sorts of stereotype-reversals can be interesting to see used in writing, and to use in our own; the depiction of a single landscape can alter drastically, depending merely on whether the story is a Jane Eyre or a Secret Garden.