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Quotations about Gardens


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Thank you to Michael P. Garofalo of The Spirit of Gardening for sharing some of these quotations!


My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view. ~H. Fred Dale (Thanks, Anne)


Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson


What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. ~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871


There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler


Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown


In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them. ~Victoria Glendinning


The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932


In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death. ~Sam Llewelyn


The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion


In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban


It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane


Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans. ~Marcelene Cox


God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown


I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse


Don't wear perfume in the garden — unless you want to be pollinated by bees. ~Anne Raver


Plant carrots in January and you'll never have to eat carrots. ~Author Unknown


Take thy plastic spade,
It is thy pencil; take thy seeds, thy plants,
They are thy colours.
~William Mason, The English Garden, 1782


It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. ~Robert Louis Stevenson


Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993


Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens, noproblemgarden.com


I know that if odour were visible, as colour is,
I'd see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.
~Robert Bridges, "Testament of Beauty"


Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden. ~Orson Scott Card


How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli


Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.
~Rudyard Kipling, "The Glory of the Garden"


You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. ~Author Unknown


There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. ~Aldo Leopold


I think the true gardener is a lover of his flowers, not a critic of them. I think the true gardener is the reverent servant of Nature, not her truculent, wife-beating master. I think the true gardener, the older he grows, should more and more develop a humble, grateful and uncertain spirit. ~Reginald Farrer, In a Yorkshire Garden, 1909


Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. ~Terri Guillemets


 
 
The garden is the poor man's apothecary. ~German Proverb


Garden writing is often very tame, a real waste when you think how opinionated, inquisitive, irreverent and lascivious gardeners themselves tend to be. Nobody talks much about the muscular limbs, dark, swollen buds, strip-tease trees and unholy beauty that have made us all slaves of the Goddess Flora. ~Ketzel Levine's talkingplants.com


On every stem, on every leaf,... and at the root of everything that grew, was a professional specialist in the shape of grub, caterpillar, aphis, or other expert, whose business it was to devour that particular part. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897 (Thanks, Jessica)


No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson


Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. ~Author Unknown


From an aunt, long ago: "Death has come for me many times but finds me always in my lovely garden and leaves me there, I think, as an excuse to return." ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


We have descended into the garden and caught three hundred slugs. How I love the mixture of the beautiful and the squalid in gardening. It makes it so lifelike. ~Evelyn Underhill, Letters


A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. ~May Sarton


The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard. ~Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World


Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else? ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com (2009 tweet, @wildthyme)


Every radish I ever pulled up seemed to have a mortgage attached to it. ~Ed Wynn


I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace


Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden.... It is sad that Nature will play such tricks on us poor mortals, inviting us with sunny smiles to confide in her, and then, when we are entirely within her power, striking us to the heart. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks


Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. ~Michael P. Garofalo


Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732


In order to live off a garden, you practically have to live in it. ~Frank McKinney Hubbard


It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. ~Walt Whitman


In the garden I tend to drop my thoughts here and there. To the flowers I whisper the secrets I keep and the hopes I breathe. I know they are there to eavesdrop for the angels. ~Dodinsky, www.dodinsky.com


Gardens always mean something else, man absolutely uses one thing to say another. ~Robert Harbison, Eccentric Spaces, 1977


Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers


My garden is my favorite teacher. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com (2009 tweet, @wildthyme)


I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden. ~Abraham Cowley, The Garden, 1666


One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns, The Passing Show


Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest. ~Douglas William Jerrold, about Australia, A Land of Plenty


I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden. ~John Erskine


He talked and contrived endlessly to the effect that I should understand the land, not as a commodity, an inert fact to be taken for granted, but as an ultimate value, enduring and alive, useful and beautiful and mysterious and formidable and comforting, beneficent and terribly demanding, worthy of the best of a man's attention and care.... he insisted that I learn to do the hand labor that the land required, knowing—and saying again and again—that the ability to do such work is the source of a confidence and an independence of character that can come no other way, not by money, not by education. ~Wendell Berry, The Hidden Wound


Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart. ~Russell Page


The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature. ~Jeff Cox


It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening. You have got to love your garden whether you like it or not. ~W.C. Sellar & R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936


A garden was the primitive prison, till man with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily sinned himself out of it. ~Charles Lamb, 1830


To this day I cannot see a bright daffodil, a proud gladiola, or a smooth eggplant without thinking of Papa. Like his plants and trees, I grew up as a part of his garden. ~Leo Buscaglia


The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life. ~Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture


When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown


When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


I know the pleasure of pulling up root vegetables. They are solvable mysteries. ~Novella Carpenter, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer


My little bit of earth in the front garden is one of the places that I find my bearings. The rhythm of my day begins with a cup of coffee and a little bit of weeding or dreaming. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com


We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist. ~Wendell Berry


Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart. ~Karel Čapek, The Gardener's Year, translated by M. and R. Weatherall, 1931


Most people who possess anything like an acre, or half of it, contribute weekly to the support of a gentleman known as Jobbing Gardener. You are warned of the danger that he may prove to be Garden Pest no 1. ~C.E. Lucas-Phillips, The New Small Garden


Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul. ~Terri Guillemets


I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Can plants be happy? If they get what they need, they thrive — that's what I know. ~Terri Guillemets, "Lessons from Nature to the Human Heart"


Tomatoes and squash never fail to reach maturity. You can spray them with acid, beat them with sticks and burn them; they love it. ~S.J. Perelman, Acres and Pains, 1951


If there was a big gardening convention, and you got up and gave a speech in favor of fast-motion gardening, I bet you would get booed right off the stage. They're just not ready. ~Jack Handey, Deeper Thoughts: All New, All Crispy


I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error. ~Sara Stein, My Weeds, 1988


Farming is a profession of hope. ~Brian Brett


It takes a while to grasp that not all failures are self-imposed, the result of ignorance, carelessness or inexperience. It takes a while to grasp that a garden isn't a testing ground for character and to stop asking, what did I do wrong? Maybe nothing. ~Eleanor Perényi, Green Thoughts, 1981


Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


As a gardener, I'm among those who believe that much of the evidence of God's existence has been planted. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


A farm is an irregular patch of nettles bounded by short-term notes, containing a fool and his wife who didn’t know enough to stay in the city. ~S.J. Perelman


The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, "Garden Thoughts"


Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: "Love. They must do it for love." Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. ~Wendell Berry


Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw. ~Henry David Thoreau


Just because you've only got houseplants doesn't mean you don't have the gardening spirit — I look upon myself as an indoor gardener. ~Sara Moss-Wolfe


If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed. ~Lewis Gannit


When you have done your best for a flower, and it fails, you have some reason to be aggrieved. ~Frank Swinnerton


Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion about everything — except itself. ~May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep, 1968


Gardening is growing things.... You start in the front with parsley, and lettuce, and onions, and radishes.... Then comes the beets, and the carrots, and the peas, and the bunch beans. The potatoes are over in a field by themselves. Then comes the asparagus, and the celery, and last of all the pole beans, and the butter beans, and the sweet corn. Then you bound your garden on the north and the east with cantelopes and on the south and the west with watermelons. Then you plant sunflowers and hollyhocks in the back corners. Then you pray for the rain to come and if too much comes, you pray for it to stop. It keeps you busy all summer praying and hoeing. ~Virginia Cary Hudson, "Gardening," O Ye Jigs & Juleps!, 1962


There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder. ~Alfred Austin


Fingers now scented with sage and rosemary, a kneeling gardener is lost in savory memories. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com


The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow. ~Author Unknown


And if Mrs. Harris and myself are lucky enough to be in Heaven at the same time, I know what we can do when things get dull. We can give a garden party. I sure hope God didn't forget to plant a garden in Heaven. ~Virginia Cary Hudson, "Gardening," O Ye Jigs & Juleps!, 1962


Good farmers, who take seriously their duties as stewards of Creation and of their land's inheritors, contribute to the welfare of society in more ways than society usually acknowledges, or even knows. These farmers produce valuable goods, of course; but they also conserve soil, they conserve water, they conserve wildlife, they conserve open space, they conserve scenery. ~Wendell Berry


When one of my plants dies, I die a little inside too. ~Terri Guillemets


I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


O ye Sun and Moon, oh ye beans and roses, oh ye jigs and juleps, Bless ye the Lord, Praise Him and Magnify Him Forever. Amen. ~Virginia Cary Hudson, "Gardening," O Ye Jigs & Juleps!, 1962


A farm includes the passion of the farmer's heart, the interest of the farm's customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm -- it's everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism. The tragedy of our time is that cultural philosophies and market realities are squeezing life's vitality out of most farms. ~Joel Salatin


By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the claims of the other months. All is at last in balance and all is serene. The gardener is usually dead, of course. ~Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, 1981



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