The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Weeds

Related Quotes      Gardening      Housework      Nature      Adversity

NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.  ~Doug Larson

A weed is but an unloved flower.  ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else.  In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit.  Weeds are people's idea, not nature's.  ~Author Unknown

      I believe that I have found, if not original sin, at least vegetable total depravity in my garden; and it was there before I went into it. It is the bunch, or joint, or snake-grass,—whatever it is called.... This grass has a slender, beautiful stalk: and when you cut it down, or pull up a long root of it, you fancy it is got rid of; but in a day or two it will come up in the same spot in half a dozen vigorous blades. Cutting down and pulling up is what it thrives on. Extermination rather helps it. If you follow a slender white root, it will be found to run under the ground until it meets another slender white root; and you will soon unearth a network of them, with a knot somewhere, sending out dozens of sharp-pointed, healthy shoots, every jointed prepared to be an independent life and plant. The only way to deal with it is to take one part hoe and two parts fingers, and carefully dig it out, not leaving a joint anywhere. It will take a little time, say all summer, to dig out thoroughly a small path; but if you once dig it out, and keep it out, you will have no further trouble.
      I have said it was total depravity. Here it is. If you attempt to pull up and root out any sin in you, which shows on the surface,—if it does not show, you do not care for it,—you may have noticed how it runs into an interior network of sins, and an ever-sprouting branch of them roots somewhere; and that you cannot pull out one without making a general internal disturbance, and rooting up your whole being. I suppose it is less trouble to quietly cut them off at the top—say once a week, on Sunday, when you put on your religious clothes and face,—so that no one will see them, and not try to eradicate the network within.
      ~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, "What I Know about Gardening: Third Week," 1870

A careless gipsy vagrant,
Out at play,
'Midst the corn rows loitering,
Lost its way.
Climbing up a friendly stalk,
Weed Bo-peep
Twines its tendril arms about and
Falls asleep.
~Adelbert Farrington Caldwell (1867–1931), "A Weed"

Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.  ~Dave Barry

What is a weed?  I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions.  For me, a weed is a plant out of place.  ~Donald Culross Peattie

I always think of my sins when I weed.  They grow apace in the same way and are harder still to get rid of.  ~Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden, 1903

But make no mistake:  the weeds will win; nature bats last.  ~Robert M. Pyle

Weeds are nature's graffiti. ~J.L.W. Brooks

They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I've concluded weeds must have brains.  ~Dianne Benson, Dirt, 1994

We can in fact only define a weed, mutatis mutandis, in terms of the well-known definition of dirt - as matter out of place.  What we call a weed is in fact merely a plant growing where we do not want it.  ~E.J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935

If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn. ~Andrew Mason

I learn more about God
From weeds than from roses;
Resilience springing
Through the smallest chink of hope
In the absolute of concrete....
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Weeds," Perspectives,

First time I've picked weeds in almost a year. Definitely missed it. I love the smell of dirt and plant revealing their hidden nature. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson

A man's children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.  ~Author Unknown

Criticizing another's garden doesn't keep the weeds out of your own.  ~Author Unknown

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don't get around
Like the dandelions do.
~Slim Acres

One is tempted to say that the most human plants, after all, are the weeds.  ~John Burroughs, Pepacton, 1881

May all your weeds be wildflowers.  ~Author Unknown

Free Weeds
U Pick 'Em
~Author Unknown

Upon my lawn, I know not why, the dandelions thrive; the grass may all curl up and die, but they'll remain alive. I've tried about a million plans, to have the vile things slain; and all the schemes were also-rans, and all my efforts vain. ~Walt Mason

Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone. ~Author Unknown

A rose can say I love you,
Orchids can enthrall.
But a weed bouquet in a chubby fist—
Oh my, that says it all!
~Author unknown, as quoted in Barbara Johnson, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy!, 1990

Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be.  Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony.  It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative's latest example of unreasonableness.  ~Christopher Lloyd, The Well-Tempered Garden, 1973

A blushing little Mayflower
Turned away her head,
Too polite to let a weed
Hear a word she said.
~Adelbert Farrington Caldwell (1867–1931), "A Wise Waiting"

A good garden may have some weeds.  ~Thomas Fuller

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

Weeds —
Is there really evil in their hearts
or are they simply feisty seeds —
      ambitious verdant darts,
      proliferous garden art?
~Terri Guillemets, "Fertilize & philosophize," 2004

Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,
My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother: 'Ay,' quoth my uncle Gloucester,
'Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:'
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.
~William Shakespeare, Richard III, c.1592  [II, 4, Duke of York]

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
It's like a garden full of snow...
~John Fletcher, part of a nursery rhyme  (Thanks, Paul!)

I, however, believe in the intellectual, if not the moral, qualities of vegetables, and especially weeds.... have hateful moral qualities. To cut down a weed is, therefore, to do a moral action. I feel as if I were destroying sin. My hoe becomes an instrument of retributive justice. I am an apostle of Nature. The view of the matter lends a dignity to the art of hoeing which nothing else does, and lifts it into the region of ethics. Hoeing becomes, not a pastime, but a duty. And you get to regard it so, as the days and the weeds lengthen. ~Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, "What I Know about Gardening: Third Week," 1870

Weed 'em and reap. ~Author unknown

Man is the only critter who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds. ~Author unknown

Don't water your weeds. ~Proverb

When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles. ~Horace Walpole, letter to the Countess of Ailesbury, 1779 July 10th

Weeds are pulled up by the roots to clear the fields for the growing grain. Why should not mental weeds be pulled up by the roots also, and the mind cleared for growth? ~Horace Fletcher, Menticulture, 1895

We must weed our own minds as we would weed our gardens — of overgrown fears, strangling emotions, noxious thoughts, leeching habits, and poisonous beliefs. ~Terri Guillemets

What is a weed?  A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878

A man's nature runs either to herbs, or to weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.  ~Francis Bacon

Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated will produce the rankest weeds.  ~Leonardo da Vinci

Thanks to Michael Garofalo of for sharing some of these great quotes!

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Last saved 2021 May 12 Wed 17:11 PDT

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