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Quotations about Gardens

Thank you to Michael 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
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
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
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
When one of my plants dies, I die a little inside, too.
~Linda Solegato
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 madeBy 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
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
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, www.robertbrault.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
Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?
~Betsy Cañas Garmon, www.wildthymecreative.com
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. Garafalo, gardendigest.com
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, www.robertbrault.com
Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.
~Walt Whitman
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
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
Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart.
~Russell Page
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
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
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.
~Linda Solegato
I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
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
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
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, www.robertbrault.com
As a gardener, I'm among those who believe that much of the evidence of God's existence has been planted.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
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"
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, www.robertbrault.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
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
The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
~Author Unknown
I cultivate my garden, and my garden cultivates me.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
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