On Gardening in General
"The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." - Gertrude Jekyll, garden designer.
"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust." - Gertrude Jekyll 1843-1932
"There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight." - Gertrude Jekyll
"Gardening is always more or less a warfare against nature. It is true we go over to the 'other side' for a few hints, but we might as well abandon our spades and pitchforks as pretend that nature is everything and art nothing." - James Shirley Hibberd, journalist and gardener, 1825-90.
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves." - Mahatma Gandhi
"Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration." - Lou Erickson, cartoonist and illustrator 1913-1990
"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars." - Charles Darwin
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get" - Mark Twain
"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden." - Sir Walter Scott
"It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves." - Robert Louis Stevenson
"A garden is a symbol of man's arrogance, perverting nature to human ends ..."
- Tim Smit, in 'The Lost Gardens of Heligan'
"There is material enough in a single flower for the ornament of a score of cathedrals." - John Ruskin, 1851
"Who has learned to garden who did not at the same time learn to be patient?" - H.L.V. Fletcher, 1949
"To dig one's own spade into one's own earth! Has life anything better to offer than this?" - John Beverley Nichols, 1898-1983, author, playwright, journalist.
"beauty is a by-product, .... The main business of gardens is sex and death" - Sam Llewellyn, author and journalist, in 'The Sea Garden'
"Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God." - Thomas Jefferson
"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that
of the garden." - Thomas Jefferson
"Though an old man, I am but a young gardener." - Thomas Jefferson
"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence." - Benjamin Disraeli
"What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it." - Charles Dudley Warner, 1829–1900, American essayist and novelist in 'My Summer in a Garden'
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." -
"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world." -
Vita Sackville-West, poet and novelist, 1892-1962
"The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising,
and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before." - Vita Sackville-West
"Won't you come into the garden, I would like my roses to see you." Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) said to his future wife Elizabeth inferring that she was more beautiful.
"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments." - Janet Kilburn Phillips
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." -
"Earth laughs in flower" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul." - Luther Burbank, botanist 1849–1926
"Gardening is the purest of human pleasures." - Francis Bacon
"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." - Claude Monet
"A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself." - May Sarton, novelist and poet, 1912-1995.
"A garden is never so good as it will be next year" - Thomas Cooper
"The garden that is finished is dead." - H. E. Bates
"Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected
deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves." - H.E. Bates, i 'A Love of Flowers'
"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, theologian and mystic 1875-1941
"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides." - W.E. Johns, creator of 'Biggles', 1893-1968, in 'The Passing Show', 1937
"My garden will never make me famous, I'm a horticultural ignoramus." - Ogden Nash, whimsical poet, 1902-1971
""A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright, architect 1868-1959
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
"The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there." - George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950 in The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932
"I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden." - John Erskine, educator and author 1879-1951
"If I'm ever reborn, I want to be a gardener - there's too much to do for one lifetime!" -
Karl Foerster, plant breeder and writer, 1874-1970
"Gardening is something you learn by doing - and by making mistakes, like cooking, gardening is
a constant process of experimentation, repeating the successes and throwing out the failures." - Carol Stocker, American gardening columnist.
"Tickle the earth with a hoe, it will laugh a harvest." - Mary Cantell
"An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life." -
Cora Lea Bell
"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." - The Koran
"Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years." - Anon
"We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden." - Anon
"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow." - Anon
"God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done." - Anon
"Plant carrots in January and you'll never have to eat carrots." - Anon
"Cares melt when you kneel in your garden." - Anon
"You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt." - Anon
"A garden is a friend you can visit any time." - Anon
"We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden." - Anon
"He who plants a tree, plants a hope." - Anon
"As the garden grows, so does the gardener" - Anon
"Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow." - Anon
"Where but in a garden do summer hours pass so quickly?" - Anon
"Gardening is an exercise in optimism." - Anon
"Rosemary only grows where the mistress is master." - Anon
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
"All gardeners know better than other gardeners." - Chinese
"If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden." - Chinese
"He who plants a garden plants happiness." - Chinese
"If you have two pennies, spend one on a loaf and one on a flower.The bread will give you life and the flower a reason for living." - Chinese
"The garden is the poor man's apothecary." - German
On Weeds and Weeding
"A good garden may have some weeds." - Proverb
"Small herbs have grace; great weeds do grow apace." - William Shakespeare, Richard III.
"0 thou weed, Who art so lovely fair and smell’st so sweet / That the sense aches at thee." - William Shakespeare, Othello
"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them" - A. A. Milne, said by Eeyore from in 'Winnie the Pooh'
"A flower is an educated weed." - Luther Burbank, botanist 1849–1926
"I would rather do a good hours work weeding than write two pages of my best; nothing is so interesting as weeding. I went crazy over the outdoor work, and at last had to confine myself to the
house, or literature must have gone by the board." - Robert Louis Stevenson, 1890
"Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden, And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine, kind words and kind deeds." Longfellow 1807–1882
"A weed is but an unloved flower." - Ella Wilcox, author and poet, 1850-1919
"I guess a good gardener always starts as a good weeder." - Amos Pettingill, clergyman, 1780 - 1830.
"Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone." - Dennis Breeze, scriptwriter
"A weed is a plant that is not only in the wrong place, but intends to stay." - Sara Stein, author of 'My Weeds: A Gardener's Botany'
"Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing 'Oh how wonderful' and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out, and start their working lives
By grubbing weeds from garden paths with broken dinner knives."
- Rudyard Kipling, author, 1865 – 1936 The Glory of the Garden
"The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over, never weeded a garden." -
Ray D. Everson
"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
"A weed is no more than a flower in disguise." - James Russell Lowell, 'The Growth of a Legend', 1847
"What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." - Ralph Waldo
Emerson, 'Fortune of the Republic', 1878
"What would become of the garden if the gardener treated all the weeds and slugs and birds and trespassers as he would like to be treated, if he were in their place?" - Thomas Henry Huxley, biologist, 1825-1895
"Nature abhors a garden." - Michael Pollan, journalist and academic 1955 -
"A man of words and not deeds, Is like a garden full of weeds." - Nursery rhyme
"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." - Anon
"It is not enough for a gardener to love flowers; he must also hate weeds." - Anon
"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." - Anon
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