Gratitude, Thankfulness, Joyfulness, Appreciation

Quotes for Gardeners and Lovers of the Green Way

Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo

Spirit of Gardening Website



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"Let me arise and open the gate,
to breathe the wild warm air of the heath,
And to let in Love, and to let out Hate,
And anger at living and scorn of Fate,
To let in Life, and to let out Death."
-  Violet Fane  



"Even if we can't be happy, we must always be cheerful."
-  Irving Cristol  



"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come."
-  Chinese proverb  



"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
-  James M. Barrie  



"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
-  Marcel Proust  



"A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company."
-  Charles Evans Hughes 



"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
-  Epictetus   



"Precisely the least, the softest, lightest, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a flash, a moment - a little makes the way of the best happiness."
-  Frederich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra  



"Laetus in praesens animus quod ultra est oderit curare et amara lento temperet risu.
Nihil est ab omni parte beatum
Joyful let the soul be in the present, let it disdain to trouble about what is beyond and temper bitterness with a laugh.
Nothing is blessed forever."
-  Horace



"The comfortable and comforting people are those who look upon the bright side of life;  gathering its roses and sunshine and making the most that happens seem the best."
-  Dorothy Dix  


The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama, 2009. 

Heart of Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism by Karuna Erickson and Andrew Harvey, 2010. 

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp, 2011.

A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield, 1993. 


"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."
-  William Blake  



"Exuberance is Beauty."
-  William Blake  



"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action.  Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course.  Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you.  Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
-  Albert Schweitzer



"The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart."
-  Mencius  



"May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart ...something good is going to happen to you.
May you find harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing that lies at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May you be set free from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you,
mind you, and embrace you in belonging.   
-  John O'Donahoe  



"Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much.  For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life."
-  A. J. Cronin   



"When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms."

-  Mary Oliver  



"It is a glorious privilege to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love.  To look up at the blue summer sky; to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon; to watch the worlds come twinkling into view, first one by one, and the myriads that no man can count, and lo!
the universe is white with them; and you and I are here."
-  Marco Morrow  



"All that in this delightful garden grows should happy be and have immortal bliss."
-  Edmund Spencer, The Faerie Queen



"The clearest sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness."
-  Michel Montaigne  



"Cheerfulness removes the rust from the mind, lubricates our inward machinery, and enables us to do our work with fewer creaks and groans.  If people were universally cheerful, there wouldn't be half the quarreling or a tenth part of the wickedness there is.  Cheerfulness, too, promotes health and morality.  Cheerful people live longest here on earth, afterward in our hearts."
-  Author Unknown 



"If you have a mind at peace, and a heart that cannot harden,
Go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden."
-  Author Unknown  



"The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness."
-  William Saroyan   



"Happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose."
-  William Cowper  



"The best is yet to be."
-  Robert Browning  



"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
-  Ralph H. Blum  



"Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory."
-  Albert Schweitzer  



"O happiness! our being's end and aim!
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate'er thy name:
That something still which prompts the eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die."
-  Alexander Pope, 1688-1744  



"Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away."
-   Sir Arthur Help  



"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."
-  Anton Chekhov   



"A garden isn’t meant to be useful.  It’s for joy."
-  Rumer Godden  



"I've made an odd discovery.  Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility.  Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite."  
-  Bertrand Russell  



"I've learned the great value of the three F's: forgive, forget and forge ahead."  



"Happy is the man who loves the woods and waters,
Brother to the grass and well beloved of Pan;
The earth shall be his, and all her laughing daughters.
Happy the man."
-  Richard le Galliene, Beatus Vir   



"And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden."
-  Rudyard Kipling,  1865 - 1936, The Glory of the Garden  



"Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens."
-  Douglas Jerrold  



"Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people."
-  Samuel Johnson,  1709-1784  



"Cheer up, the worst is yet to come."
-  Philander Johnson



"One kind word can warm three winter months."
-  Japanese proverb  



"The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up."
-  Mark Twain  



"Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open."
-  Rose Lane  



"You cannot hold back a good laugh any more than you can the tide.
Both are forces of nature."
-  William Rotsler   



"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   


Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being by Ester M. Sternberg, M.D., 2010.

Home: A Short History of an Idea by Witold Rybczynski, 1987.

House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of a Home by Clare Cooper Marcus, 2006. 


"If you have a mind at peace,
A heart that cannot harden;
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a lovely garden."  



"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities."
-  Jean Houston  



"Life is huge!  Rejoice about the sun, moon, flowers, and sky.  Rejoice about the food you have to eat.  Rejoice about the body that houses your spirit. Rejoice about the fact that you can be a positive force in the world around you. Rejoice about the love that is around you.  If you want to be happy, commit to making your life one of rejoicing."
-  Author Unknown  



"What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!"
-  Helen Keller  



"Have a mouth of ivy and a heart of holly."
-  Irish proverb  



"The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people goin' by
I see friends shaking hands saying, "How do you do"
They're really saying "I love you."
I hear babies cry, I watch then grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know;
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world;
Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world.
Oh yeah!"
-  Louis Armstrong  



"For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony,
linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise."
-  Folliat S. Pierpoint, For the Beauty of the Earth  





"The desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing."   
-  Isaiah 35: 1-2



"Lord, Make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith:
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy."
-  St. Francis of Assissi  



"Every day is a good day.
Your every-day mind - that is the Way!"
-  Unmon, Japan  



"How true it is that,
if we are cheerful and contented,
all nature smiles,
the air seems more balmy,
the sky clearer,
the earth has a brighter green...
the flowers are more fragrant...
and the sun, moon, and stars
all appear more beautiful,
and seem to rejoice with us."
-  Orison Swett Marden  



"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
-  Cicero  



"The man who radiates good cheer, who makes life happier wherever he meets it, is always a man of vision and faith."
-  Ella Wilcox  



"Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world,
and bettered the tradition of mankind."

-  Robert Louis Stevenson   



"All our moments are last moments.   We abide in the forever leaving of our own coming?  We can put our hands together, palm to palm, settling here on the last leaf of our brief flight, and bow to the wonder of it."
-  Jen Jensen, Bowing to Receive the Mountain, 1997  



"To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue: gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."
-  Confucius, 500 BC  


Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated Worlds by Wendy Johnson, 2008. 

From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden by Amy Stewart, 2002. 

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu


"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look at the stars."
-  Henry Van Dyke  



"Gratitude is the fairest blossom
Which springs from the soul."

-  Henry Ward Beecher  



"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world."
-  George Bernard Shaw  






"Happiness is like a sunbeam, which the least shadow intercepts, while adversity is often as the rain of spring."
-  Chinese proverb  



"One cannot wonder at this constantly recurring phrase "getting something for nothing," as if it were the peculiar and perverse ambition of disturbers of society.  Except for our animal outfit, practically all we have is handed to us gratis.  Can the most complacent reactionary flatter himself that he invented the art of writing, or the printing press, or discovered his religious, economic and moral convictions, or any of the devices which supply him with meat and raiment or any of the sources of pleasure as he may derive from literature or the fine arts?  In short, civilization is little else than getting something for nothing."
-  James Harvey Robinson



"Language is the indispensable mechanism of human life― of life such as ours that is molded, guided, enriched, and made possible by the accumulation of the past experience of members of our species.  Dogs, cats, or chimpanzees do not, so far as we can tell, increase their wisdom, their information, their control over their environment from one generation to the next.  Human beings do.  The cultural accomplishments of the ages, the invention of cooking, of weapons, of writing, of printing, of methods of building, of games and amusements, of means of transportation, and the discoveries of all the arts and sciences come to us as free gifts from the dead.  These gifts, which none of us has done anything to earn, offer us not only the opportunity for a richer life than any of our forebears enjoyed but also the opportunity to add to the sum total of human achievement by our own contributions, however small."
-  S. I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action, 1990 (1939), p. 8



"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed."
-  Storm Jameson  



"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are
not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are."
-  Osho  



"A small garden, figs, a little cheese, and along with this, three or four good friends; such was luxury to Epicurus."
-  Friedrich Nietzsche  



"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
-  Winston Churchill   



"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye."
I Wish You Enough, Unity Church   



"Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man--yesterday in embryo, tomorrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hairsbreadth of time assigned to thee, live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it."
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations  



"There's little risk in becoming overly proud of one's garden because by its very nature is humbling.  It has a way of keeping you on your knees."
-   JoAnn Barwick  



"Be grateful for the kindly friends that walk along your way; 
Be grateful for the skies of blue that smile from day to day; 
Be grateful for the health you own, the work you find to do, 
For round about you there are men less fortunate than you.

Be grateful for the growing trees, the roses soon to bloom,
The tenderness of kindly hearts that shared your days of gloom;

Be grateful for the morning dew, the grass beneath your feet,
The soft caresses of your babes and all their laughter sweet.

Acquire the grateful habit, learn to see how blest you are,
How much there is to gladden life, how little life to mar!
And what if rain shall fall today and you with grief are sad;
Be grateful that you can recall the joys that you have had."

-  Edgar Guest  



"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and eve ryday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self."
-  Iris Murdoch  



"Even the smallest landscape can offer pride of ownership not only to its inhabitants but to its neighbors. The world delights in a garden.... Creating any garden, big or small, is, in the end, all about joy."
-  Julie Moir Messervy  



"A day so happy.
Fog lifted early.  I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I know no one worth my envying him."
-   Czeslaw Milosz, Gift  



"Make it a habit to tell people thank you.  To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return.  Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you.  Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it."
-  Ralph Marston  



"Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance.  The cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, and will preserve it longer."
- Thomas Carlyle  



"That a man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had."
-  Robert Louis Stevenson  



Jokes, Riddles and Humor for Gardeners   



"A garden is one of the few expressions of man's nature that is altogether benign."
Nan Fairbrother  



"Of all days, the day on which one has not laughed is the one most surely wasted."
-  Sebastien-Roch Nicholas de Chamfort  



"But he who kisses the Joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity's sunrise."
-  William Blake   



"If you are loving, if you are friendly, if you are helpful, the World will prove loving and friendly and helpful to you.  The World is what you are."
-  Thomas Dreier  



"The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp."
-  John Berry  



"When one wishes to play the wit, he sometimes wanders a little from the truth."
-  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry  



"A fact bobbed up from my memory, that the ancient Egyptians prescribed  walking through a garden as a cure for the mad.  It was a mind-altering drug we took daily.
-  Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks  



"I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
An if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that
is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand
or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness,
I can wait."
-   Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass  



"If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself."
-  Minquass American Indian Saying  



"Hospitality is a form of worship."
-  The Talmud



"You crown the year with your bounty.   Your carts overflow with abundance.
The wilderness grasslands overflow.  The hills are clothed with gladness.
The pastures are covered with flocks.
The valleys also are clothed with grain.
They shout for joy!  They also sing."
-   Bible: Psalm 65:11-13  



"Of cheerfulness, or a good temper -- the more it is spent, the more of it remains."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson



"I find the love of garden grows upon me as I grow older more and more.  Shrubs and
flowers and such small gay things, that bloom and please and fade and wither and are
gone and we care not for them, are refreshing interests, in life, and if we cannot say
never fading pleasures, we may say unreproved pleasures and never grieving losses."
-  Maria Edgeworth, 1832 



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"A good laugh is sunshine in a house."
-  William M. Thackeray  



"Nobody notices when things go right."
Zimmerman's Law of Complaints  



"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.   It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-  Melody Beattie



"If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal - that is your success.  All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself."
-  Henry David Thoreau   



"The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.  Frown at it, and it will look sourly upon; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion."
-  William Thackeray  



"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.   It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-  Melody Beattie   



"Students leaving a meditation retreat will sometimes ask me to recommend a mindfulness practice they can incorporate into their daily routine that will keep them in touch with the experiences they've had during the retreat. There are many such practices, but occasionally I suggest one that almost always surprises them and sometimes draws skepticism—the mindful cultivation of gratitude. Gratitude is the sweetest of all the practices for living the dharma in daily life and the most easily cultivated, requiring the least sacrifice for what is gained in return. It is a very powerful form of mindfulness practice, particularly for students who have depressive or self-defeating feelings, those who have access to wonder as an ecstatic state, and those with a reactive personality who habitually notice everything that's wrong in a situation."

"Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding. Being relieved of the endless wants and worries of your life's drama, even temporarily, is liberating. Cultivating thankfulness for being part of life blossoms into a feeling of being blessed, not in the sense of winning the lottery, but in a more refined appreciation for the interdependent nature of life. It also elicits feelings of generosity, which create further joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too guarded, and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development." 
-  Philipp Moffitt, Selfless Gratitude   




Recommended Reading


Chop Wood Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life edited by Rick Fields, 1984. 

The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer, 2006.

Exuberance:  An Affirmative Philosophy of Life by Paul Kurtz, 1985. 

The Gentle Path of Spiritual Progress by Hua-Ching Ni, 1987.  

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, 500 BCE. 

Lifestyle Advice for Wise Persons compiled by Mike Garofalo, 2011. 

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp, 2011.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle, 2004. 

The Solitary Druid: A Practitioner's Guide by Robert Lee Skip Ellison, 2005. 

Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks by Gary Thorp, 2001. 

The Tao of Daily Life by Derek Lin, 2007. 

Walkers Between the Worlds:  The Western Mysteries from Shaman to Magus by Caitlin and John Matthews, 2003.  




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The Spirit of Gardening Website

Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
Arranged by Over 250 Topics
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       From January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2010 
This webpage has been online since April of 2002.   
Compiled by Karen Garofalo and Mike Garofalo

February 21, 2011

Green Way Research

Spirit of Gardening Blog