Education, Learning
Knowledge, Debate

Quotes for Those that Love
Gardens, Gardening, and the Green Way


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo




The gardener who imagines that his work can be reduced to a set of rules and formulae, followed
and applied according to special days marked on the calendar, is but preparing himself for a double
disappointment. Few things are so certain to be uncertain as the seasons and the weather; and these,
rather than a set of dates, even for a single locality, form the signs which the real gardener follows.
That is the great trouble with much book and magazine gardening.
-   Frederick Frye Rockwell, Around the Year in the Garden, 1917



Reading is good but the garden is the best teacher.
-  Christine Allison, 1995



"There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity."
 Arthur Schopenhauer





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Books alone, however well written, or richly stored with facts, cannot teach all that is necessary
to be know about the subject; they can only act as a guide. We must examine the work of the
past, and note down errors of practice that have led to failures for rectification; so as to go
forward with additional experience and a firm resolve to merit success in the new year.
- T. W. Saunders, 1887




Native ability without
education is like a tree without fruit.

Theodore Roosevelt





It can't be broadly true, but every male gardener I know attributes
the genesis of his interest in gardening to a grandparent.  In their
retirement from moneymaking and their quieter, more nurturing
attentions, grandparents might be well suited to this unveiling this,
the happy work of horticulture.
-   Michael Fox, My Grandmother and Her Peonies





Apprentice yourself to nature.   Not a day will pass
without her opening a new and wondrous world of
experience to learn from and enjoy.
-   Richard W. Langer






Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
-   Chinese Proverb







Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with results, turn as they learn.
Learning to think as a gardener is inseparable from the acts of gardening.
Learning how to garden is learning how to slow down.  
Wise is the person whose heart and mind listen to what Nature says.    
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen.
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions






Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose,
but, follow no one absolutely.
Chinese Proverb

Beware of a man of one book.
-   English Proverb






If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
-   Cicero






What a blessing it is to love books.   Everybody must love something,
and I know of no objects of love that give such substantial and
unfailing returns as books and a garden.
-   Elizabeth von Arnim







Will is the root, knowledge is the stem and leaves,
and feeling is the flower.
-   Sterling





T'is education forms the common mind:
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
-  Alexander Pope, 1688-1744





The essence of education is the education of the body.
-   Benjamin Disraeli







You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about
birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin,
and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your
enjoyment of these things.
-   Henry David Thoreau






To teach is to learn twice.
-   Joseph Joubert







Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing
but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger,
fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith
gives us knowledge of something better: that we can
become oak trees.
-   E.F. Schumacher






I first read classical and modern Western and Eastern philosophers when I was fifteen,
and have since considered myself a person with a humanistic, pragmatic, secular, and
philosophical outlook on most  matters.   I have been content to use reasoning and science
to help me solve most of my problems.   Like most people, I make room for mystical,
mythical, poetic, and symbolic viewpoints when dealing with many artistic,
psychological and values issues. 
Mike Garofalo




Compared to gardeners, I think it is generally agreed
that others understand very little about anything of consequence.
-   Henery Mitchell






Must we always teach our children with books?  Let them look
at the stars and the mountains above.  Let them look at the waters
and the trees and flowers on Earth.  Then they will begin to think,

and to think is the beginning of a real education.
-  David Polis







Mastery is not something that strikes in an instant, like a thunderbolt,
but a gathering power that moves steadily through time, like weather.
-  John W. Gardner






If we represent knowledge as a tree, we know that things that
are divided are yet connected.  We know that to observe the
divisions and ignore the connections is to destroy the tree.
-   Wendell Berry







Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, 
never regains its original dimensions.
-  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.






Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal
down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.
-  Don Marquis






When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade,
plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.
-  Chinese Proverb







Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the
liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and
to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.
-   Albert Einstein






If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman
there to hear him, is he still wrong.
-   Author unknown






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




"I love being asked to identify plants,
and I don't know which gives me more pleasure:
to know what they are or not to know what they are."
-   Elizabeth Lawrence




One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
-  William Wordsworth







Whoever acquires knowledge but does not practice it is as one
who ploughs but does not sow.
-   Saadi





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





The longer the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.
-  J. Singer







If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice
of changing reality.  If you want to know the taste of a pear,
you must change the pear by eating it yourself.
-   Mao Tse-tung






Gardening is a labour full of tranquility and satisfaction; natural 
and instructive, and as such contributes to the most serious 
contemplation, experience, health and longevity.
- John Evelyn, 1666  





God is in the details.
Mies Van Der Rohe

Details are all there are.
-  Maezumi

We think in generalities, but we live in detail.
-  Alfred North Whitehead

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.
-   Levy's Eighth Law






The Essence of Gardening - Quotes and Poetry







Very simple ideas lie within the reach only of complex minds.
-  Remy de Gourmant







‘Garden’ came into the language in the 14th century from Old Northern
French gardin, itself a variation of Old French jardin (still used in modern
French), which probably has a German origin.  ‘Horticulture’ is not
recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary until 1678. This word for the
art or science of cultivating gardens comes from the Latin hortus, meaning
garden, and cultura, meaning growing or cultivation.  The 17th century
also saw the creation in American-English of the idea of a ‘backyard’,
first recorded in Suffolk, Mass, in 1659.  ‘Yard’, however, is one of the
oldest words in the English language.  It came in around 300 AD as
geard ‘building, home, region’, from a Germanic word that is related
to ‘garden’ and ‘orchard’.
-  Juliet New, A Word About Gardening







I am writing in the garden.  To write as one should of a garden
one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, 
but in the garden.   
-   Frances Hodgson Burnett






Just as the bee takes the nectar and leaves without damaging the color
or scent of the flowers, so should the sage act in a village.

-    Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha, Pali Cannon







Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.
-  Proverb from Guinea






The more one gardens, the more one learns;  And the more one learns, the
more one realizes how little one knows.
- Vita Sackville-West







I imagine most of that stuff on the information highway is roadkill anyway.
-   John Updike






The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head.
-  Alexander Pope, 1688-1744





Seeing is different than being told.
-  Proverb from Kenya






Quotes for Gardeners

A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes Arranged by 130 Topics
Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Cliches, Adages

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo





A word to the wise ain't necessary,
it is the stupid ones who need all the advice.

Bill Cosby





Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones.
It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
-   John Burroughs






A love of flowers would beget early rising, industry, habits of close observation, and
of reading.  It would incline the mind to notice natural phenomena, and to reason
upon them.  It would occupy the mind with pure thoughts, and inspire a sweet
and gentle enthusiasm; maintain simplicity of taste; and ... unfold in the heart
an enlarged, unstraightened, ardent piety.
-   Henry War Beecher





Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,
and some few to be chewed and digested.
-   Frances Bacon




To know that you do not know is the best.
To pretend to know when you do not know is disease.
-  Lao Tsu



The true gentleman does not preach what he practices
till he has practiced what he preaches.
-  Confucius





Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. 
It will never fail you.   

-   Frank Lloyd Wright





Earth and sky, wind and trees, rivers and fields, the mountains
and the sea.  All are excellent schoolmasters and teach some of
us more than we could ever learn from books.
-   Author unknown







For the sensory thinker, the world of the mind bears 
a direct physical resemblance to the world outside.
-   Robert Sommer





A modest garden contains, for those who know how to look and to wait,
more instruction than a library.
- Henri Frederic Amiel






You can't learn anything from saguaro cactus, from ocotillo.
They are just passing through; their roots, their much heralded
dormancy in the dry season, these are only illusions of
permanence. They know even less than you do.
-   Barry Lopez



I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must 
write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden. 
-   Frances Hodgson Burnett 




I must study politics and war that my children may have liberty to
study mathematics and philosophy.   My children ought to study
mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval
architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to
give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music,
architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
-   John Adams, 1767-1848






A Book is like a Garden, carried in the Pocket.
-  Chinese Proverb







The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-  Bertrand Russell




A gardener's best tool is the knowledge from previous seasons. 
And it can be recorded in a $2 notebook.
-   Andy Tomolonis





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 Talking Plants




Beyond the Bean Seed





Always try to grow in your garden some plant or plants out of
the ordinary, something your neighbors never attempted.  For 
you can receive no greater flattery than to have a gardener of 
equal intelligence stand before your plant and ask, 
"What is that?" 

-   Richardson Wright 





The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.
-  Galway Kinnell





He who learns teaches, he who teaches learns.
-   African proverb  (Thanks Billie!)







Human history becomes more a race between education and catastrophe.
- H. G. Wells, 1920






My advice to gardeners is to believe what you see as temporal entertainment; a gift from nature.
Do not pass on your interpretation as gospel.  Do not seek interpretation from others.
-   Thomas Clothier,  Garden Walk and Talk






Strew no roses before swine.
-   Dutch Proverb






... garden books are quite unconscious that besides telling us how to turn our patch of earth into a garden, they are also expressing the way their age looks at the world, the state of their society.
-   Nan Fairbrother, Men and Gardens, 1956







In Europe, the word peasant was a term of contempt used by the nobility, but the Chinese
scholars used to fancy themselves rustics.   Agriculture was viewed as a noble occupation;
buying and selling, by contrast were considered nonproductive.  One of the founders of
the Chinese civilization was said to have been the venerable She Nung, the "Divine Farmer."
A scholar often affected to be nothing more than an "old farmer" or a "simple fisherman"
and referred to his elegant villa as "my thatched hut."   This Rosseau-like feeling for the
country life is an important undercurrent in the scholarly tradition.
- Edwin T. Morris






Every decade needs its own manual of handicraft.
-   Liberty Bailey, Manual of Gardening, 1880






To the makying of bookes of gardenyng there is noe ende.
-   Thomas Hyll, 1563






To one who does not know,
a small garden is a forest.
-  Proverb from Ethiopia






Of all the flora and fauna on earth, it is only man that desires or needs rules.
-   Thomas Clothier, Garden Walk and Talk






People are always talking about tradition, but they forget we have
a tradition of a few hundred years of nonsense and stupidity, that
there is a tradition of idiocy, incompetence and crudity.
-   Hugo Demartini






Is it too ingenuous to imagine that anything can be left to say
about a garden?  Garden literature, descriptive, reminiscent, and
technical, has blossomed so profusely among us during the last
decade, that he should be an expert indeed who ventures to add thereto.
-   H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardening, Atlantic Monthly, 1912







One country ... one ideology, one system is not sufficient.  It is helpful to have
a variety of different approaches ...  We can then make a joint
effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind.
-   Dali Lama






The original Greek meaning of the word anthology is
a collection or gathering of flowers in bloom.
-   Jane Garmey






Nature teaches more than she preaches.
There are no sermons in stones.
It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.
-   John Burroughs




You do not need to know anything about a plant to know that it is beautiful. 
-   Montagu Don




La rama que crece torcida nunca se endereza.
A branch that grows crooked, or that is crooked from the beginning,
will never straighten out.
If you don't learn right from wrong early on, or if you don't learn
manners when you are young, you will never learn them later.
-  Thanks to Bethania Maria






People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
-   L.P. Smith






With the rapid growth of ecocriticism, concisely defined by Cheryll Glotfelty
as "the study of the relationship between literature and the physical
environment," and with continued public concern over environmental issues,
writings on nature and natural history are of increasing interest to literary
scholars. Garden writing stands in an intriguing relationship to the broader
genre of nature writing. Although garden writers take as their subject "the
physical environment," it is an environment that they are actively working to
change or "cultivate." Garden writing, then, should provide particularly rich
material for the work of ecocriticism, given that it offers unique insights

into the discursive strategies through which human beings describe,
celebrate, defend, and propagate their transformation of nature
through gardening.
-   Laurie Aikman, Attending to the Garden






They set great store by their gardens . . . Their studie and deligence
herein commeth not only of pleasure, but also of a certain strife and

contention . . . concerning the trimming, husbanding, and furnishing
of their gardens; everye man or his owne parte.
-   Sir Thomas More





Unto those who turn the soil-even though it is turned wrong,
and plant the seed, even though it may not be planted exactly 
right, comes creeping in a tide of knowledge more wide and 
engulfing than any words in books.   

-  Source Unknown





Knowledge increases in proportion to its use; that is,
the more we teach the more we learn.
-   H. P. Blavatsky, 1831-1891






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Tell me and I'll forget.  Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand.
- Native American Proverb







Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. 
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and
rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because
it is found written in your religious books.  Do not believe in
anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed
down for many generations.  But after observation and
analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason
and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all,
then accept it and live up to it.







Spirituality - Quotes for Gardeners







Among gardeners, enthusiasm and experience rarely exist
in equal measures.  The beginner dreams of home-grown bouquets
and baskets of ripe fruit, the veteran of many seasons has learned
to expect slugs, mildew, and frost.
-  Roger Swain







Be open to all teachers
And all teachings,
And listen with your heart.
-   Ram Dass






Man is a strange animal, he doesn't like to read the handwriting
on the wall until his back is up against it.
- Adlai Stevenson






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






If not ignored, nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of
well-being and peace.  The gardener may find deeper meaning

in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden.  Nature
teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses
to live within the paradigm of the garden.

-   Norman H. Hansen, The Worth of Gardening







Soon enough, however, even the veteran net surfer grows tired of speed thrills and choppy
surfaces.  The tide is already turning toward information design with greater depth, sense
of place, and the quiet grace of painting and literature.  As the look and feel of the new
media finds its own niche in cultural life, designers will want to expand information systems
to include virtual worlds that draw on the soothing, contemplative aspects of pre-digital media.
Technological thrills will cloy until we can inject some of the meditative profundity of the
Victorian novel or the landscapes of Corot into the Internet.
-   Michael Heim,  Virtual Reality and the Tea Ceremony, 1998








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More Quotes





Spirituality and Concerns of the Soul


Weeds and Weeding

Simplicity and the Simple Life

Pulling Onions
Quips and Observations by Michael P. Garofalo

The Essence of Gardening

Working in the Garden

Garden Digest Links


Haiku Poetry  -  Links and References

Clichés for Gardeners and Farmers

The History of Gardening Timeline
From Ancient Times to the 20th Century

Short Poems and Haiku by Michael P. Garofalo

Seeing and Vision

Beauty in the Garden

Seasons and Time

Zen Poetry

Comments about this Web Site

Jokes, Riddles and Humor



Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes, Arranged by 130 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo




The Spirit of Gardening







Distributed on the Internet by Michael P. Garofalo



I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions

E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California


A Short Biography of Mike Garofalo



Education  -  Quotes for Gardeners.   Version 4.7




The Spirit of Gardening

Quotes for Gardeners

Haiku and Short Poems

The History of Gardening Timeline

Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong


Zen Poetry

Fitness and Well Being

Green Way Research