Definitions of Gardening and Gardeners

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

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo



As the biocentric view suggests, the garden prospers when control is balanced
by equal measures of humility and benevolence. A balance is struck. Control,
servitude, respect, imagination, pragmatism, an ecological conscience, compliance,
and a certain measure of mysticism and altruism all meld together to provide
nurturance. Try to separate the various aspects into their constituent parts - grant
any one of them the status of fundamental gardening definition and one soon
skews the entire process. Put them back together again in the service of the
two-way street called nurturance, and we express the state of grace called gardening.
-  Jim Nollman, Why We Garden: Cultivating a Sense of Place, 1994, p. 106.



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 Capek




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I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make
something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal,
to honor the earth, to leave a mark.  Through gardening, we feel whole
as we make our personal work of art upon our land.
-   Julie Moir Messervy, The Inward Garden, 1995, p.19






Gardening is ultimately a folly whose
goal is to provide delight.
Deborah Needleman




The home gardener is part scientist, part artist, part philosopher, part plowman.
He modifies the climate around his home.
- John R. Whiting



Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes,
it is a triumph of hope over experience.
- Marina Schinz






Quotes for Gardeners

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

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo






Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint,
and the soil and sky as canvas.
- Elizabeth Murray







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






A garden really lives only insofar as it is an expression of faith,
the embodiment of a hope and a song of praise.
- Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener, 1962




Bad Gardens copy, good gardens create, great gardens transcend.  What all great gardens have
in common are their ability to pull the sensitive viewer out of him or herself and into the garden,
so completely that the separate self-sense disappears entirely, and at least for a brief moment
one is ushered into a nondual and timeless awareness.  A great garden, in other words,
is mystical no matter what its actual content.
- Ken Wilbur, Grace and Grit, 1991, p. 109.






Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.
-  Alfred Austin




Gardening is any way that humans and nature come together
with the intent of creating beauty.
-   Tina James, 1999






Garden: One of a vast number of free outdoor restaurants operated by
charity-minded amateurs in an effort to provide healthful, balanced
meals for insects, birds and animals.
-   Henry Beard and Roy McKie, Gardener's Dictionary






It is always exciting to open the door and go out
into the garden for the first time on any day.
- Marion Cran





Gardening is medicine that does not need
a prescription ... And with no limit on dosage.
-  Author unknown






Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion 
about everything - except itself.
May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep, 1968





What, if anything, do the infinity of different traditional and individual ideas of a garden
have in common? They vary so much in purpose, in size, in style and content that not
even flowers, or even plants at all, can be said to be essential. In the last analysis there
is only one common factor between all gardens, and this is the control of nature by man.
Control, that is, for aesthetic reasons. .... The essence is control. Without constant
watchful care a garden - any garden - rapidly returns to the
state of the country all around it.
- Hugh Johnson, The Principles of Gardening, 1979, p. 8.





I don't think we'll ever know all there is to know about gardening, and I'm just as glad
there will always be some magic about it!
-  Barbara Damrosch





A garden always gives back more than it receives.
-   Mara Beamish





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, 1892 - 1962





You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
-  Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Little Prince






He who cultivates a garden, and brings to perfection flowers and fruits
cultivates and advances at the same time his own nature.
-  Ezra Weston, 1845






This garden is no metaphor --
more a task that swallows you into itself,
earth using, as always, everything it can.
-    Jan Hirshfield, November, Remembering Voltaire






An addiction to gardening is not all bad when
you consider all the other choices in life.
-   Cora Lea Bell





Gardening gives me fun and health and knowledge. 
It gives me laughter and colour.  It gives me pictures
of almost incredible beauty.
-  John F. Kenyon






Gardens are not created or made, they unfold, spiraling open
like the silk petals of an evening primrose flower to reveal the
ground plot of the mind and heart of the gardener
and the good earth.
-  Wendy Johnson, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, 2000






The garden is a ground plot for the mind.
-   Thomas Hill, 1577






Agriculture probably required a far greater discipline than did any form of food collecting.
Seeds had to be planted at certain seasons, some protection had to be given to the growing
plants and animals, harvests had to be reaped, stored and divided.  Thus, we might argue
that it was neither leisure time nor a sedentary existence but the more rigorous demands
associated with an agricultural way of life that led to great cultural changes.
-  Charles Heiser, Seed to Civilization



Nature does not complete things. She is chaotic. Man must finish,
and he does so by making a garden and building a wall.
- Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963






Simplicity  -  Quotes for Gardeners





I garden, therefore I am.
Shelly's Space






Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green glade ...

Such was that happy garden-state, ...
-  Andrew Marvell, The Garden







Why do plants have such a positive impact on us? 
There are a number of reasons, including:
They have a predictable cycle of life that provides comfort
in our time of rapid change.
They are responsive but nonthreatening.
They form no opinions or judgments about their caregivers.
They soften our man-made environment.
They enable us to change or improve our environment.
They promote relaxation and tranquility.
-   Gardening - Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul, Proxima Health System, Atlanta







The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on
to others, is to know the enduring happiness that
the love of a garden gives.
-   Gertrude Jekyll






When your garden is finished I hope it will be more beautiful 
that you anticipated, require less care than you expected, 
and have cost only a little more than you had planned.   
-   Thomas D. Church





It is forbidden to live in a town which has no greenery.
-   The Jerusalem Talm





The man who has planted a garden feels that
he has done something for the good of the world.
-  Charles Dudley Warner





Gardening is a humbling experience.
-   Martha Stewart





Gardens always mean something else, 
man absolutely uses one thing to say another. 
-   Robert Harbison




I look back with gladness to the day when I found the path to
the land of heart's desire, and thank Fate ceaselessly with a
loud voice that she did not permit the town to sap all the years
away while the heart was turning to wind-voices and
flower-faces and the hands of kindly earth.
-   Mrs. George Cran, The Garden of Ignorance, 1913)






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 and R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936







A research project in Australia, entitled "The Congruent Garden: an
Investigation into the Role of the Domestic Garden in Satisfying
Fundamental Human Needs," interviewed  gardeners on the values of
gardening in their everyday lives.  The researcher, Mike Steven,
established that gardens have the potential to satisfy nine basic human
needs (subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation,
leisure, creation, identity, freedom) across four  existential states
(being, having, doing and interacting.)
-   Mike Steven, Lecturer in Landscape Studies,
    University of Western Sydney, Australia







The word 'garden' comes from the Old English 'geard', meaning a fence or enclosure,
and from 'garth' meaning a yard or a piece of enclosed ground.  The Oxford Dictionary
of English Etymology
gives the meaning of garden as 'enclosed cultivated ground' and
The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as 'an enclosed piece of ground devoted to the
cultivation of flowers, fruit or vegetables'.   Enclosure is essential to gardening, and
this raises fundamental questions, such as who is doing the enclosing, who owns the
land, and who is being kept out.
-   Martin Hoyles,  The Story of Gardening, 1991, p. 1. 





I also know that we should cultivate our gardens.
-   Voltaire, Candide





People are turning to their gardens not to consume but to
actively create, not to escape from reality but to observe it
closely.  In doing this they experience the connectedness
of creation and the profoundest sources of being.  That the
world we live in and the activity of making it are one
seamless whole is something that we may occasionally
glimpse.  In the garden, we know.
-   Carol Williams, Bringing a Garden to Life, 1998





"We may talk what we please," he cries in his enthusiasm for the
oldest of the arts, "of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles,
in fields d'or or d'argent; but, if heraldry were guided by reason,
a plough in a field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms."
-   Abraham Cowley (1618-1667),  Of Agriculture, 1650





A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul.
- Sadi





I'll plant and water, sow and weed,
Till not an inch of earth shows brown,
And take a vow of each small seed
To grow to greenness and renown:
And then some day you'll pass my way,
See gold and crimson, bell and star,
And catch my garden's soul, and say:
"How sweet these cottage gardens are!"
-   Edith Nesbit, the poem Seed-Time and Harvest
from the Pomander of Verse, 1895





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




Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.
-  Alice Morse Earle, 1897, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden





I shall only instance in one delight more, the most natural and
best-natured of all others, a perpetual companion of the husbandman;
and that is, the satisfaction of looking round about him, and seeing
nothing but the effects and improvements of his own art and diligence;
to be always gathering of some fruits of it, and at the same time to
behold others ripening, and others budding: to see all his fields and

gardens covered with the beauteous creatures of his own industry;
and to see, like God, that all his works are good.

-   Abraham Cowley (1618-1667),  Of Agriculture, 1650





Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
-   Rudyard Kipling, The Glory of the Garden





Strength may wield the ponderous spade,
May turn the clod, and wheel the compost home;
But elegance, chief grace the garden shows,
And most attractive, is the fair result
Of thought, the creature of a polished mind.
- William Cowper





There be delights that will fetch the day about from sun to sun
and rock the tedious year as in a delightful dream ... For a garden
is Arcady brought home.  It is man's bit of gaudy make-believe -
his well-disguised fiction of an unvexed Paradise ... a world
where gayety knows no eclipse and winter and rough
weather are held at bay.
-  John D. Sedding, Garden-Craft, 1893







A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb.
Wishes are like seeds, few ever develop into something.
Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere.
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her slave. 
When all the chores are done, the avid gardener will invent some new ones.
Where are the fig blossoms?  Exceptions to every rule.
Only two percent of all insects are harmful.  Why are they all in my garden?
The joyful gardener is evidence of an incarnation.  
To dig is to discover. 
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions







When a man sits down in front of a garden, or strolls around in it,
he steeps himself in delight.  Because the garden is a paradise
where a garden owner and a landscape gardener share the same
dream in their common culture.  Man first made a garden to try to
produce a paradise in this world.  The garden seems to be a paradise

of the other world somewhere out of sight.
-   Masaaki Noda, Dialogue with a Garden






If it's drama that you sigh for,
plant a garden and you'll get it
You will know the thrill of battle
fighting foes that will beset it
If you long for entertainment and
for pageantry most glowing,
Plant a garden and this summer spend
your time with green things growing.
Edward A. Guest, Plant a Garden





Nature in the garden is nature tamed, cultivated, made subservient to human
purpose, brought into subjection to conscious purpose. A garden is not merely a
piece of nature fenced in near the house, like a wolf chained at the back door; but
nature cultivated and trained like a dog tamed and trained for human ends. Art in
the garden is the human element appropriating and elevating
the natural for human purpose.
- Abram Linwood Urban





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







Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.
-  Francis Bacon






I welcome your comments and suggestions.






People who love this world, people who pay attention, are gardeners. 
People who are invested, people who are aware.  They are gardeners
regardless of whether or not they have ever picked up a trowel. 
Because gardening is not just about digging.  Or planting, for that
matter.  Gardening is about cherishing.
-   Terry Hershey,  Soul Gardening, p. 159







Gardening takes a plot of land, a hoe and willing muscles. 
Scratching the soil, harvesting garden fruits, are peaceful results. 
With a garden, there is hope.
-   Grace Firth







Every garden is a chore sometimes,
but no real garden is nothing but a chore.
- Nancy Grasby






A garden is the place millions of people go to touch the earth, to smell flowers - to use
some of that fabled human brainpower in the cause of better participating with natural
processes in the place they call home.  It serves as an art project, an organic produce
market, a spiritual practice, a pharmacy.   It offers ongoing lessons in ecology, biology,
chemistry, geology, meteorology.  Gardening imparts an organic perspective on the
passage of time.  It bestows on its practitioners a genuine sense of admiration for the
plants, the soil, the sun, the water.
-  Jim Nollman,  Why We Garden: Cultivating a Sense of Place, 1994, p. 2.







All gardeners know that in some way they work out their problems
in the garden.  There is no mystery to it.  They are simply following
Nature's laws.  Planting a garden is an act of optimism.
-   Marilyn Barrett, Creating Eden




Gardens are a form of autobiography.
-  Robert Dash, Horticulture 1993





Flowers - Quotes for Gardeners






The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful,
rich, and creative, it isn't simple.
Doris Janzen Longacre






God Almighty first planted a garden; and indeed, it is the
purest of human pleasures.  It is the greatest refreshment
to the spirits of man, without which buildings and palaces
are but gross handiworks.
-   Frances Bacon, 1625





The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.
- Hanna Rion




Quotes for Gardeners

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

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo






A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.
- H. E. Bates





He who plants a garden plants happiness.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.
- Chinese Proverbs







The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due,
not a garden swollen to a realm;  his own hands to use, not the
hands of others to command."
-   J.R.R. Tolkien,  The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee






A small garden, accordingly, gives its owner a far greater
opportunity to express himself ... in a garden any man
may be an artist, may experiment with all the subtleties or
simplicities of line, mass, color, and composition,
and taste the god-like joys of the creator.
-   H. G. Dwight, Gardens and Gardening, Atlantic Monthly, 1912






If there's one thing I can say about my garden, it can always surprise me.
-  David Hobson
,   The Mad Gardener





Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.
-  Author Unknown






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






To garden, you open your personal space to admit a few,
a great many, or thousands of plants which exude charm,
pleasure, beauty, oxygen, conversation, friendship, confidence,
and other rewards should you succeed in meeting their basic
needs.  This is why people garden.  It can be easy but
challenging, and the rewards are priceless.

-  Tom Clothier,  Gardening Walk and Talk






Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life's whole;
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.
- Louise Seymour Jones





He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the plants,
the waters, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments -
is the rich and royal man.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson







I make bean stalks, I'm
A builder, like yourself.
-   Edna St. Vincent Millay,
Second April, 1921






How often I admire the taste shown in the garden which, within the house, may be indifferent.  Here is
an art which is today probably more perfect than at any previous time, one which does not break
with the past, while it brings a sense of comely order, and a radiant beauty, to cottage and manor alike.
- William Rothenstein, 1939.







What, if anything, do the infinity of different traditional and individual
ideas of a garden have in common?  They vary so much in purpose,
in size, in style and content that not even flowers, or even plants at all,
can be said to be essential.  In the last analysis there is only one
common factor between all gardens, and this is the control of nature
by man.  Control, that is, for aesthetic reasons.
-   Hugh Johnson







Gardening and Spirituality
An essay by Mike Garofalo







As is the garden such is the gardener. 
A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds.
-   Francis Bacon






Trees  -  Quotes for Gardeners






In green old gardens, hidden away
From sight of revel and sound of strife,
Here I have leisure to breathe and move,
And to do my work in a nobler way;
To sing my songs, and to say my say;
To Dream my dreams, and to love my love;
To hold my faith, and to live my life.
Making the most of its shadowy day.
-   Violet Fane,  1843 - 1905,  In Green Old Gardens







The garden reconciles human art and wild nature, hard work and deep pleasure,
spiritual practice and the material world.  It is a magical place because it is not
divided.  The many divisions and polarizations that terrorize a disenchanted world
find peaceful accord among mossy rock walls, rough stone paths, and trimmed 
bushes.  Maybe a garden sometimes seems fragile, for all its earth and labor, 
because it achieves such an extraordinary delicate balance of nature and 
human life, naturalness and artificiality.  It has its own liminality, its point of 
balance between great extremes.
-   Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1996, p. 99.  





The golden rule of gardening is to pay attention 
to local conditions of weather and soil. 

-   Carol Williams




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The principal value of a garden is not understood.  It is not to give the
possessors vegetables and fruit (that can be better and cheaper done
by the market-gardeners), but to teach him patience and philosophy,
and the higher virtues - hope deferred, and expectations blighted,
leading directly to resignation, and sometimes to alienation.
-   Charles Dudley Warner, 1829-1900







Gardens likewise are a product of the yearning which grows from the
humiliations and dashed hopes of daily life, and are thus the reflection

and counter-image of a more beautiful world.  Designed to bridge borders,
gardens shed light on the historical reality of their creation and creators.

Like all Utopias, they criticize a concrete political situation, social
relationships, constrains and shortcomings.
-   Carl F. Schroer








Spirituality  -  Quotes for Gardeners







No sooner did I bend over and scratch the soil with the hoe that I began to unearth bits
and pieces ... of my past.  Memories forever rooted in time were clustered in my garden
consciousness like potatoes, waiting, crying to be dug up.  ...  I plant flowers and vegetables. 
I harvest memories - and life.
-   Nancy H. Jordan, 1993






Gardens are inevitably a trade-off of successes and failures.
-   Rebecca Rupp






To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds,
and watch the renewal of life - this is the commonest delight of the race,
the most satisfactory thing a man can do.
-  Charles Dudley Warner







How fair is a garden amid the toils and passions of existence.
-  Benjamin Disraeli






What do we look for as reward?
Some little sounds, and scents, and scenes
A small hand darting strawberry-ward
A woman's aprons full of greens.

The sense that we have brought to birth
Out of the cold and heavy soil,
The blessed fruits and flowers of earth
Is large reward for our toil.
-   Ruth Pitter, 1897-1992, The Diehards, 1941







To create a garden is to search for a better world.  In our
effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of
paradise.  Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece
or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the
expectation of a glorious future.  This hope for the future is
at the heart of all gardening.
-   Marina Schinz







Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication,
and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to
a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
-   Author Unknown






Yes, in the poor man's garden grow
Far more than herbs and flowers -
Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
And Joy for weary hours.
-   Mary Howitt, The Poor Man's Garden






To dwell is to garden.
-  Martin Heidegger






Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.
-  Author Unknown






A Garden, an Elaboratory, a Work - house, Improvements and Breeding,
are pleasant and Profitable Diversions to the Idle and Ingenious: For here
they miss Ill Company, and converse with Nature and Art; whose Variety
are equally grateful and instructing; and preserve a good
Constitution of Body and Mind.

-  William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims, 1682







To garden is to let optimism get the better of judgment.
-   Eleanor Perenyi







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





I should like to enflame the whole world with my taste for gardening. 
There is no virtue that I would not attribute to the man who lives 
to project and execute gardens. 
-   Prince De Ligne 





My spirit was lifted and my soul nourished by my time in the garden.
It gave me a calm connection with all of life, and an awareness that remains
with me now, long after leaving the garden.
Nancy Ross







May we be good to plants and flowers.   May we take fine care of
the places where they grow.  Earth won't have to shake and flood
and burn so fiercely then.  The world will be more wide-awake and
tuneful, a place where children - all beings - can bloom.
-  Maggie Streincrohn Davis, Glory! To the Flowers







That small circle of earth became a second home
to both of us.  Gardening boring?  Never!  It has
surprise, tragedy, startling developments - a soap
opera growing out of the ground.  I'd forgotten
that tremolo of expectation produced by
a tiny forest of sprouts.
-   Paul Fleischman, Seedfolks







There are as many kinds of gardens as there are gardeners,
and they define themselves across sharp aesthetic and
philosophical lines: utility versus beauty; vegetables versus
ornamentals; chemicals versus organics; formal style versus
naturalistic.  Different countries breed different gardeners.
-   Abby Adams, What is a Garden Anyway







Gardeners are key land managers.    Our choices therefore lie not
in whether but in how we manage the land.  We would all agree that
we must do it in an ecologically responsible way.
-  George Seddon,  Gardening Responsibility







Wherever man exists, he finds the need to redesign, to recreate the world. 
A more beautiful world, purer, sweeter smelling and more colorful. 
A garden is probably the spot where the hopes for civilization are
best captured.  In fact, man defines himself by his garden.

The Enchanted Gardens of the Renaissance






My Grandmother standing wordless
fifteen minutes                    

Between rows of loganberries,        
clippers poised in her hand.
-   Gary Snyder, The Old Dutch Woman






Cuttings:  Haiku and Zen Poetry






When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy,
there is always the garden.
-  Author Unknown







Biophilia: the innate pleasure from living abundance and diversity
as manifested by the human impulse to imitate Nature with gardens.
-   Edward O. Wilson, Consilience







There are no green thumbs or black thumbs. There are only gardeners
and non-gardeners.   Gardeners are the ones who ruin after ruin get on
with the high defiance of nature herself, creating, in the very face of her
chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises. It sounds
very well to garden a 'natural way'.  You may see the natural way in any
desert, any swamp, any leech-filled laurel hell.  Defiance, on the other
hand, is what makes gardeners.
-   Henry Mitchell








A garden is the mirror of a mind.  It is a place of life, a mystery of green
moving to the pulse of the year, and pressing on and pausing the whole
to its own inherent rhythms.
-   Henry Beston, 1935, Herbs and the Earth







We are stardust,
we are golden,
and we've got to get ourselves
back to the garden.
-  Joni Mitchell




One of the most delightful things about a garden 
is the anticipation it provides. 
-   W. E. Johns




I suppose when it comes right down to it, we garden because
it's an old cold world, and sometimes the best a person can
do is to give it children and some green things growing.
-   Rebecca Rupp







The Chinese word for garden combines forms for soil,
landforms, a well, and an enclosure plus trees. It is

generally interpreted as a man-made place for
recreation containing three elements:  flowers,
trees, fishpond;  buildings;
and, an artificial mountain.

-   Chinese Landscape Gardening








To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest
critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,  to leave the world a bit better, whether
by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition,
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
-   Ralph Waldo Emerson




When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow, 
but the gardeners themselves. 
-   Ken Druse




                  The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
                  whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
                  to him the soil is a divine drug.  He enters into death
                  yearly, and comes back rejoicing.  He has seen the light lie down
                  in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
                                  -    Wendell Berry, The Man Born to Farming, 1970







Presently we pass to some other object which rounds itself
into a whole as did the first; for example, a well-laid garden;
and nothing seems worth doing but the laying-out of gardens.
-   Ralph Waldo Emerson







It occurred to me that agriculture considered as a medium does appear to 
have an "outside" - that is, gardening.  It's true that gardening is not the revolution, 
nor does gardening turn every gardener into a cultural radical. True, but 
perhaps in the long run less interesting than the fact that gardening remains 
prior to and outside agriculture, and the persistence of the garden represents 
some kind of dialectical negativity in relation to agriculture.  . . .   But gardening 
is not just critique.  It has a positive side.  It actually produces good food and 
other benefits that exist outside the complex of exchange, or at least somewhat 
outside.  That is, gardening is "praxis".  Moreover, it is an art form, an area of 
creativity as rich and promising as any symbolic activity, and one which can 
roughly but easily transpire beyond the realm of representation and mediation. 
It can function as an important part of "every day life" in the radical sense of 
that term.  In short, it occurred to me that perhaps the only possible avant 
garde is
the avant garden. 
- Peter Lamborn Wilson, Avant Gardening






How much the making of a garden, no matter how small, adds to the joy of living,
only those who practice the arts and the science can know.
-   E. H. Wilson






A garden is a love song, a duet between
a human being and Mother Nature.
-   Jeff Cox





Gardening, like sex and food, lies somewhere between art 
and nature, being wholly neither but partly both.
 -   Roger Grounds





My spirit was lifted and my soul nourished by my time in the 
garden.  It gave me a calm connection with all of life, and an 
awareness that remains with me now, long after 
leaving the garden.

-  Nancy Ross





'Green fingers' are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed.  
But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.  A good 
garden cannot be made by somebody who has not developed 
the capacity to know and love growing things.
-   Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener, 1962






As the biocentric view suggests, the garden prospers when
control is balanced by equal measures of humility and
benevolence. A balance is struck. Control, servitude, respect,
imagination, pragmatism, an ecological conscience, compliance,
and a certain measure of mysticism and altruism, all meld
together to provide nurturance.
-   Jim Nollman, Why We GardenThe Sentient Garden







Who loves a garden, still his Eden keeps,
Perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvests reaps.
-   Amos Bronson Alcott





A garden is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's 
coat-skirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg , and his whole 
body to irresistible destruction.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1860





Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom 
of the forest and the outlaw. 
-   Henry David Thoreau





The glory of the farmer is that, in the division of labors, it is his part to create.
All trade rests at last on his primitive activity. He stands close to Nature; he
obtains from the earth the bread and the meat. The food which was not,
he causes to be.
-   Ralph Waldo Emerson







Seek to understand what draws you to the garden.  You may
discover greater rewards than the blue ribbons awarded for the
biggest pumpkin or the best preserves. You may find the garden
becomes a teacher and crop "failures" become lessons learned.
However big or small your garden is, if you allow nature to touch
your spirit, gardening will bring returns of peace, satisfaction, and
well-being for as long as you continue to wander the garden path.

-   Norman H. Hansen, The Worth of Gardening







Each person's idea of a garden is unique.  In creating a garden,
we not only open a door to Nature but to an ideal space,
one we can control and order.
-   Marilyn Barrett, Creating Eden







A garden is an awful responsibility.
You never know what you may be aiding to grow in it.
-   Charles Dudley Warner







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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 by Mike Garofalo

Seeing and Vision

Beauty in the Garden

Seasons and Time

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



Essentials  -  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