"A flower's fragrance declares to all
the world that it is fertile, available, and desirable, its sex organs oozing
with nectar. Its smell reminds us in vestigial ways of fertility, vigor,
life-force, all the optimism, expectancy, and passionate bloom of youth.
We inhale its ardent aroma and, no matter what our ages, we feel young and
nubile in a world aflame with desire."
- Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, 1990, p. 13
"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."
- Emma Goldman
do not think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than the bluebell
I have been looking at. I know the beauty of our Lord by it."
- Gerald Manley Hopkins
"Where flowers bloom
so does hope."
- Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom
flower is a soul opening out to nature."
- Gerald De Nerval
"Perfumes are the feelings of flowers."
- Heinrich Heine
"The world is a rose; smell it and
pass it to your friends."
- Persian Proverb
bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped ..."
we, finally, speaking of nature or culture when we speak of a rose (nature),
that has been bred (culture)
so that its blossoms (nature) make men imagine (culture) the sex
of women (nature)? It may be this sort of confusion that we need more of."
- Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991s
"Flowers are love's truest language."
- Park Benjamin
"The Earth Laughs in Flowers."
pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it, or
photographing it ... So in later years, I have grown in my garden as many
flowers as possible for children to pick."
- Anne Scott-James
will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
just two yellow daffodils,
the first to bloom"
- L.A. Davidson, The Shape of the Tree
"Belladonna: In Italian, a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison."
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
"They are not long,
the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream."
- Ernest Dowson, 1867 - 1900
"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom."
- Anais Nin
"Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."
- Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as
- Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
grows in the garden, so lovely and rare? Roses and Dahlias and people grow
- From the TV show A Gardener's Diary
if you voz to see my roziz
As is a boon to all men's noziz, -
You'd fall upon your back and scream -
'O Lawk! O criky! it's a dream!'"
- Edward Lear, 1885
is at the edge of a petal that love waits."
- William Carlos Williams
you pass by the color purple in a field and don't notice it, God gets real
- Alice Walker
didn't know what narcissism was until I beheld my own narcissus."
- Charles Kuralt
and erect, beneath light's primal flood,
A lily! and pure as any one of you."
"Who can estimate the
elevating and refining influences and moral value of flowers with all their
graceful forms, bewitching shades and combinations of colors and exquisitely
varied perfumes? These silent influences are unconsciously felt even by
those who do not appreciate them consciously and thus with better and still
better fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables and flowers, will the earth be
transformed, man's thought refined, and turned from the base destructive forces
into nobler production. One which will lift him to high planes of action
toward the happy day when the Creator of all this beautiful work is more
acknowledged and loved, and where man shall offer his brother man, not bullets
and bayonets, but richer grains, better fruit and fairer flowers from the bounty
of this earth."
- Father George Schoener (1864 -1941)
The Importance and Fundamental Principles of Plant Breeding
"Take time to smell the roses."
- Gardening Cliches
myself I hold no preferences among flowers,
so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Bricks to all greenhouses!
Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!"
- Edward Abbey
"Observe this dew-drenched rose of Tyrian gardens
A rose today. But you will ask in vain
Tomorrow what it is; and yesterday
It was the dust, the sunshine, and the rains."
- Christina Rosetti
"There are philosophies as varied as the flowers of the field, and some of them weeds and a few of them poisonous weeds."
Fair daffadils, we weep to see
You haste away so soone;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attained its noone.
We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you or anything."
- Herrick, Daffadills
they none of them create the psychological conditions in which I first saw, or
desired to see, the flower."
- G. K. Chesterton
"Since Iris is the Greek goddess for the
Messenger of Love, her sacred flower is considered the symbol of communication
and messages. Greek men would often plant an iris on the graves of their
beloved women as a tribute to the goddess Iris, whose duty it was to take the
souls of women to the Elysian fields."
- Hana No Monogatari: The Stories of Flowers
actual flower is the plant's highest fulfillment, and are not here exclusively
for herbaria, county floras and
geography: they are here first of all for delight."
- John Ruskin
"In the dooryard fronting an old
farm-house near the white-wash'd
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
with many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle - and from this bush in the dooryard,
With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig with its flower I break."
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1865
"If there were nothing else to
trouble us, the fate of the flowers would make us sad."
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections
"What a desolate place would
be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile, a feast
without a welcome. Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our
starts the flowers of the heaven."
- A.J. Balfour
"Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of
sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh
"With a few flowers in my garden, half a
dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy."
- Lope de Vega
seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the
heart of man become in its
long journey toward the stars?"
- G.K. Chesterton
"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
- Claude Monet
"In the cherry blossom's
there's no such thing
as a stranger."
"Flowers are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and siting in the shade."
- Rudyard Kipling
`ia i ka manai ho`okahi.
Strung like flowers on the same lei needle.
- Hawaiian Proverbs
"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes -
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Different flowers look good to
Pick the flower when it is ready to be picked.
The flower that you spent time to care for does not grow while the willow that your accidentally planted flourishes and
- Chinese Proverbs
"Little flower, but if I could understand what you are, root and all in all, I
should know what God and man is."
who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered a fortunate
person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who
enters this world with a passion for flowers in his soul."
- Celia Thaxter
friendship is like a rose: we don't realize its beauty until it fades."
- Evelyn Loeb
"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And of thy meager store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."
- Sheikh Muslih-uddin Saadi Shirazi, The Gulistan of Saadi, 1270
"As well as any bloom upon a flower
I like the dust on the nettles, never lost
Except to prove the sweetness of a shower."
- Edward Thomas, 1878-1917
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
"In friendship's fragrant garden,
There are flowers of every hue.
Each with its own fair beauty
And its gift of joy for you."
- Friendship's Garden
"The flower is the poetry of
reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life."
- Jean Giraudoux
can have a healthy love for flowers unless he loves the wild ones."
- Forbes Watson
old tree is shook
White blossoms slowly float down
Dancers in the wind."
- Alexandra Kim
a thorn comes a rose, and from a rose comes a thorn.
- Greek Proverb
who wants a rose must respect the thorn."
- Persian Proverb
rose has thorns only for those who would gather it."
- Chinese proverb
ne'er the rose without the thorn."
- Robert Herrick
can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes
- Abraham Lincoln
old world that we're livin' in
Is might hard to beat.
You get a thorn with every Rose
But - ain't the roses sweet?"
- Frank Stanton
people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that
thorns have roses."
- Alphonse Karr, 1808-1890
"Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses."
est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.
Nothing is said that hasn't been said before."
- Terence, Eunuchus
[Actually, plenty remains to the said about what has not been said before and what has been said before.]
Everything has been thought of before, but the difficulty is to
think of it again.
"In the hope of reaching the moon men fail
to see the flowers that blossom at their feet."
- Albert Schweitzer
"When you take a flower in
your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give
that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they
have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see
it whether they want to or not."
- Georgia O'Keeffe
"Let us open our leaves like a flower, and be
passive and receptive."
- John Keats
"If, I can someday see M. Claude
Monet's garden, I feel sure that I shall see something that is not so much a
garden of flowers as of colours and tones, less an old-fashioned flower garden
than a colour garden, so to speak, one that achieves an effect not entirely
nature's, because it was planted so that only the flowers with matching colours
will bloom at the same time, harmonized in an infinite stretch of blue or pink."
- Marcel Proust, "Splendours". Le Figaro, June 15, 1907
"It will never rain roses.
When we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses."
- George Eliot
"At dawn I asked the lotus,
'What is the meaning of life?'
Slowly she opened her hand
with nothing in it."
- Debra Woolard Bender, Paper Lanterns
"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
- Victoria Glendinning
"Flowers bring to a liberall
and gentlemanly minde the remembrance of honestie, comelinesse and all kindes of
- John Gerard
A cherry tree
And there are no flowers,
But the spring breeze
Brings forth myriad blossoms."
- Ikkyu Sojun, 1394-1481
would have thought it possible that a tiny little flower could preoccupy a
person so completely that there simply wasn't room for any other thought."
- Sophie Scholl
"Today as in the time of Pliny and Columella, the hyacinth flourishes in Wales,
the periwinkle in Illyria, the daisy on the ruins of Numantia; while around them cities have changed their masters and
their names, collided and smashed, disappeared into nothingness, their peaceful
generations have crossed down the ages as fresh and smiling as on the days of
- Edgar Quinet, Philosophy of Human History, 1825
"Let me show you
Sweet smell of a delicate whisper
Behind the vision of gardens
Go and read of your life
Tiny ripping at the heart
Drunk from a rose."
- Erica Caitlin Lee
't is my faith, that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes."
- William Wordsworth
"The garden should be adorned with
roses and lilies, the turnsole, violets, and mandrake; there you should have
parsley, cost, fennel, southern-wood, coriander, sage, savory, hyssop, mint,
rue, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuces, garden-cress, and peonies.
There should also be beds planted with onions, leeks, garlic, pumpkins and
shallots. The cucumber growing in its lap, the drowsy poppy, the daffodil
and brank-ursine ennoble a garden. Nor are there wanting, if occasion
further thee, pottage-herbs: beets, herb-mercury, orache, sorrel and mallows,
anise, mustard, white pepper and wormwood do good service to the gardener."
- Alexander of Neckham, Of the Nature of Things, 1187
of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve."
- Henry David Thoreau
"Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them."
- Chinese proverb
don't know whether nice people tend to grow roses or growing roses makes people
- Roland A. Beowne
gathered the wild-flowers.
Yes, life there seem'd one pure delight;
As thro' the field we rov'd.
Yes, life there seem'd one pure delight."
- George Linley
"Silently a flower blooms,
In silence it falls away;
Yet here now, at this moment, at this place,
The world of the flower, the whole of
the world is blooming.
This is the talk of the flower, the truth
of the blossom:
The glory of eternal life is fully shining here."
- Zenkei Shibayama
"Flowers construct the most charming geometries: circles like the sun, ovals,
cones, curlicues and a variety of triangular eccentricities, which when viewed
with the eye of a magnifying glass seem a Lilliputian frieze of psychedelic
- Duane Michals, The Vanishing Act
"A Rose is a rose is a rose."
- Gertrude Stein
have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
to be a little wilderness."
- Andrew Marvell
"A flowerless room is a
soulless room, to my way of thinking; but even on solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it."
- Vita Sackville-West
thou canst but thither,
There grows the flower of Peace,
The Rose that cannot wither,
Thy fortress and thy ease."
- Henry Vaughn
Do not the petals flutter down,
Just like this?"
"Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden."
- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
"The only Zen
you'll find flowering in the garden is the Zen you bring there each day.
Graveyards and landscape gardens, coffins and flowers - fitting friends.
Enamored of these flowers, certainly - butterflies, bees and me.
Fruits, nuts, grains ... sex and food. Flowers ... sex and beauty.
Flowers do not grow on the map of your garden.
A flower needs roots; beauty of society of minds.
Even the fruitless will sometimes flower."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today."
- Indian Proverb
flower about a house certifies to the refinement of somebody.
Every vine climbing and blossoming tells of love and joy."
- Robert G. Ingersoll
"Lowly, with a broken neck,
The crocus lays her cheek to mire."
- George Meredith
"Every child is born a
naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life."
- R. Search
'Amen!' of Nature is always a flower."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Eighty percent of the world's rose species come from Asia.
try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. See [God/Spirit/All That Is] opening millions of flowers
every day without forcing the buds."
- Bhagwan Shree Rayneesh
"To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music;
it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy,
than to attempt to fully understand."
- Henry T. Tuckerman
"In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends."
- Kozuko Okakura
"I didn't know the names
of the flowers - now
my garden is gone."
- Allen Ginsberg
"The gardens that make us
happiest flourish because we have taken the time to make sure
they feed our souls and fill a special place in our lives. Sometimes you have to
what you really want from your garden ...
once the beds are laid out and the rose bushes planted."
- Lindley Karstens
"You love the roses - so do
I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!"
- George Eliot, Roses
"In the 1600's, a language of flowers
developed in Constantinople and in the poetry of Persia. Charles II introduced the Persian poetry to Europe, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu brought the flower language from Turkey to England in 1716. It spread to France and became a handbook of 800 floral messages known as the
Book Le Language des Fleurs. Lovers exchanged messages as they gave each other selected flowers or bouquets. A full red rose meant beauty. Red and white mean unity. Crocus said "abuse not", while a white rosebud warns that one is too young for love. Yellow roses were for jealousy, yellow iris for passion, filbert for reconciliation and ivy for marriage."
- Valentine's Day Love Traditions
of This Flower is to bloom."
- Alice Walker
Next Page: Flowers - Quotes for Gardeners, Part II
The Spirit of Gardening Website
How can you
help Karen and
Mike improve and maintain this webpage?
Information for Advertisers and Affiliate Marketers
Last Updated: March 16, 2011
Green Way Research
Our Paths in the Valley Blog
Return to Top of this Webpage