"January is the quietest month in the
garden. ... But just because it looks quiet
doesn't mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the
pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients
for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the
soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
- Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99
"She sat down in a weed patch, her elbows
on her knees, and kept her eyes
on the small sterious world of the ground. In the shade and sun of grass
blade forests, small living things had their metropolis."
- Nancy Price
"With six small diamonds for his eyes
He walks upon the summer skies,
Drawing from his silken blouse
The lacework of his dwelling house."
- Robert P. Tristram Coffin, The Spider
"No flowers, no bees;
No bees, no flowers.
Blooming and buzzing,
Buzzing and blooming;
Married and still in Love."
- Mike Garofalo
"The honey-bee's great ambition is to be rich,
to lay up great stores,
to possess the sweet of every flower that blooms. She is
more than provident. Enough will not satisfy her, she must have all she can get by hook or crook."
- John Burroughs
"When the bee comes to your house, let her
you may want to visit the bee's house some day."
- Proverb from the Congo
"In nature a repulsive caterpillar
turns into a lovely butterfly.
But with humans it is the other way around:
a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar."
"All humans have a species of mite that lives
in the follicles of the eyebrows on our faces. I'll bet you didn't want to hear
that bit of news! But wait, there's more: another species of mite lives off the
glands that branch from the follicles of these same eyebrows. That's right, we
have two species of mites living on our faces, and there is nothing you or I can
do about it. So, when I warn that it is better to be a laissez-faire gardener
and to turn the other cheek (or eyebrow), you had better listen to me or else
I'll have to tell you something that might really get your attention. I don't
want to have to be forced to do that."
- Eric Grissel, Ph.D., professional entomologist and amateur gardener. Insects and Gardens, Timber Press, 2001, p. 32.
"Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason: man is not a fly."
- Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
"Snails don't walk.
They slither and slide
Along wet pathways
Gleam and glide,
The grasses green,
Polished houses shell-like gleam."
- Theresa Heine
"Do what we can, summer will have
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I do believe that an intimacy with
the world of crickets and their kind
can be salutary - not for what they are likely to teach us about ourselves
but because they remind us, of we will let them, that there are other voices,
other rhythms, other strivings and fulfillments than our own."
- Howard E. Evans
"There is nothing in a caterpillar
that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
- Buckminster Fuller
"Some primal termite knocked on wood;
and tasted it,
and found it good. That is why your cousin May
fell through the parlor floor today."
- Ogden Nash
"That which is not good for the
cannot be good for the bees."
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
"Much like a subtle spider which doth
In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide;
If aught do touch the utmost thread of it,
She feels it instantly on every side."
- Sir John Davies, 1570-1626, The Immortality of the Soul
"The spider's touch, how exquisitely
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line."
- Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
"Just living is
not enough," said the butterfly.
"One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen
"You will catch more flies with a
spoonful of honey than with a gallon of vinegar."
- Romanian Proverb
"The pedigree of honey does not
concern the bee, a clover,
anytime, to him, is aristocracy."
- Emily Dickinson
"Under our floor,
Two worlds - an inch apart."
- Mike Garofalo, "Cuttings
"The art finds kingdoms in a foot of
- Stephen Vincent Benet
"A little beetle passed me by.
He didn't make much fuss,
He ran around my garden
Like a tiny yellow bus."
- Slyvia Gerditz
in the sun-searched growths
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky."
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon
"This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands."
- William Butler Yeats
"It costs me never a stab nor squirm
To tread by chance upon a worm.
"Aha, my little dear," I say,"
- Dorothy Parker, Thought for a Sunshiny Morning
"A worm is the gardener's unpaid helper. Worms can eat up to one third of their bodyweight in a day. Some earthworms may live as long as eight years. Worms can live near the surface of the soil or even down to twelve feet below ground. Worms can move objects up to fifty times their own weight. The value of worms was understood by the ancients; it is said that Cleopatria of Egypt celebrated them as sacred in 50 B.C.."
"As anyone who has spent any part of a
summer in the
Mediterranean countryside can attest, the cicada, mostly
through its incessant singing during the hot daylight hours,
is a constant and ubiquitous contributor to the ambiance.
It has been so of course for millennia; certainly for as long
as there have been people in that part of the world there
have been cicadas insistently drumming
their music into human ears."
- Rory B. Egan, Cicadas in Ancient Greece
"John Gertsch estimated that 64,000 spiders
lived in a field near his home."
- John Gertsch, American Spiders
"Happiness is a butterfly, which, when
pursued, is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
"... store of bees, in a dry and warme
bee-house, comely made of fir boards,
to sing, and sit, and feede upon your flowers and sprouts, make a pleasant
noyse and sight. For cleanly and innocent bees, of all other things, love and
become, and thrive in your orchard. If they thrive (as they must needs if your
gardiner be skilfull, and love them: for they love their friends and hate none
but their enemies) they will besides the pleasure, yeeld great profit, to pay him his wages; yea the increase of twenty stock of stools with other bees, will keep your orchard."
- William Lawson, A New Orchard and Garden, 1618
"Around a flowering tree, one finds many
- Proverb from Guinea
"The plow is one of the most ancient
and most valuable of man's inventions;
but long before he existed the land was in fact regularly plowed, and still
continues to be thus plowed by earthworms. It may be doubted whether
there are many other animals which have played so important a part in
the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures."
- Charles Darwin, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, 1837
"For how tiny the world,
This ant's egg--and the sky!"
- Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib
"Give and Take...
For to the bee a flower is a fountain if life
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love
And to both, bee and flower,
the giving and the receiving is a need and an ecstasy."
- Kahlil Gibran
"Slugs and snails: These creatures are
a problem. Some people have
had good results using their ashes persistently or letting the bodies
rot in water until they are very decomposed and then sprinkling this
brew several times, when the moon is in the Crab . . . The treatment
is not an easy one to perform during the busy time of the year. The
Crab is a small constellation and the moon moves through it rather
quickly. . . . . . Preoccupation with other Crab operations may land
one up in the Lion and the best time will be missed. Moreover, just when one wants slugs they are often hard to find."
- John Soper, Bio-Dynamic Gardening
"Only two percent of all insects are
harmful. Why are they all in my garden?
Dearly respect the lifestyle of worms.
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back: the summer crowd has returned!
Snail - Squash! Tomato Worm - Squash! Grasshopper - Squash! The Garden Trooper is at War!"
Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire
And your children are gone."
- Nursery Rhyme from England
"Or perhaps you notice a congregation
of ladybugs on a rose stalk. Don't invoke the old nursery saying and ask them to fly away home.
Their house is not on fire. Your roses are, with aphids,
which the ladybugs are feeding on - and you can bless yourself that they have come to your rescue."
- Eleanor Perenyi
"O cricket from your cherry cry
No one would ever guess
How quickly you must die."
"If you want to live and thrive,
let the spider run alive."
- American Quaker saying
"Great fleas have little fleas
upon their backs to bite 'em
and little fleas have lesser fleas
and so ad infinitum."
- DeMorgan, Budget of Paradoxes
"Being a connoisseur of salad greens I decided to try giant deer
tongue greens one year.
These plants were quick to grow, and soon filled the gallon milk jug I used as a temporary
"hothouse". I finally left the plant uncovered. That evening I walked out to the garden for
a few spinach leaves, and found my deer tongue so encased in slugs I could not see any
of the leaves, only a tower of slugs and slime.
- Divide and Conquer (Slug Control Ideas) Slugs are a "terrestrial gastropod mullusk."
"Where there are humans you'll find flies,
"The earth without worms would soon
hard-bound, and void of fermentation, and
- Gilbert White
"Earthworms are the intenstines of the
"What do you suppose?
A bee sat on my nose.
Then what do you think?
He gave me a wink
And said, "I beg your pardon,
I thought you were the garden."
- Rhyme from England
"Our little kinsmen after rain
In plenty may be seen,
a pink and pulpy multitude
The tepid ground upon;
A needless life if seemed to me
Until a little bird
As to a hospitality
Advanced and breakfasted."
- Emily Dickinson, Our Little Kinsman
"Though snails are exceedingly slow,
There is one thing I'd like to know.
If I out run 'em round the yard,
How come they beat me to the chard?"
- Allen Klein
"In the right place at the right time,
tomato worms on tomato vines."
- Mike Garofalo, Cuttings
The Spirit of Gardening
Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
Arranged by Over 250 Topics
Over 15 Megabytes of Text
Over 21 Million Webpages (excluding graphics) Served to Readers Around the World
From January 1, 1999 through March 1, 2011
This webpage has been online since May 2001
Compiled by Karen Garofalo and Mike Garofalo from Red Bluff, California
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Last Updated: April 17, 2011
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