Bugs, Aphids, Bees, Butterflies, Caterpillars,
Ants, Flies, Worms, Slugs, Lady Bugs, Dragonflies

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

Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo



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"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  


Beekeeping For Dummies 
Langstroth's Hive and the Honey-Bee: The Classic Beekeeper's Manual  

Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Beekeepers  

The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men  
The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden
The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore
The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters    
Time For Kids: Bees!



"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 have beer; you may want to  visit the bee's house some day."
-  Proverb from the Congo 


Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet
The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done

Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Beekeepers

The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees
Are You a Bee?

The Honeybee Man




"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."
-  Chekhov 


"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,
Squeezed between
The grasses green,
Polished houses shell-like gleam."
-  Theresa Heine



Slugs and Snails

Snails  Up Close

The Secret World of Slugs and Snails: Life in the Very Slow Lane

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating 

"Do what we can, summer will have its flies."
-  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  


My, Oh My--A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies  
Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden
From Caterpillar to Butterfly
Butterfly Life Cycle Stage


"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 beehive cannot be good for the bees."
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 


"Much like a subtle spider which doth sit
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 


Spinning Spiders
Spider's Lunch: All About Garden Spiders
Nic Bishop Spiders

Spiders and Their Kin

Are You a Spider?


"The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
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 


Flies (Insects)

Flies (Insects and Spiders)


The Life of the Fly 

"The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee, a clover, anytime, to him, is aristocracy."
-  Emily Dickinson  


"Under our floor,
    Spider families.
                   Two worlds - an inch apart."
                                                    -   Mike Garofalo, "Cuttings 

Spiders and Their Kin

Scholastic Q & A: Do All Spiders Spin Webs?
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders

Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology

Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens


"The art finds kingdoms in a foot of ground."
-  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 


"Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
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



Wiggling Worms at Work

Uncle Jim's Worm Farm 1,000 Count Red Wiggler Live Composting Worms

Worm Factory DS3GT 3-Tray Worm Composter

"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


Butterflies through Binoculars: The East A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Eastern North America

 Butterflies through Binoculars: The West A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America

 Pentax 62216 Papilio 8.5x21 Porro Prism Binocular





"... 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 insects."
-  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 


Aphids (Blastoff!

Cicadas and Aphids: What They Have in Common
The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control
Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs




"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 


Copper Praying Mantis Garden Sculpture & Stake
Praying Mantis Egg Case - 2 Praying Mantids Egg Cases - Live Good Bugs

"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 


"Ladybird, Ladybird,
Fly away home,
Your house is on fire
And your children are gone."
-  Nursery Rhyme from England


Beetles : A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America
A Ladybug's Life
Insect Lore Ladybug Life Cycle Stages


"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."
-  Basho


"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, and Buddhas."
-  Issa 


"The earth without worms would soon become cold, hard-bound, and void of fermentation, and consequently sterile."
-  Gilbert White



Wiggling Worms at Work
An Earthworm's Life (Nature Upclose)

The Life Cycle of an Earthworm


"Earthworms are the intenstines of the soil."
-  Aristotle 


"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

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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
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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help Karen and Mike? 
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Last Updated: April 17, 2011 

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