"I love to think of nature as an
unlimited broadcasting station through
which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
- George Washington Carver
"Gardening, besides being a practical, life-nurturing task, is also
always a spiritual activity. In it people attempt to make visible and tasty what
is good, beautiful, and even holy. Every act of gardening presupposes and
embodies a way of relating to creation, a way that invariably invokes moral and
spiritual decisions. Though membership in a garden is a given, how we will take
our place in the membership is not. Our aim must be to develop into good
gardeners, gardeners who work harmoniously among the flows of life. This means
that besides vegetables, flowers, and fruit, gardeners are themselves undergoing
a spiritual cultivation into something beautiful and sympathetic and healthy. A
caring, faithful, and worshipping humanity is one of the garden’s most important
- Norman Wirzba, Spiritual Gardening
"God Almighty first planted a garden."
- Frances Bacon, 1561 - 1626
"It is this subtle dimension of
understanding that marks the southwestern
Indian peoples from other religions and separates tribal peoples from the
world's religions. Somewhere in the planetary history religious expression
changed from participation in the sound, color and rhythm of nature to
the abstractions of man outside this context pleading for temporary respite
and hoping in the next life to return to the Garden."
- Vine Deloria, Jr., Frank Waters, Prophet and Explorer
"Adam was a gardener, and God, who
made him, sees that
half of all good gardening is done upon the knees."
- Rudyard Kipling
"Grant, Goddess, thy
And in protection, strength,
And in strength, understanding,
And in understanding, knowledge,
And in knowledge the knowledge of justice,
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
And in that love, the love of all existences,
And in the love of all existences, the love of Goddess and all goodness."
- Iolo Morganwg, Gorsedd Prayer
"Whenever learners or those beyond learning awaken the mind, for the
first time they plant one buddha-nature. Working with the four elements and five
clusters, if they practice sincerely they attain enlightenment. Working with plants,
trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.
This is because the four elements and five clusters and plants, trees, fences and walls
are fellow students; because they are of the same essence, because they are the same mind
and the same life, because they are the same body and the same mechanism."
- Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master
"Although we all possess the seeds of
great love and compassion,
without the light of the enlightened one's wisdom and the waters
of their compassion these seeds would never spout."
- Philip Kapleau
"For behold, the kingdom of God is
- Luke 17:21
"He who owns a garden,
However small it be,
Whose hands have planted in it
Flower or Bush or Tree;
He who watches patiently
The growth from nurtured,
Who thrills a newly opened bloom
Is very close to God."
- Katherine Edelman, He Who Owns a Garden
"Flower in the crannied wall
I pluck you out of the crannies
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower, but if I could understand,
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is."
- Alred Tennyson (1809-1892), Flower in the Crannied Wall
"It is a glorious privilege to live,
to know, to act, to listen,
to behold, to love. To look up at the blue summer sky;
to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon; to watch the worlds come twinkling into view, first one
by one, and the myriads that no man can count, and lo! the universe is white with them; and you and I are here."
- Marco Morrow
"When men do not love their hearth,
nor reverence their thresholds,
it is a sign that they have dishonoured both ... Our God is a house-hold God,
as well as a heavenly one; He has an altar in every man's dwelling."
- John Ruskin (1819-1900), The Seven Lamps of Architecture , 1908
"When we heal the earth, we heal
- David Orr
"I think that if ever a mortal heard
the voice of God
it would be in a garden at the cool of the day."
- F. Frankfort Moore
"Just as a prism of
glass miters light and casts a colored braid, a garden sings sweet incantations the human heart strains to hear. Hiding in
every flower, in every leaf, in every twig and bough, are reflections of the God who once walked with us in Eden."
- Tonia Triebwasser, The Color of Grace
"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides
quite as comfortably in the circuits
of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at
the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise
is to demean the Buddha-- which is to demean oneself."
- Robert M. Pirsig
"In eternity there is indeed something
true and sublime.
But all these times and places and occasions are now
and here. God himself culminates in the present
moment, and will never be more divine in the
lapse of all the ages."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
"So will I build my altar in the
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to thee."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"God is the tangential point between
zero and infinity."
- Alfred Jarry
"For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in
relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely
far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings
are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed."
- Blaise Pascal
is a relatively easy thing to discuss, health is very difficult.
This, of course, is one of the reasons why there is such a thing as the
sacred, and why the sacred is difficult to talk about, because the
sacred is peculiarly related to the healthy. One does not like to
disturb the sacred, for in general, to talk about something
changes it, and perhaps will turn it into a pathology."
- Gregory Bateson, Ecology of Mind
"Yet, though it is like this, simply,
flowers fall amid our longing
and weeds spring up amid our antipathy."
- Zen Master Dogen, Genjokoan , 1200 - 1253
In last night's storm the beautiful
blossoms all fell off. Ah! What a shame.
When it rains for two or three days, again the weeds have grown up. Oh, well.
Even though flowers fall, don't regret it. Even though weeds grow,
don't hate them. Don't arouse the passions of attraction and repulsion,
hating and loving. If only we don't arouse the passions, the falling of flowers
and the growing of weeds as they are is manifest absolute reality."
- Zen Master Hakuun Yasutani, 1885 - 1973; Flowers Fall , 1996, Translated by Paul Jaffe
A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.
"The color of the mountains is
the sound of running water is his great speech."
- Zen Master Dogen
"I will need much help in growing this
I cannot do it alone.
I ask for help from the Sun: give your light so the
plants can make their food.
I ask for help from the rain: give your moistures to be
the plants' own blood.
I ask for help from the soil: give your minerals from
which the plants will form their bodies.
I will give my time,
I will give my care,
I will give my loving stewardship,
All these I will give my garden."
- Ceisiwr Serith, "A Prayer for Gardening" in A Book of Pagan Prayer, p. 161
"Philosophy considers questions that
may never be answered.
Religion has answers that need not be questioned."
- Adapted by Mike Garofalo
"Holy Mother Earth, the trees and all
are witnesses of your thoughts and deeds."
- Winnebago saying
"Quite apart from
There are plum blossoms,
There are cherry blossoms.
"Rocks pray to," said
Grandad. "Pebbles and boulders
and old weathered hills. They are still and silent, and
those are two important ways to pray."
- Douglas Wood, Grandad's Prayers of the Earth.
"That God once loved a garden we learn
in Holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it."
- Winifred Mary Letts
"Speaking of today, I do not consider it
intellectually respectable to be a partisan in matters of religion.
I see religion as I see other basic fascinations as art and science, in which
there is room for many
different approaches, styles, techniques, and opinions. Thus I am not
formally a committed member
of any creed or sect and hold no particular religious view or doctrine as
absolute. I deplore missionary
zeal, and consider exclusive dedication to and advocacy of any particular
religion, as either the best or
the only true way, as almost irreligious arrogance. Yet my work and life
are fully concerned with
religion, and the mystery of being is my supreme fascination, though, as a
shameless mystic, I am
more interested in religion as feeling and experience that as conception and
- Alan Watts, In My Own Way, p. 61, 1972
"They tell us that plants are not like
but are perishable soul-less. I think that is
something that we know exactly nothing about."
- John Muir, Journal 1867
"I circle around God, the primordial
and I circle ten thousand years long;
and I still don't know if I'm a falcon, a storm,
or an unfinished song."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, 1905
"There's nothing more
spiritual than watching what you've planted in the ground.
You plant it, you nurture it, and God provides the sun and the rain and helps
it to grow. You see the absolute mystery in what God has given to us in
growing things ... also the absolute beauty. There's beauty in the simplest of
things -- the flowers or the bark of a tree. Sometimes it behooves us to stop and
- Sister Christine, Natural Spirituality
"Eat and carouse with Bacchus, or
munch dry bread with Jesus,
but don't sit down without one of the gods."
- D.H. Lawrence
"Technology is a gift of God.
After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of
God's gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences."
- Freeman Dyson, Infinite in All Directions
"It is not a large garden, but there
is no sense of crowding. In the
partially hidden recesses there is calm, in the grouping of the shrubs
there is symmetry of outline. One feels that this corner is in harmony
with the great whole of which it is part. Unconsciously one responds
to the spell of the environment, and the "spirit of God's out-of-doors."
- Hazel Wood Waterman, The House Beautiful (September 1902)
"The sap of Spring in
the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate with green the Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But we are gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of Her nakedly worn magnificence
We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.
- Robert Graves, The White Goddess
"Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, utterably vain;
Worthless as wither'd weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main."
- Emily Bronte, Last Lines
"The shop, the barn, the scullery, and
the smithy become temples
when men and women do all to the glory of God! The "divine
service" is not a thing of a few hours and a few places, but all
life becomes holiness unto the Lord, and every place and thing,
as consecrated as the tabernacle and it's golden candlestick."
- C. H. Spurgeon
"Finding what brings peace and joy to your
heart is important after a hard day at
work, or just living in our intense world. Walking through your garden at the end of
the day can rejuvenate you. I wonder if God, Allah, Jehovah, Shiva, Gaia or
whatever Supreme Being you have come to know, looks down on the Garden that
He or She created with all the different varieties of life and "oohs and aahs?
It is a curious thought, but I think so."
- Teresa Watkins, Gardening With Soul
"A garden was the
primitive prison, till man with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily sinned himself out of it."
- Charles Lamb
"Let your children
be as so many flowers, borrowed from God. If the flowers die or wither, thank
for a summer loan of them."
- Samuel Rutherford
"In the Quran it says that believers
will be rewarded with the
splendors and bountiful beauty of paradise, which is described
as gardens in heaven. Believers are promised gardens of heaven
that have gushing fountains and flowing springs, fruit trees, and
couches to recline in under the cool shade of trees."
- The Muslim News
"So many gods,
So many creeds,
North wind and South wind;
While just the art
Of being kind
Is all this sad world needs."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"This earth is a garden,
The Lord its gardener,
Cherishing all, none neglected."
- Sikhism. Adi Granth, Mahj Ashtpadi 1, M.3, p. 118
"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 Browing
"From the colour the nature
And by the nature the sign!
Beatific spirits welding together
As in one ash-tree in Ygdrasail."
- Ezra Pound, Cantos XC
"Man becomes aware of the Sacred
because it manifests itself, shows itself,
as something wholly different from the Profane ... In his encounters with
the Sacred, man experiences a reality that does not belong to our world
yet is encountered in and through objects or events that are part of the world."
- Mircea Eliade
"In the garden the door is always
open into the holy."
- May Sarton
"Great is our Lord, and of great
Who covereth the heaven with clouds,
Who prepareth rain for the earth,
Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains."
- Bible: Psalm 147
"In the religion of the Medes and
Persians the cult of trees plays an important part,
and with them, as with Assyrians, the symbol of eternal life was a tree with a stream
at its roots. Another object of veneration was the sacred miracle tree, which
within itself contained the seeds of all."
- M. L. Gothein, A History of Garden Art , 1928
"Poltinus the Platonist proves
by means of the blossoms and leaves that from the Supreme God, whose beauty is invisible and ineffable, Providence reaches
down to the things of earth here below. He points out that these frail and
objects could not be endowed with a beauty so immaculate and so exquisitely
wrought, did they not issue from the Divinity which endlessly prevades with its
invisible and unchanging beauty all things."
- Saint Augustine, The City of God
Are what humans consider ugly, putrid, and decaying also attributed to Divine Providence?
"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
"If thy heart were right, then every creature would be a mirror of life
and a book of holy doctrine.
There is no creature so small and abject, but it reflects the
goodness of God."
- Thomas 'A Kempis, Imitation of Christ
"I've always regarded nature as the
clothing of God."
- Alan Havhamess
"My religion consists of a humble
admiration of the illimitable superior spirit
who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive
with our frail and feeble mind."
- Albert Einstein
"The Mother of Maize changed her dove
appearance to a human one.
She introduced to the young man her five daughters, who symbolize the
five sacred colors of maize: white, red, yellow, spotted and blue. As the
young man was hungry, the Mother of Maize gave him a kettle filled
with tortillas and a pot filled with atole. He didn't believe that those
could satiate his hunger, but the tortillas and atole were renewed
magically, in a way that he couldn't finish them. The Mother of Maize
asked him to choose one of her daughters and he chose the
Girl of Blue Maize, the most beautiful and sacred of them all."
- Huichol Legend from Mexico
"What greater delight is there than to
behold the earth apparelled with plants as with
a robe of embroidered works, set with Orient pearls and garnished with the great
diversitie of rare and costly jewels. But these delights are in the outward
senses. The principle delight is in the minde, singularly enriched with the knowledge
these visible things, setting forth to us the invisible wisdome and admirable
workmanship of almighty God.
- John Gerard, 1633, The Herbal
"A callused palm and dirty fingernails
precede a Green Thumb.
Complexity is closer to the Truth.
All enlightened beings are enchanted by water.
Sitting in a garden and doing nothing is high art everywhere.
Does a plum tree with no fruit have Buddha Nature? Whack!!
The only Zen you'll find flowering in the garden is the Zen you bring there each day.
Becoming invisible to oneself is one pure act of gardening.
After understanding thousands of the details, a common variety God is really superfluous.
Priapus, lively and naughty, aroused and outlandish, is the Duende de el Jardin.
Inside the gardener is the spirit of the garden outside.
Gardening is a kind of deadheading - keeping us from going to seed.
The joyful gardener is evidence of an incarnation.
God may have created the first garden, but, typical of Him, He got bored with trying to keep it up and make it better.
I never found God in my garden, but goddesses and gods dance everywhere.
One purpose of a garden is to stop time.
Leafing is the practice of seeds."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
"Why should we cherish all sentient
Because sentient beings
are the roots of the tree-of-awakening.
The Bodhisattvas and the Buddhas are the flowers and fruits.
Compassion is the water for the roots."
- Avatamsaka Sutra
"Earths crammed with heaven, and
every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees takes off his shoes."
- Elizabeth Barret Browning
"Natural objects themselves, even when
they make no claim to beauty,
excite the feelings, and occupy the imagination. Nature pleases, attracts,
delights, merely because it is nature. We recognize in it an Infinite Power.
- Karl Wilhelm Humboldt
"Nothing living should ever be treated
with contempt. Whatever it is
that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because
the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life."
- Elizabeth Goudge
"No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring
music, moving stories
and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important
variable determining your religion is the accident of birth."
- Richard Dawkins
"The highest human purpose is always
to reinvent and celebrate the sacred."
- N. Scott Momaday
"For here is religion that languishes in
crowded cities or steals shame-faced
to hige itself in dim churches, flourishes greatly, filling the soul with
a solemn joy. Face to face with Nature on the vast hills at eventide, who
does not feel himself near to the Unseen?"
- W. H. Hudson, The Purple Land
"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but
flowers feed also the soul."
- The Koran
"What was paradise? But a
garden, an orchard of trees and herbs.
Full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights."
- William Lawson
"Sowe Carrets in you Gardens,
and humbly praise God for them,
as for a singular and great blessing."
- Richard Gardiner
Profitable Instructions for the Manuring, Sowing and Planting of Kitchen Gardens (1599)
"To cultivate a garden is to walk
- Christian Nestell Bovee
"i thank you God for this most amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and for the blue dream of sky and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes"
- e. e. cummings
"The Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And he set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
the song of the bird for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."
- Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932)
"There is surely a piece of divinity
something that was before the elements,
and owes no homage to the sun."
- Sir Thomas Brown, Religio Medici , 1870
"My father considered a walk among the
as the equivalent of churchgoing."
- Aldous Huxley
"God in his wisdom created these
And made them accessible to those of all races
Rare visions of beauty, and fragrant perfume
Distributed freely for all to consume. While
Nature, confessions and pardons
Sincerely flow forth, as love grows in God's Gardens"
- Catherine M. Prostak, Gardens
"Let the heavens rejoice, let the
earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that
is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the
trees of the
forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he
to judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth."
- Psalm 96: 11-13."
"Methinks my own soul must be a bright invisible
- Henry David Thoreau
"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
"We still have to learn how to live
peacefully, not only with our fellow
men but also with nature and, above all, with those Higher Powers
which have made nature and have made us."
- E.F. Schumacher
St. Fiacre -
Patron Saint of Gardeners:
Saint Fiacre lived at a monastery in Breuil, France, in the French diocese of Meaux. He was an avid gardener, and cultivated many herbs, flowers and prepared potions that had useful medicinal value. "The anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briars, made himself a cell with a garden, built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and made a hospice for travelers which developed into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne." "St. Fiacre's days at the monastery taught him a deep love of silence, the joys of planting and harvesting crops and an appreciation of nature." People flocked to the village and Fiacre's hermitage to be healed. Saint Fiacre died around 670 A.D. "The fame of Saint Fiacre's miracles of healing continued after his death and crowds visited his shrine for centuries." Today, he is considered the patron saint of France's gardeners. His feast day is on August 30th. St. Fiacre is normally represented as a 1. monk working with a spade; or, 2. as a monk standing with a spade before his well tended garden. Statues of St. Fiacre can also be purchased.
"St. Phocas is the other patron saint of gardeners, and lived in
the 3rd century.
He dug his own grave
in his garden when the lictors came to kill him because he was a Christian. St. Francis of
Assisi is also appropriate for the garden, since he is a protector of animals. St. Isadore is the patron
saint of farmers.
St. Dorothy is associated with flowers."
- Gothic Gardening: Something Wicked This Way Grows
"God gave all men all the earth to
love but, since our hearts are so small,
ordained for each, one spot to be beloved over all."
- Rudyard Kipling
"In this light, my spirit saw through
and into all creatures,
and I recognized God in grass and plants."
- Jacob Boehme
"Know then thyself, presume not God to
The proper study of mankind is man."
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man
"Reading about nature is fine, but if
a person walks in the woods
and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books,
for they speak with the voice of God."
- George Washington Carver
"The supernatural is the natural not
- Elbert Hubbard
"God made everything out of nothing,
but the nothingness shows through."
- Paul Valery
"Hildegaard of Bingen was a twelfth-century
mystic, composer, and author of a theology that knitted together nature and spirit, cosmos
and soul. She described the Holy Spirit as the Greening Power
of God. Just as plants are greened, so we are as well. As we grow up,
our spark of life continually shines forth. If we ignore this spark, this
greening power, we become thirsty and shriveled. And if we respond
to the spark, we flower. Our task is to flower, to come into full blossom
before our time comes to an end."
- Lauren Artress, Walking a Sacred Path
"Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends."
- T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday, 1930
"The nature of God is a circle of
which the center is everywhere
and the circumference is nowhere."
"Just to be is a blessing.
Just to live is holy."
- Rabbi Abraham Heschel
"My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards
the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in
own image to be servants of their human interests."
- George Santayana
"The best place to seek God is in a
You can dig for him there."
- George Bernard Shaw
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy."
- Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, 1952 found in Lifestyle Advice for Wise Persons
"Man - despite his artistic pretensions, his
and his many accomplishments - owes his existence to
a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains."
- Author Unknown
"Lord make us mindful of the little
things that grow and blossom
in these days to make the world beautiful for us."
- W. E. DuBois
"The sun will set without thy assistance."
- The Talmud
"A handful of men working within the Zen sect
of Buddhism created gardens in fifteenth-century
Japan which were, and still are, far more than merely an aesthetic expression.
And what is left
of the earlier Mogul gardens in India suggests that their makers were acquainted with
lay behind the flowering of the Sufi movement in High Asia and so sought to add
further dimensions to their garden scenes."
- Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener , 1962
"An old argument with me is that the true religious force
the world is not the church, but the world itself: the
mysterious callings of Nature and our responses."
- Wallace Stevens
"He who sees the Infinite in all
things, sees God."
- William Blake, There is No Natural Religion , 1788
"Belief? What do I believe in?
I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the
sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers,
eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses...."
- Edward Abbey
"We consider bibles and religions divine-- I do not say they are
I say they have all grown out of you, and may grow out of you still,
It is not they who give the life, it is you who give the life,
Leaves are not more shed from the trees, or trees from the earth,
than they are shed out of you."
- Walt Whitman, Song for Occupations
"So that a paradise, among them seems to have
been a large space of ground adorned
and beautified with all sorts of trees, both of fruits and of forest, either found
before it was enclosed, or planted after; either cultivated like gardens, for shades
for walks, with fountains or streams, and all sorts of plants usual in the climate,
pleasant to the eye, the smell, or the taste; or else employed like our parks, for
enclosure and harbor of all sorts of wild beasts, as well, as for the pleasure of
riding and walking: and so they were of more or less extent, and of different
entertainment, according to the several humors of the Princes
that ordered and enclosed them."
- Sir William Temple, Upon the Gardens of Epicurus; or, Of Gardening, 1685
"Let every Christian be a gardener so
that he and she and the whole
of creation, which groans in expectation of the Spirit's final harvest,
may inherit Paradise. If we Christian's truly treasure the hope that
one day we, like Adam and the penitent thief, will walk alongside the
One who caused even the dead wood of the Cross to blossom with
flowers, then we must also imitate the Master's art and make
the desolate earth grow green."
= Vigen Guroian, Inheriting Paradise
"Flowers are the sweetest thing God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into."
- Henry Beecher
Some flowers have souls, and some people have none.
"A disciple once complained, "You tell us stories, but you never reveal their meaning to us." The master replied, "How would you like it if someone offered you fruit and then chewed it up for you before giving it to you?"
"If your heart is straight with God,
then every creature will be to you
a mirror of life
and a book of holy doctrine."
- Thomas à Kempis
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
"Shamrock of foliage, Shamrock of
Shamrock of the prayer, Shamrock of my love.
Shamrock of my sorrow, Plant of Patrick of the virtues,
Shamrock of the Son of Mary, Journey's end of the peoples.
Shamrock of grace, Of joy, of the tombs,
It were my wish in death You should grow on my grave."
- Translated by Alexander Charmichael
"I think that gardening is nearer to
godliness than theology."
- Vigen Guroian, Inheriting Paradise
"How wonderful, O Lord, are the works
of your hands,
the sun and the stars, the valleys and the hills, the rivers
and lakes all disclose your presence. The beasts of the
field, the birds of the air bespeak your wondrous will.
In your goodness you have made us able to hear the
music of the world, a divine voice sings
through all creations."
- Hebrew prayer
"Even in a single leaf of a tree, or a
tender blade of grass,
the awe-inspiring Deity manifests Itself."
- Shinto. Urabe-no-Kanekuni
In Honor of Frigga
"Shining Lady of Asgard,
at Your command worlds are born,
at Your nod and tender smile, life burst into being.
Valiant Goddess, ruthless foe, cunning Queen,
Illuminate your wyrd.
Strengthen our hamyngja.
Make us fruitful in all things, like the barley and flax
that is your gift.
Nourish our souls, God-Mother,
Pour forth from Your cornucopia of abundance
and in return we will give You our devotion,
our praise, our industry.
Holy Mother of all life, foremost amongst the Asynjur,
bestow upon us Your wisdom.
Make our hearts fertile fields for Your bounty, and
on Your spindle of shimmering starlight,
Weave for us a joyous fate."
- Galina Krasskova, Exploring the Northern Tradition, 2005, p.44
"Anyone can count the number of seeds
in an apple,
but only God can count the number of apples in a seed."
- Robert H. Schuller
"The story of mankind began in a
garden and ended in revelations."
- Oscar Wilde
"The Country is both the Philosopher's
Garden and his Library,
in which he Reads and Contemplates the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God."
- William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims, 1682
"What a difference! What a difference!
Raise the blind, and see the world!
If someone asks me to tell him what my religion is
I raise my hossu and strike his mouth."
- Chokei, 853 - 932
"This is a great powerful statement from some
spiritually achieved ones: 'My life depends on me, not on Heaven.'
Excessively religious people may think those people had no God, but I don't see it that way. I think that these were spiritually self-responsible people who did not rely on external authority to make themselves behave correctly. The did not relinquish authority over their lives to other people and external circumstances, trading in Heaven's support to become dependent on others. They did what was right and depended upon their own attainment and achievement to see them through life.
This kind of achievement is called spiritual independence, and it is above the realm of ordinary religious followers. I regard it as highly respected elucidation of the Way."
- Hua-Ching Ni, The Light of All Stars Illuminates the Way, 1994, p.26
"The good gardener knows with absolute
certainty that if he does his part, if he gives
the labour, the love, and every aid that his knowledge of his craft, experience of
conditions of his place, and exercise of his personal wit can work together to
that so surely will God give the increase. Then with the honestly-earned
comes the consciousness of encouragement to renewed effort, and, as it were,
an echo of the gracious words, 'Well done my good and faithful servant'."
- Gertrude Jekyll, Wood and Garden , 1899
"The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place,
but a state of mind."
- John Burroughs
"Listen to all the teachers in the woods.
Watch the trees, the animals and
all living things -
you'll learn more from them than from books."
- Joe Coyhis
"I care not much for a man's religion
whose dog and cat are not the better for it."
- Abraham Lincoln
"The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world."
- Max Born
"Our religion keeps reminding us that we
aren't just will and thoughts.
We're also sand and wind and thunder. Rain. The seasons. All
those things. You learn to respect everything because you are
everything. If you respect yourself, you respect all things."
- Least Heat Moon
"Then I was standing on
the highest mountain of them all, and round
about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood
there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for
I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
An I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops
that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the
center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of
one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy."
- Black Elk Speaks, The Great Vision, 1932, p. 36
"The Ten Commandments of
Thou shalt be patient till it's thyme to garden
Thou shalt be outstanding in thy field
Thou shalt lovingly care for the Earth
Thou shalt weed thy garden diligently
Thou shalt take time to smell the flowers
Thou shalt keep a fresh from the garden attitude
Thou shalt give freely of the bounty of thy harvest
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors soil
Thou shalt listen to your Garden Angels
Thou shalt bloom where you are planted and
grow strong under God's tender care."
- Garden Quotes
"When I have a terrible need of -
shall I say the
word - "religion." Then I go out and paint the stars."
- Vincent Van Gogh
"Indian monks were the first to choose the
garden as the proper setting for their lives, which were devoted to the contemplation of
the divine; but with a prophetic eye we may see that the garden will often be dedicated in
a like manner: at a later time Greek philosophers, and monks in early Christian days, will
retire into their gardens for united, yet silent, contemplation."
- Marie L. Gothein, A History of Garden Art , 1928, p.50
"Believe one who knows:
You will find something greater in woods than books.
Trees and stones will teach you
that which you can never learn from masters."
- Bernard of Clairvaux
"When one Buddha who perfected the
beholds the Dharma world,
all those in the plant-and-tree realms,
- Keami, Nue (a No libretto), circa 1440, Vegetable Nirvana by Ito Jakuchu
"On the holy boughs of the Celestial
High up in the heavenly fields,
Beyond terrestrial desire
My soul-bird a warm nest has built."
"Of course the Dharma-body of the
Buddha was the hedge at the
bottom of the garden. At the same time, and no less obviously,
it was these flowers, it was anything that I - or rather the
blessed Not-I - cared to look at."
- Aldous Huxley
"To study the self is to forget the
self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things."
- Zen Master Dogen
"The more we understand individual things,
the more we understand God."
- Benedict De Spinoza
"God is in the details."
- Mies Van Der Rohe
"After understanding thousands of the details, a common
variety God is really superfluous."
- Mike Garofalo
"Caress the detail, the divine detail."
- Vladimir Nabokov
"Details are all there are."
- Maezumi Roshi
"We think in generalities, but we live in
- W.H. Auden
"If you take care of the little things, the
big things take care of themselves."
- R. Reese
"We work with the stuff of the soul by
means of the things of life."
- Thomas Moore
"Pay attention to minute particulars. Take care of the little ones. Generalization and abstraction are the plea of the hypocrite, scoundrel, and knave."
- William Blake
"The object of our lives is to look at, listen to, touch, taste things. Without them, these sticks, stones, feathers, shells - there is no Deity."
- R. H. Blyth, Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics , p. 144.
"When we look for things there is nothing but mind, and when we look for mind there is nothing but things."
- Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, p 131
"Do things noncoercively (wuwei),
Be non-interfering in going about your business (wushi),
And savor the flavor of the unadulterated in what you eat.
Treat the small as great and the few as many.
Requite enmity with character (de).
Take account of the difficult while it is still easy,
And deal with the large while it is still tiny.
The most difficult things in the world originate with the easy,
And the largest issues originate with the tiny.
Thus, it is because the sages never try to do great things
That they are indeed able to be great.
One who makes promises lightly is sure to have little credibility;
One who finds everything easy is certain to have lots of difficulties.
Thus, it is because even the sages pay careful attention to such things
That they are always free of difficulties.
- Chapter 63, Tao Te Ching
Translation by Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall
Daodejing "Making This Life Significant": A Philosophical Translation, (2003), p. 175.
"Perhaps the efforts of the true
poets, founders, religions,
literatures, all ages, have been, and ever will be, our time
and times to come, essentially the same - to bring people back from their present strayings and sickly abstractions, to the costless, average, divine, original concrete."
- Walt Whitman
"The growth of all the plants of the
garden from seeds and roots
keep us mindful, in accordance with of the Parable of the Sower, of
the need for our loving, mortified reception and cultivation in our
hearts and souls of the seeds and roots of the supernatural gifts
and virtues necessary for progress in the ascetical/mystical ascent
of our souls toward union with God and with the divine will for
Creation and Kingdom."
- John S. Stokes, Jr., Flower Theology II
"A grove of giant redwoods
or sequoias should be kept
just as we keep a great or beautiful cathedral."
- Theodore Roosevelt
"My soul can find no staircase to
unless it be through Earth's lovliness."
- Michelangelo Buonardo
"He would sit on a wooden bench leaning
against a decrepit trellis and
look at the stars through the irregular outlines of his fruit trees. This
quarter of an acre of ground, so sparingly planted, so cluttered with
shed and ruins, was dear to him and satisfied him.
What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure hours of
his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the daytime and
contemplation at night? Was this narrow enclosure with the sky for a
background not space enough for him to adore God in his most beautiful,
sublime works? Indeed, is that not everything? What more do you need?
A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something
to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate on;
a few flowers on earth and all the stars in heaven."
- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
"The earth brought forth vegetation,
plants yielding seed
according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in
which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day."
- Genesis 1:9-13, To Bring Forth Fruit
"Some spirits are stronger than
others, says al-Kindi. The farm
spirit is one of the strong ones, the needed ones. The Greeks
worshiped a daimon of the farm and their stories called him
Aristaeus. Known as "the best god of all," he was famous
as the guardian spirit of beekeeping, orchards, and farms."
- Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life , p. 336.
"Wise sayings often fall
on barren ground,
but a kind word
is never thrown away."
- Sir Arthur Helps
"Let your religion be
less of a theory and more of a love affair."
"Your enjoyment of the world is never
right, till every morning you
awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father's Palace; and look
upon the skies, the earth, and the air as Celestial Joys; having
such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels."
- Thomas Traherne, 1670
"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."
"A religion old or new, that stressed
the magnificence of the universe
as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves
of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge."
- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot , 1994
"The shell must be cracked apart if
what is in it is to come out,
for if you want the kernel you must break the shell. And therefore,
if you want to discover natures nakedness, you must destroy its
symbols, and the farther you get in, the nearer you come to its
essence. When you come to the One that gathers all things up
into itself, there your soul must stay."
- Meister Eckhart
"Nature teaches more than she
There are no sermons in stones.
It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral."
- John Burroughs
"Yun-yen replied, "Haven't you
seen it? In the Amitabha Sutra it says,
'Water, birds, tree groves, all without exception recite the Buddha's name,
recite the Dharma.'"
The part of the Amitabha Sutra quoted is where Shakyamuni's
the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, the Western Paradise.
- The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader, p. 119
"What is life? It is the flash of a
firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset."
- Crowfoot, Blackfoot Indian, 1890
"I believe in the
cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. Look at the sun: If there is no sun, then we cannot exist. So nature is my
god. To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals."
- Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990
"For me the appropriate metaphor for
the inner spiritual centre is a garden,
a place of potential peace and tranquility. This garden is a place where the
Spirit of God comes to make self-disclosure to share wisdom, to give affirmation
or rebuke, to provide encouragement, and to give direction and guidance. When
this garden is in proper order, it is a quiet place, and there is an absence of busyness,
of defiling noise, of confusion. The inner garden is a delicate place, and if not
maintained it will be quickly overrun by intrusive under-growth. God does not often
walk in disordered gardens. And that is why inner gardens
that are ignored are said to be empty."
- Gordon MacDonald, Cultivating Our Spiritual Garden
"Every man of discernment, when
walking upon the earth,
feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that
the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth,
his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is,
as ordained by God, the very earth which is
trodden beneath the feet of all men."
- A View on Ecology, Bahá'í Faith
"Pan or Priapus was worshipped mainly
areas and especially at harvest time. He was seen as
the protector of flocks and wild animals. At the same
time he was noted for his wanton behavior
with human women and nymphs."
"Hail Mother, who art the earth,
Hallowed be thy soil, rock and flora
that nourish and support all life.
Blessed be thy wind that gives us breath
and thy waters that quench, bathe and refresh
all living things.
Holy Earth - as one - we praise your majesty,
grace and wonder."
- Bill Faherty
"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
- Irish Proverbs
"Our blessed Saviour chose the Garden
for his Oratory, and dying,
for the place of his Sepulchre; and we do avouch for many weighty
causes, that there are none more fit to bury our dead in than in our
Gardens and Groves, where our Beds may be decked with verdant
and fragrant flowers, Trees and Perennial Plants, the most natural
and instructive Hieroglyphics of our expected Resurrection
- John Evelyn
"There is religion in everything around us, a calm and holy religion in the
unbreathing things in Nature. It is a meek and blessed influence, stealing
in as it were unaware upon the heart. It comes quickly, and without excitement;
it has no terror, no gloom. It does not rouse up the passions. It is
by creeds. It is written on the arched sky. It looks out from every star.
It is on
the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind. It is among the hills and valleys of
where the shrubless mountain-top pierces the thin atmosphere of eternal winter, or
where the mighty forest fluctuates before the strong wind, with its dark waves of
green foliage. It is spread out like a legible language upon the broad face of an
unsleeping ocean. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit
us and which opens to our imagination of world of spiritual beauty and holiness."
- John Ruskin
"The great amorous sky curved over the
and lay upon her as a pure lover.
The rain, the humid flux descending from heaven
for both man and animal, for both thick and strong,
germinated the wheat, swelled the furrows with fecund mud
and brought forth the buds in the orchards.
And it is I who empowered these moist espousals,
I, the great Aphrodite."
- Aeschylus, The Danaides , circa 500 B.C.
"This is my simple religion. There is no need
no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our
own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."
- Dalai Lama
"If you want to find God,
hang out in the space
between your thoughts."
- Alan Cohen
"Every walk to the woods is a religious
rite, every bath in the stream is a saving ordinance. Communion service is at all hours, and the bread and wine are from the heart and marrow of Mother Earth."
- John Burroughs
"God, whose love
are present everywhere,
can't come to visit you
unless you aren't there."
- Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)
"The great need of our time is for people to be connected
to spirit; for people to be
connected to a core of feeling in themselves that makes their lives vital and
of meaning, that makes life a mystery evermore to be uncovered."
- Harold Stone, Sandplay
"Live a good life. If
there are gods and they are just, they will not care
how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have
lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to
them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a
noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
- Marcus Aurelius
"The ancient Poets animated all
sensible objects with Gods
or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them
with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes,
cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous
senses could perceive."
- William Blake, The Proverbs of Hell
"The summer breeze was blowin' on your
Within your violet you treasure your summery words
And as the shiver from my neck down to my spine
Ignited me in daylight and nature in the garden
And you went into a trance
Your childlike vision became so fine
And we heard the bells inside the church
We loved so much
And felt the presence of the youth of
Eternal summers in the garden."
- Van Morrison, Album: No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, Song: In the Garden
"Oh that I could see to the Other Realm –
that I could learn the magic of the Ancients.
Oh that the secrets of the Druids
could be whispered in my ears
that I might know their beauty and their power –
that I might love again this land
and hear the voices of the Goddess and the God
in the trees and in the rivers."
- Damh the Bard
"Nature: The Unseen Intelligence which
loved us into being,
and is disposing of us by the same token."
- Elbert Hubbard
"All the way to Heaven is Heaven."
- St. Catherine of Siena
"The Earth is our mother, we must take care of
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of her.
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take
Her sacred ground we walk upon, with every step we take.
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.
The Sky is our father, we must take care of him
The Sky is our father, we must take care of him
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.
The Rivers are our sisters, we must take care of them
The Rivers are our sisters, we must take care of them.
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan.
The Trees are our brothers, we must take care of them
The Trees are our brothers, we must take care of them.
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan,
Hey yana, ho yana, hey yan yan."
- Hopi (Native American, Arizona) Chant, from the Pagan Chant Library
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden
is beautiful without having
to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
- Douglas Adams
"The point in life is to know what's
why envy those otherwold immortals?
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
you can fill the whole space between heaven and earth."
- Gensei (1623-1668), from the The Enlightened Heart, Edited by Stephen Mitchell, p. 86
"All the beings of the world
pray," said my Grandad ...
"Each living thing gives its life to the beauty of all life,
and that gift is its prayer."
- Douglas Wood, Grandad's Prayers of the Earth
"Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment, can
be confused with paradise."
- Henry Mitchell
"Connection with gardens, even small
ones, even potted plants,
can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of
stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer."
- Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden , 2001
"This meal is the labor of countless
let us remember their toil."
- Zen meal prayer chant
"Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don't be afraid to follow
- Joseph Campbell
"We have today to learn to get
back into accord with the wisdom of nature
and realize again our brotherhood with the animals and with the water and the sea. To say that divinity informs the world and all things
is condemned as pantheism. But pantheism is a misleading word. It
suggests that a personal god is supposed to inhabit the world, but that is not the idea at all. The idea is trans-theological. It is of
an indefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being."
- Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)
"And all the times I was picking up potatoes, I did
have conversations with them. Too, I did have thinks of all their growing
days there in the ground, and all the things they did hear. Earth-voices
are glad voices, and earth-songs come up from the ground through the plants; and
in their flowering, and in the days before these days are come, they do tell the
earth-songs to the wind ... I have thinks these potatoes growing here did have knowings of star-songs."
- Opel Whiteley, 8 years of age, The Singing Creek where the Willows Grow - The Mystical Nature Diary of Opal Whiteley, Penguin, 1994.
"Sure Man was born to meditate on
And to contemplate the eternal springs
Of God and Nature, glory, bliss and pleasure:
That life and love might be his eternal treasure."
- Thomas Traherne, Dumbness , 17th Century
"The grove is the centre of
their whole religion.
It is regarded as the cradle of the race and the dwelling-place
of the supreme god to whom all things are subject and obedient."
- Tacitus, Germania
"It is God in the
house when the curtains lift gently at the windows, and a young child sucks his
We do not understand the mysteries of God.
God the winter. Summer, Septembers.
Moody dark tones of fathers dying.
The splash and laughter.
- Ellease Southerland
"Mother, Father, God, Goddess,
Universal Power. Remind us
daily of the sanctity of all life. Touch our hearts with the
glorious oneness of all creation. As we strive to respect all
the living beings on this planet. Penetrate our souls with the
beauty of this earth, as we attune ourselves to the rhythm
and flow of the seasons. Awaken our minds, with the
knowledge to achieve a world in perfect harmony. Grant
us the wisdom to realize that we can have heaven on earth."
- Jo Poore
"The only way to know your true nature is through the actions you take in the real world, not through meditations or introspection."
- Doc Trejo
- Issa, Translated by Lucien Stryk
"It has been said that if you could become another person
for even a few
moments you would probably become Enlightened.
So strong is our attachment to
the idea of who we are that even the smallest jolt out of it can have an immense
"Gardening is never simply about gardens. It is work that reveals
the meaning and character of humanity, and is an exercise and demonstration of
who we take ourselves and creation to be. It is the most direct and practical
site where we can learn the art and discipline of being creatures. Here we
concretely and practically see how we relate to the natural world, to other
creatures, and ultimately to the Creator. We discover whether we are prepared to
honor these relations by nurture and care and celebration, or despise and abuse
them. Gardens are a microcosm of the universe in which all the living and
nonliving elements of life meet, elements ranging from geological formations and
countless biochemical reactions to human inventiveness and age-old traditions
about cuisine and beauty. When and how we garden gives expression to how we
think we fit in the world. Through the many ways we produce and consume food, we
bear witness to our ability or failure to gratefully and humbly receive creation
as a gift from God."
- Norman Wirzba, Spiritual Gardening
The Spirit of Gardening
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