Quotes For Gardeners



The Scents, Smells, Fragrances, and Odors in the Garden

Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo

From the Spirit of Gardening Website

This webpage was moved to a new URL. 
It is now maintained and updated at:



Of all the ingredients we employ in the creation of a garden, scent is probably
the most potent and the least understood. Its effects can be either direct and
immediate, drowning our senses in a surge of sugary vapor, or they can
be subtle and delayed, slowly wafting into our consciousness, stirring our
emotions and coloring our thoughts.
-   Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991



Scents bring memories, and many memories
bring nostalgic pleasure.  We would be wise to plan
for this when we plant a garden.
-   Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973





flow2.gif (27433 bytes)




Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.
- Heinrich Heine




It grew late.  Through the open door, stealthily,
came the scent of madonna lilies,
almost as if it were prowling abroad.
-   D. H. Lawrence




Today I think
Only with scents, - scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot's seed,
An the square mustard field;
Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;
-   Edward Thomas, Digging




When I was a boy, I thought scent was contained
in dewdrops on flowers and if I got up very early in
the morning, I could collect it and make perfume.
-  Oscar De La Renta




Food - Quotes for Gardeners





The gardens of my youth were fragrant gardens
and it is their sweetness rather than their patterns of their
furnishings that I now most clearly recall.

-  Louise Beebe Wilder



Sweetly breathing , vernal air,
That with kind warmth doth repair
Winter's ruins; from whose breast
All the gums and spice of the East
Borrow their perfumes; whose eye
Gilds the morn, and clears the sky.
-  Thomas Carew,  1595 - 1645





A garden full of sweet odours is a garden full of charm, a most precious kind
of charm not to be implanted by mere skill in horticulture or power of purse,
and which is beyond explaining.  It is  born of sensitive and very personal
preferences yet its appeal is almost universal."
- Louise Beebe Wilder





My garden, with its silence and pulses of fragrance that come
and go on the airy undulations, affects me like sweet music. 
Care stops at the gates, and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.
-    Alexander Smith





Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Cliches, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,000 Quotes Arranged by Over 105 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo




It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose,
and the eyes will take care of themselves.
-   Robert Louis Stevenson




Don't wear perfume in the garden
unless you want to be pollinated by bees.
-  Anne Raver




There are few pleasures like really
burrowing one's nose into sweet peas.
-   Angela Thirkell





Here comes the time when, vibrating on its stem,
every flower fumes like a censer;
noises and perfumes circle in the evening air.
-   Charles Baudelaire




Flowers - Quotes for Gardeners





Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of
spring - that delicious commingling of the perfume of arbutus,
the odor of pines, and the snow-soaked soil just warming into life.
-   Neltje Blanchan




Through the open door
A drowsy smell of flowers -
grey heliotrope
And white sweet clover,
and shy mignonette
Comes fairly in, and silent chorus
To the pervading symphony of Peace.
-   John Greenleaf Whittier





Earth knows no desolation.
She smells regeneration in the moist breath of decay.
- George Meredith





Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers
where I can walk undisturbed.
-   Walt Whitman, Give Me That Splendid Silent Sun, 1819 - 1892





The flowers never waste their sweetness on the desert air or, for that matter,
on the jungle air.  In fact, they waste it only when nobody except a human
being is there to smell it.  It is for the bugs and a few birds, not for men,
that they dye their petals or waft their scents.
-   Joseph Wood Krutch





The strange thing which I have experienced with flower scents, and indeed with all
other scents, is that they only recall pleasant memories.
-   Theodore A. Stephens




How miraculous that growing on my own little plot of land are plants
that can turn the dead soil into a hundred flavors as different as
horseradish and thyme, smells ranging from stinkhorn to lavender.
-   John Seymour




I went out into the garden in the morning dusk,
When sorrow enveloped me like a cloud;
And the breeze brought to my nostril the odor of spices,
As balm of healing for a sick soul.
-  Moses Ibn Ezra,  1060 - 1138




They walked over the crackling leaves in the garden, between the lines of box,
breathing its fragrance of eternity; for this is one of the odors which carry us
out of time into the abysses of the unbeginning past; if we ever lived on another
ball of stone than this, it must be that there was box growing on it.
-  Oliver Wendell Holmes





My lilac trees are old and tall;
I cannot reach their bloom at all.
They send their perfume over trees
And roof and streets, to find the bees.
-   Lousie Driscoll,  1875 - 1957,  My Garden Is a Pleasant Place





Those herbs which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest,
but, being trodden upon and crushed, are three;
that is, burnet, wild thyme and watermints.   Therefore, you are to set
whole alleys of them,  to have the pleasure when you walk or tread.
-    Frances Bacon




Seeing - Quotes for Gardeners





I go to nature to be soothed and healed,
and to have my senses put in order.
-  John Burroughs




Fragrance, whether strong or delicate, is a highly subjective matter,
and one gardener's perfume is another gardener's stink.
-  Katharine S. White, Onward and Upward in the Garden, 1979





flow2.gif (27433 bytes)




The lime trees were in bloom.   But in the early morning only a
faint fragrance drifted through the garden, an airy message, an
aromatic echo of the dreams during the short summer night.
-   Isak Dinesen




A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree
would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging
perfume from every little censer it holds up in the air.
-   Henry Ward Beecher





For many people the scent of certain plants can revive
memories with a vividness that nothing else can equal,
for the sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative,
bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of
scenes that and left the conscious mind.

-   Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973




O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
-   Dinah Mulock Craik





That which above all other yields the
sweetest smell in the air is the violet.
-  Francis Bacon



This webpage was moved to a new URL. 
It is now maintained and updated at:







Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across 
thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.
-   Helen Keller






So great is the economy of Nature, that most flowers which 
are fertilized by crepuscular or nocturnal insects emit their 
odor chiefly or exculsively in the evening.   

-   Charles Darwin






Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell
that was once associated with it.
-   Nabokov




To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers
is a delectable form of defeat.
-   Beverly Nichols




Hearing   - Quotes for Gardeners




... the most fiendish plant I know of, the sort of thing Beelzebub might pluck to make a bouquet for his mother-in-law ... it looks as if it had been made out of a sow's ear for the spathe, and the tail of a rat that died of Elephantiasis for the spadix.  The whole thing is mingling of unwholesome greens, livid purples, and pallid pinks, the livery of putrescence in fact, and it possesses and odour to match the colouring.
-  E. A. Bowles, My Garden in Spring, 1914
Speaking about the Dracunculus vulgaris, syn. Arum Dracunculus   (Dragon Arum)

For more suggestions from mAlice about plants that appeal to "Gothic" tastes be sure to visit:
Gothic Gardening:  Something Wicked This Way Grows




Your nose is the scenter of your face.



Scent is the most potent and bewitching substance in the
gardener's repertory and yet it is the most neglected and
least understood.  The faintest waft is sometimes enough
to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport
you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment
in your childhood.  It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply
tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and
evaporating almost the moment it it detected.  Each fragrance,
whether sweet or spicy, light or heavy, comes upon you
in its own way and evokes its own emotional response.
-   Stephen Lacey,  Scent in Your Garden, 1991





The gift of perfume to a flower is a special grace 
like genius or like beauty, and never becomes 
common or cheap.
-   John Burroughs



In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. 
-   Margaret Atwood


This webpage was moved to a new URL. 
It is now maintained and updated at:





flow2.gif (27433 bytes)






More Quotes





Spirituality and Concerns of the Soul


Weeds and Weeding

Simplicity and the Simple Life

Pulling Onions
Quips, Maxims and Observations by Michael P. Garofalo

The Essence of Gardening

Working in the Garden

Garden Digest Links


Haiku Poetry  -  Links and References

Cliches for Gardeners and Farmers

The History of Gardening Timeline
From Ancient Times to the 20th Century

Short Poems by Mike Garofalo

Seeing and Vision

Beauty in the Garden

Seasons and Time

Comments about this Web Site

Jokes, Riddles and Humor


Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Cliches, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,000 Quotes, Arranged by 105 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo



The Spirit of Gardening




Distributed on the Internet by Michael P. Garofalo


I Welcome Your Comments, Ideas, Contributions, and Suggestions
E-mail Mike Garofalo in Red Bluff, California

A Short Biography of Mike Garofalo

Smelling  -  Quotes for Gardeners.  Version 3.3.5.

The Spirit of Gardening

Quotes for Gardeners

Zen Poetry

The Poetry Notebooks of Michael P. Garofalo

The History of Gardening Timeline