"And so it criticized each flower,
This supercilious seed;
Until it woke one summer hour,
And found itself a weed."
- Mildred Howells, The Different Seed
"A good garden may have some weeds."
"But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow
where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit.
Weeds are people's idea, not nature's."
"What is a weed? I have heard it
said that there are sixty definitions.
For me, a weed is a plant out of place."
- Donald Culross Peattie
"What is essential to practice the Tao is to get rid of cravings and
vexations. If these afflictions are not
removed, it is impossible to attain stability. This is like the case of the fertile field,
produce good crops as long as the weeds are not cleared away. Cravings and
the weeds of the mind; if you do not clear them away, concentration and wisdom do not
- Chang San-feng, legendary founder of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, circa 1300 A.D.
"Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we
stoop than when we soar."
- William Wordsworth, 1798
"Our attitude towards plants is a singularly
narrow one. If we see any immediate utility in a plant
we foster it. If for any reason we find its presence undesirable or merely a matter
we may condemn it to destruction forthwith."
- Rachel Carson
"My idea of gardening is to discover
in my wood and weed around it with the utmost care
until it has a chance to grow and spread."
- Margaret Bourke-White
"Many things love to come and live off your plants, including bacteria,
bugs, birds, and bunnies. If you
don't control them, entire crops can be ruined. The result of your careful cultivation, in
and in your life, can be lost to predators in a short time. ... Take a look at
your life, what toxic
relationships, substances and emotions are feeding on your energy and taking away from
you have to give to others. Eliminate them."
- Vivian Elisabeth Glyck
"Our England is a garden, and such
gardens are not made
By singing 'Oh how wonderful' and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out, and start their working lives
By grubbing weeds from garden paths with broken dinner knives."
- Rudyard Kipling
"What would become of the garden if the gardener
treated all the weeds and slugs and birds
and trespassers as he would like to be treated, if he were in their place?"
- Thomas Henry Huxley
"More grows in the garden than the gardener
- Spanish proverb
"A weed is but an unloved flower."
- Ella Wilcox
"Weeds Never Die."
- Danish Proverb
"The unmulched garden looks to me like some
which for one reason or another would be better off
with a few clothes on."
- Ruth Stout
"You fight dandelions all weekend, and
late Monday afternoon there they
are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be,
thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."
- Hal Borland
"If you are a garden plant you are
well regarded, just as long as you stay in the garden."
- Davies Gilbert
"A weed is a plant that is not only in the wrong place, but intends to
- Sara Stein
"Everyone has enough weeding to do in
their own garden."
- Flemish proverb
"I consider every plant hardy until I
have killed it myself."
- Sir Peter Smithers
"A flowering weed;
Hearing its name,
I looked anew at it."
"Only God can make a tree, but I'm in
charge of seeds and weeds!"
- Author Unknown
"A flower is an educated weed."
- Luther Burbank
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not
yet been discovered."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic
"What a diversity of creative wanderers -
Weeds. I enjoy their beauty and variety, and do nothing to reap their
rewards. I neither hoe, nor plant, nor water, nor fertilize, nor prune.
come and go in lovely
profusion as the seasons move. Often a pleasure, sometimes a pain in the wrong
place; and always
an example of the wondrous assertion of Being."
- Mike Garofalo
"Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in
airless rooms, and there is no known way
to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons."
- Dave Barry
"One of the truest of gardening sayings is that you have to be cruel to be
kind. If things are left to go overgrow, they look out of shape, scale and control."
- Brian Davis
"I always think of my sins when I weed. They grow
apace in the same way and are harder still to get rid of."
- Helena Rutherfurd Ely, A Woman's Hardy Garden, 1903
"Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make
- William Shakespeare
"I do not scorn weeds. As a
matter of fact, there are some instances where they
are necessary for the garden. The question of propriety is decided by the
dialogue between man and weed."
- Shimpei Kusano
"People who spend a great deal of time in their
gardens attest to the natural mindfulness that gardening requires.
What could be more naturally mindful than weeding? It requires a great deal of
Weeds need to be taken up with care: Pull too hard, and the weed breaks in your
fingers, leaving the root to grow and spread.
Different weeds need different techniques and, sometimes, tools. When we weed
our gardens, we have to pay attention to where and how we walk and bend.
Move too far in one direction or another, and we'll squash growing things."
- Sura Lama Das, Awakening to the Sacred
"Gardening is a kind of disease.
It infects you, you cannot escape it.
When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the
serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed."
- Lewis Gannit
"A garden is a symbol of man's arrogance,
perverting nature to human ends ..."
- Tim Smit, The Lost Gardens of Heligan
"The prayer of the farmer kneeling in his
field to weed it, the prayer of the rower
kneeling with the stroke of his oar, are true prayers heard throughout nature."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"They know, they just know where to
grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage
themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore,
I've concluded weeds must have brains."
- Dianne Benson, Dirt, 1994, p. 128
"Weeds are flowers too,
once you get to know them."
- A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh
"If you are not killing plants, you
really stretching yourself as a gardener."
- J. C. Raulston
"When I have the time to take a walk, I would often take the
time to admire
the grass. Grass doesn't make a fuss. It doesn't try to be
beautiful or outstanding. It doesn't want to attract attention. It is so humble that it
even allows people to walk all over it. Yet, it possess such strength.
It glows in healthy green despite being stepped all over, and when a
typhoon strikes and all the flowers die and all the trees get uprooted,
humble grass survives. And humble grass, in its own humble way,
provides food for animals, shelter for insects, and joy to some funny
guy walking past. I think a virtuous man should be like grass.
Humble, unnoticed, yet possessing great strength and kindness."
- Tan Chade Meng
"Free Weeds - U Pick 'Em"
"Weeds don't need planting in
well-drained soil; they don't ask for
fertilizer or bits of rag to scare away the birds. They come without
invitation; and they don't take the hint when you want them to go. Weeds are nobody's guests: More like squatters."
- Norman Nicholson
"A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival
skill except for learning how to grow in rows."
- Doug Larson
"Man is by definition the first and
primary weed under whose influence all other weeds have evolved."
- Jack R. Harland
"There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me."
- Thomas Jefferson
"My basic weeding rule: if they grow
in rows they're flowers;
if they don't they're weeds."
- David Hobson
And you thought you
had a big weeding job ahead?
Mike Garofalo weeding a slope of ivy in 1983 in Hacienda Heights, California.
"If dandelions were hard to grow, they
would be most welcome on any lawn."
- Andrew V. Mason
"Weeds are really Perennial`s that ha'nt been Educated yet!"
"We can in fact only define a
weed, mutatis mutandis, in terms of the well-known
definition of dirt - as matter out of place. What we call a weed is in fact merely
a plant growing where we do not want it."
- E. J. Salisbury, The Living Garden, 1935
"Weed 'um and reap!"
"On no other ground
Can I sow my seed
Without tearing up
Some stinking weed."
- William Blake
"For Zen students, a weed is a
- Shunryu Suzuki
"The true gardener then
brushes over the ground with slow and
gentle hand, to liberate a space for breath round some favorites;
but he is not thinking about destruction except incidentally. It is
only the amateur like myself who becomes obsessed and rejoices
with a sadistic pleasure in weeds that are big and bad enough to
pull, and at last, almost forgetting the flowers altogether, turns
into a Reformer."
- Freya Stark
"Brushed, they erupt in poison, invisible, adamant as
love; but should you, in rage and pain, crush the offending branch,
the blood of nettle will surely heal you, just as, scalded, the
spiteful shoots turn tame and nourishing."
- Gwen Head, Stinging Nettle
"Weeds grasp their own essence and
express its truth."
- Santoka, Diary, 8/19/40
"Nothing is as interesting as weeding. I went crazy over the
outdoor work, and
at last had to confine myself to the house, or literature must have gone by the
- Robert Louis Stevenson
"One year to seed; seven to weed."
"Weeds are Like People: We may be different
but you gotta dig us."
"I guess a good gardener always starts as
a good weeder."
- Amos Pettingill
"If I wanted an easy care garden, I would have planted weeds."
"... the actual cultivation of
root crops began with the weeding out of less
useful plants from natural communities to allow more room for the desired
plants. This was followed by the realization that the crop "roots"
planted and would thrive in comparable habitats not already containing
them if these, too, were weeded."
- H. G. Baker, Plants and Civilization, 1978
"That's Roman wormwood - that's pigweed -
that's sorrel -
that's piper-grass - have at him, chop him up, turn his roots
upward to the sun, don't let him have a fibre in the shade, if
you do he'll turn himself t'other side up and be as green as
a leek in two days. A long war, not with cranes, but with
weeds, those Trojans who had sun and rain and dews on
their side. Daily the beans saw me come to their rescue
armed with a hoe, and thin the ranks of their enemies, filling
up the trenches with weed dead. May a lusty crest-waving
Hector, that towered a whole foot above his crowding
comrades, fell before my weapon and rolled in the dust."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
"Plant and your spouse plants with
you; weed and you weed alone."
- Dennis Breeze
"We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove
the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may
manifest for all."
- Dorothy Day
"Give a weed an inch and it will
take a yard."
- Author Unknown
"A man of words and not deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeds."
- Nursery rhyme
"Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm!
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marred by curse,
The ugly of the universe."
- Theodore Roethke, Long Live the Weeds
"A person's character and their garden
both reflect the amount of weeding
that was done during the growing season."
- Author Unknown
"Their names I know not,
But to every weed its flower,
"If a person cannot love a plant after he has pruned it, then he
has either done a poor jobor is devoid of emotion."
- Liberty Hyde Bailey
"Next and hardy annuals are
the ones that
never come up at all."
- Katherine Whitehorn
"I would rather see one happy plant of
half a dozen aristocratic individuals struggling unsuccessfully."
- Marguerite James
"The indignity of it!-
With everything blooming above me,
Lilies, pale-pink cyclamen, roses,
Whole fields lovely and inviolate,-
Me down in the fetor of weeds,
Crawling on all fours,
Alive, in a slippery grave."
- Theodore Roethke, Weed Puller, 1948
"Hoeing: A manual method of severing
roots from stems
of newly planted flowers and vegetables."
- Henry Beard
"My garden is a
balancing act between weeds and wonders. Though I started out as a frustrated perfectionist, over the years I've learned how to enjoy my garden rather than feel enslaved by it, thanks to a growing know-how and a change in mindset."
- Carol Stocker
"Gardens can be sharp and spiky as
well as rose-embowered
and honeysuckle-twined: there are corners and settings
where thistles are not such an asinine taste after all."
- Robin Lane Fox, Thoughts on Thistles, 1986
"But make no mistake: the weeds will
win: nature bats last."
- Robert M. Pyle
"The true gardener then brushes over
the ground with slow and gentle
hand, to liberate a space for breath round some favourite; but he is not
thinking about destruction except incidentally. It is only the amateur
like myself who becomes obsessed and rejoices with a sadistic pleasure
in weeds that are big and bad enough to pull, and at last, almost
forgetting the flowers altogether, turns into a Reformer."
- Freya Stark, Perseus in the Wind
"weeds and wildflowers
in widowers garden
no green thumb, no more"
- Victor P. Gendrano
"The philosopher who said that work
well done never needs doing over
never weeded a garden."
- Ray D. Everson
"A weed is no more than a flower in
- James Russell Lowell, The Growth of a Legend, 1847
"Before falling to the scythe
enjoy a little breeze."
- Peter Levitt, 100 Butterflies
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O Let them be left, wildness and wet:
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889, Inversnaid
"To rid the grass of weed, to get
The whole root,
Thick, tangled, takes a strong mind
And desire -- to make clean, make pure.
The weed, tough
As the rock it leaps against,
Unless plucked to the last
Will plunge up through dark again.
The weed also has the desire
To make clean,
Make pure, there against the rock."
- Lucien Stryk, 1924- , Zen: The Rocks of Sesshu, And Still Birds Sing, 1998
"The Moon, the dried weeds
and the Pleiades -
Seven feet tall
the dark, dried weed stalks
make a part of the night
a red lace
on the milky blue sky"
- William Carlos Williams, In This Strong Light
"All gardens, even the most native and
from the hand of an artful pruner. In this season where the
garden is poised for the green flood of springtime, remember
that our gardens are co-creations, shared with mother earth.
And like any good mother, she expects you to tidy up
your room. Now get clipping!"
- Tom Spencer, Soul of the Garden
"Weeds are the little vices that beset
plant life, and
are to be got rid of the best way we know how."
- Farmer's Almanac, 1881
"It is not enough for a gardener to
he must also hate weeds."
"Man is by definition the first and
Weeds are not the other. Weeds are us."
- Michael Pollan, Weeds Are Us
"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
"The only two herbicides we recommend are
cultivation and mulching."
- Organic Gardening
"I'm dirty, tired, sore, and my face is
red; and, every damn weed in that garden is dead.
Gardening is a kind of deadheading -
keeping us from going to seed.
Weeds multiply in direct proportion to your efforts to eliminate them.
Weed when wet - weeds thrive; weed when dry - weeds die.
Left to themselves, weeds tend to go from there to everywhere.
The oak and bindweed grow in the same soil;
seeds and scissors go back into the same shed.
Your hand hoe will always find its way to the bottom of the weeding barrel.
Pulling weeds can also clear the mind."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
"Removing the weeds, putting fresh
soil about the bean
stems, and encouraging this weed which I had sown,
making the yellow soil express its summer thought in
bean leaves and blossoms rather than in wormwood
and piper and millet grass, making the earth say
beans instead of grass, - this was my daily work ...."
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854
"Oh, hardy flower, disdained as weed,
Despised for head of feathery seed,
Your unsung virtues rate a ballad,
Choice roots for wine, crisp leaves for salad."
- Betty Gay, Dandelion
with the days."
- Issa, Translated by Lucien Stryk
"Roots of the weed sucked first life
from the genesis of earth
and hold the essence of it still. Always the weed returns;
the cultured plant retreats before it."
- Beryl Markham, West with the Night, 1942
"As one grows older one
should grow more expert at finding beauty
in unexpected places, in deserts and even in towns, in ordinary human faces and among wild weeds."
"My garden slumbers in the winter, peaceful, quiet,
It's tranquil in this setting, no weeds to be seen.
But comes the spring with its warmth and flowers delight
then the weeds poke out their ugly head, what a nightmarish site.
I pull, I scream, they reappear.
My husband says "Didn't we just do this last year, dear?"
My endless battle, it seems, I'm doomed not to win.
Is shooting your weeds considered a sin?"
- Christine Blanksvard, My Garden Slumbers
The Spirit of Gardening
Over 3,800 Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Quips, One-Liners, Clichés, Quotes, and Insights
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