Labor, Effort, Sweat, Practice

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

Monthly Chores     Gardening     Home     Willpower     Blog

Seasons     Complexity     Lifestyle Advice for Wise Persons  

Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo



"When the sun rises, I go to work.
When the sun goes down I take my rest,
I dig the well from which I drink,
I farm the soil which yields my food,
I share creation, Kings can do no more."
-  Chinese Proverb  


"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, no culture comparable to that of the garden ... But though an old man, I am but a young gardener."
-  Thomas Jefferson, Garden Book, 1811 



     City Bountiful                                             Civic Agriculture


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-  Thomas A. Edison


"If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done."


How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work                 How Things Work: In The Yard                       

"The gardener's work is never at end; it begins with the year, and continues to the next: he prepares the ground, and then he sows it; after that he plants, and then he gathers the fruits...."
-  John Evelyn, Kalendarium Hortense, 1706 


"Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration."
-  Lou Erickson



Cool Jobs for Yard-working Kids                                             No Space Hidden: The Spirit of African American Yard Work


"Don't count the days, make the days count."


"A fallow field is a sin."
-  John Steinbeck


"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
-  John Ruskin


"The more help a man has in his garden, the less it belongs to him."
-  William M. Davies



 Velcro Wrist Work Glove                                                               Mobile Garden Stool and Storage

"Man was not made to rust out in idleness.  A degree of exercise is as necessary for the preservation of health, both of body and mind, as his daily food.  And what exercise is more fitting, or more appropriate of one who is in the decline of life, than that of superintending a
well-ordered garden?   What more enlivens the sinking mind?   What is more conducive to a long life?"
-  Joseph Breck


"What will I do when I can no longer dig?"
-  Knute Hamson, Growth of the Soil



    Garden Bucket Caddy                                                                              Fiskars 7060 Softouch Weeder            

"Each small task of everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe."
-  St. Theresa of Lisieux


"The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm;  his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command."
-  J.R.R. Tolkien,  The Lord of the Rings, Sam Gamgee


"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
-  Emile Zola



 Opportunities in Landscape Architecture                                    Careers in Horticulture and Botany


"These are the hands whose sturdy labor brings
The peasant's food, the golden pomp of kings;
This is the page whose letters shall be seen,
Changed by the sun to words of living green;
This is the scholar whose immortal pen
Spells the first lesson hunger taught to men;
These are the lines that heaven-commanded Toil
Shows on his deed, - the charter of the soil!"
-  Oliver Wendell Holmes,  The Ploughman, 1809 - 1894


"No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
-  Booker T. Washington


"Early to bed, early to rise,
Work like hell: fertilize."
-  Emily Whaley, Charleston, N.C.



 Horticulture: Principles and Practices                              Manual of Woody Landscape Plants


"Work is love made visible."
-  Khalil Gibran


"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
-  Sun Tzu


"It will not always be summer: build barns. "
-  Hesiod



 Botany for Gardeners                                                   Botany in a Day



"Even if you are on the right track you will still get run over if you just sit there."
-  Will Rogers


"What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds."
-  Will Rogers


"When you pray for potatoes, grab a hoe."
-  Mrs. Jamieson

Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills                             The Back to Basics Handbook: A Guide to Buying


"Enough shovels of earth - a mountain. 
Enough pails of water - a river."
-  Chinese proverb


"Cares melt when you kneel in your garden."


"Martha Stewart - The Pilgrim of Progress.  
What a Worker!!  Bravo Martha!
Damn!  It Is a Good Thing!"


 Urban Homesteading                                         Urban Farming


"All good work is done the way ants do things: Little by little."
-  Lafcadio Hearn


"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."
-  Henry Ford


"No sweat, no sanctification."
-  Russ Gaippe



 The Edible Front Yard                                 Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces


"Believe in yourself, your neighbors, your work, your ultimate attainment of more complete happiness. It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in Autumn."
-  B. C. Forbes


"Gardeners are - let's face it - control freaks.  Who else would willingly spend his leisure hours wresting weeds out of the ground, blithely making life or death decisions about living beings, moving earth from here to there, changing the course of waterways?  The more one thinks about it, the odder it seems; this compulsion to remake a little corner of the planet according to some plan or vision."
-  Abby Adams, What is a Garden Anyway


"Monotony is the law of nature.   Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. 
The monotony of necessary occupations is exhilarating and life-giving."
-  Mahatma Gandhi




Lasagna Gardening                                              All New Square Foot Gardening


"There are no passengers on spaceship earth.  We are all crew."
-  Marshall McLuhan


"The work of art is born of the intelligence's refusal to reason the concrete.  It marks the triumph of the carnal."
-  Albert Camus


"We have art in order not to perish of truth."
-  Friedrich Nietzsche



How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work                          White Trash Gardening

"Gardening is something you learn by doing — and by making mistakes....  Like cooking, gardening is a constant process of experimentation, repeating the successes and throwing out the failures."
-  Carol Stocker


"So, yes, I do experience a type of reverie as a gardener.  But it is not something I control or strive for.  When I find spirituality in my garden, it seems to go hand in hand with hard work and diligence.  Like a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day, a feeling of peace will come over me and 
grab me by surprise.  I don't really know why or how it happens.  But then again, I wouldn't want it any other way."
-  Fran Sorin


"It is better to wear out than to rust out."
-  Bishop Richard Cumberland


Easy Garden Projects to Make                                                      The Vegetable Gardener's Book of Building Projects


"This is the real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.  And instead of calling it work, realize it is play."
-   Alan Watts, Work as Play


Play - Quotes for Gardeners


"Any garden demands as much of its maker as he has to give.  But I do not need to tell you, if you are a gardener, that not other undertaking will give as great a return for the amount of effort put into it."
-  Elizabeth Lawrence



Raised-Bed Vegetable Gardening Made Simple                               The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook

"All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do."


"Like a beautiful flower that is colorful but has no fragrance, even well spoken words bear no fruit in one who does not put them into practice."
- Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha, Pali Cannon


"Although the summer sunlight gild
Cloudy leafage of the sky,
Or wintry moonlight sink the field
In storm-scattered intricacy,
I cannot look thereon
Responsibility so weighs me down."
-  William Butler Yeats 



Starter Vegetable Gardens                                                      The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

"When your garden is finished I hope it will be more beautiful that you anticipated, require less care than you expected, and have cost only a little more than you had planned."   
-  Thomas D. Church 


"Diamonds are only chunks of coal
That stuck to their jobs, you see."
-  Minnie Richard Smith 


"Successful gardening is doing what has to be done when it has to be done the way it ought to be done whether you want to do it or not."
-  Jerry Baker



Chores Without Wars                                                  Raising Able: How chores cultivate capable confident young people


"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
-  Henry J. Kaiser


"Peace is the fruit of activity, not of sleep."
-  Ancient Egyptian proverb


"Agi quod agis
Do what you are doing."


The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores                 Chores Chores Chores!


"Work is prayer.  Work is also stink.  Therefore stink is prayer."
-  Aldous Huxley


"The less help you have in a garden the more yours it is."
-  Nikki


"I slept and dreamed that life was beauty.
I awoke -- and found that life was duty."
-  Ellen Stugis Hooper



Help! Around the House                                                                 Done!

"Life comes before literature, as the material comes before the work.
The hills are full of marble before the world blooms with statues."
-  Phillips Brooks


"To be the agent whose touch changes nature from a wild force to a work of art is
inspiration of the highest order."
-  Bob Rodale, 1962


"Thought is the blossom, language the bud, action the fruit behind."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson


Is There Life After Housework?                            Battle of the Chores


"The order of things should be somewhat reversed; the seventh day should be man's day of toil and the other six his sabbath of the affections and the soul--in which to range this widespread 
garden and drink in the soft influences and sublime revelations of nature."
-  Henry David Thoreau


"In his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation.  Each within his green enclosure is a creator, and no two shall reach the same conclusion; nor shall we, any 
more than other creative workers, be ever wholly satisfied with our accomplishment.  Ever a season ahead of us floats the vision of perfection and herein lies its perennial charm."
-  Louise Beebe Wilder


"Every kind of work can be a pleasure. Even simple household tasks can be an opportunity to exercise and expand our caring, our effectiveness, our responsiveness. As we respond with caring and vision to all work, we develop our capacity to respond fully to all of life. Every action generates positive energy which can be shared with others. These qualities of caring and responsiveness are the greatest gift we can offer."
-  Tarthang Tulku



So You Want to Be a Garden Designer                                   The Essential Garden Design Workbook: Second Edition                 

"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."
-  Indira Gandhi


"The plants arrive, usually on a day that is either raining or requires one's presence elsewhere, work perhaps.  Plant orders do not arrive on sunny, warm Saturday mornings.
-  Steve Hatch


"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."
-  Dwight David Eisenhower


"No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakens into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted for the sower to see the harvest.  All work that is worth
anything is done in faith."
-  Albert Schweitzer



Encyclopedia of Garden Design and Structure                       Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love

"By doing just a little every day, I can gradually let the task completely overwhelm me."
-  Ashleigh Brilliant


"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, or even joyous.  That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."
-  Paul Hawken


"I trust in Nature for the stable laws
Of beauty and utility. 
Spring shall plant
And Autumn garner to the end of time."
-  Robert Browning


 Shed Chic: Outdoor Buildings for Work                                Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways                                            

"A year from now you may wish you had started today."
-  Karen Lamb


"Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation.  It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart.        '
-  Karel Capek


"Genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration."
-   Thomas Edison


"Little by little, even with other cares, the slowly but surely working poison of the garden-mania
begins to sEncyclopedia of Garden Design and Structure: Ideas and Inspiration for Your Garden tir in my long-sluggish veins."
-  Henry James



The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming           The Complete Guide to Small Scale Farming


"Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do."
-  Liz Smith


"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
-  Thomas Jefferson


Quotes for Gardeners

Quotes, Sayings, Proverbs, Poetry, Maxims, Quips, Clichés, Adages, Wisdom
A Collection Growing to Over 2,700 Quotes Arranged by 130 Topics
Many of the Documents Include Recommended Readings and Internet Links.
Compiled by Karen and Michael P. Garofalo



The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook                         The Winter Harvest Handbook 


"There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to
creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling."
-  Mirabel Osler


"I'm struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity.  The transfer is not paying off.  Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse."
-  Brian Eno, musician and composer, Wired 1/99, p. 176


"There is dignity in work only when it is work freely accepted."
-  Albert Camus


The Dignity of Working Men                     When Work Disappears


"What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it."
-   Charles Dudley Warner, 1829-1900
My Summer in the Garden, 1891


"An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions."
-   Robert A. Humphrey


Gardening Clichés


"Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it."
-  Anonymous



Gardening Without Work                                             The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book

"If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn."
-  Charlie Parker


"For me, a garden is peace of mind.  It immediately takes my mind off the thing I'm puzzling about in my work and gives me repose."
-  Henry Louis Gates Jr.


"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes
I made while learning to see things from the
plant's point of view."
-  H. Fred Ale


"Happiness is possible only when one is busy.  The body must toil, the mind must be occupied, and the heart must be satisfied. Those who do good as opportunity offers are sowing seed all the time, and they need not doubt the harvest."
Apples of Gold



Weedless Gardening                                Getting Started In Permaculture      

"When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson 


"The way of cultivation is not easy.  
He who plants a garden plants happiness".
-  Author Unknown


"When all is said and done, is there any more wonderful sight, any moment when man's reason is nearer to some sort of contact with the nature of the world than the sowing of seeds, the planting of  cuttings, the transplanting of shrubs or the grafting of slips."
-  St. Augustine


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
-  George Bernard Shaw



Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots                                 Cool Jobs for Yard-working Kids


"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody
else expects of you.  Never excuse yourself.  Never pity yourself.
Be a hard taskmaster to yourself -- and be lenient
with everybody else."
-  Henry Ward Beecher


  "To cultivate a garden is to walk with God."
-  Christain Nestell Bovee


"Who sows a field, or trains a flower,
Or plants at tree, is more than all."
-   John Greenleaf Whittier


"Practice is the seedbed of miracles."
- Michael Murphy  


No Space Hidden                                           African-American Gardens: Yards In Rural South 

"He worked like hell in the country so he could live in the city, where he worked like hell so he could live in the country."
-  Don Marquis 


  "At the heart of it, mastery is practice. 
Mastery is staying on the path."
-  George Leonard


"Those who are tentative about making plans
are often unsure of their ability to show up."


"If you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains; If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains."
-  Cicero



Rooted in the Earth                               Kids at Work

"To have striven, to have made an effort, to have been true to certain ideals -- this alone is worth the struggle.  We are here to add what we can to, not to get what we can from, life."
-  Sir William Osler


"The future is made of the same stuff as the present."
-  Simone Weil


We Welcome Your Comments and Suggestions


"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are."
-  Alfred Austin,  1835-1913



What's That Job and How the Hell Do I Get It?                           One Magic Square


"Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed
quietly and unobtrusively by someone else."
-  Barbara Ehrenreich


"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."
-  Arnold Toynbee


"Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart."
-  Russell Page


"The hardest work is to go idle."
-  Yiddish proverb



Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them              Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them


"I plant the seed,
You make it grow.
You send the rain,
I work the hoe."
-  Author Unknown


"The great men among the ancients understood very well how to reconcile manual labour with affairs of state, and thought it no lessening to their dignity to make the one the recreation to the other.  That indeed which seems most generally to have employed and diverted their spare hours, was agriculture.  Gideon among the Jews was taken from threshing, as well as Cincinnatus amongst the Romans from the plough, to command the armies of their countries ... and, as I remember, Cyrus thought gardening so little beneath the dignity and grandeur of a throne, that he showed Xenophon a large field of fruit trees all of his own planting   ...  Delving, planting, inoculating, or any the like profitable employments would be no less a diversion than any of the idle sports in fashion, if men could be be brought to delight in them."
-  John Locke,  1632-1704


"A person who loves his or her work
Is like a plant in the right spot:
There growth is maximized
And the yield is greatest."
-  Jeff Cox


"Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes at the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world."
-  Edwin Markham,  1852 - 1940



Homemade Contrivances and How to Make Them             Old-Time Farm and Garden Devices and How to Make Them



The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life."
-  Robert Louis Stevenson


"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
-  Mahatma Gandhi"


"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop."
-  Confucius


"Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other."
-  M. C. Richards



The Homestead Builder                                                   Fences, Gates, and Bridges: And How to Make Them


"Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine."
-  Shunryu Suzuki


"When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
-  Shunryu Suzuki


"You've a darned long row to hoe."
- James R. Lowell,  1819 - 1891


"We are what we repeatedly do. 
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
-  Aristotle



Fences for Pasture & Garden                               How to Build Small Barns


The Essence of Gardening - Quotes for Gardeners


"When your garden is finished, I hope it will be more beautiful than you anticipated, require less care that you had expected, and have cost only a little more than you had planned."
-  Thomas D. Church, Gardens are for People, 1955


"Hoe your ground, set out cabbages and convey water to them in conduits."
-  Saint Jerome, 410 A.D.


"As Paradise (though of God's own Planting) was no longer Paradise than the Man was put into it, to dress it and to keep it, so nor will our Gardens remain long in their perfection unless they are also continually cultivated."
-  John Evelyn


"Well done is better than well said."
-  Benjamin Franklin



Working Alone                                                           The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling


"Joyful is the accumulation of good work."
-  Buddha


"Hoeing in the garden on a bright, soft May day, when you are not obligated to, is nearly equal to the delight of going trouting."
-  Charles Dudley Warner


"The best insurance policy for tomorrow is to make the most productive use of today."


"A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work."
-  Geoffrey Norman



The Secret Life of Compost                                       The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming


"The shortest answer is doing."
-  English proverb


"No man is born into the world, whose work
Is not born with him; there is always work,
And tools to work withal, for those who will:
And blessed are the horny hands of toil!"
-  James R. Lowell,  1819 - 1891


"The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green."
-  Thomas Carlyle


"Blessed is he who has found his work.
Let him ask no other blessedness."
-  Thomas Carlyle



Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet                            Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation


"You are right," said Pangloss, "for when man was placed in the Garden of Eden,
he was placed there ut operaretur eum, to dress it and keep it;
which proves that man was not born for idleness.
-  Voltaire,  Candide


"Thy leaf has perished in the green,
And while we breathe beneath the sun,
The world which credits what is done
Is cold to all that might have been."
-  Alfred Tennyson,  1809 - 1892


"Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances."
-  Author Unknown


"A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task
is the hope of the world."
-  Found on a wall in a Church is Sussex, England, circa 1730


It's All Politics: Winning in a World Where Hard Work


"A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first. Indeed the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first."
-  Robert J. McKain 


"Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders, If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders; And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden."
-  Rudyard Kipling,  1865 - 1936, The Glory of the Garden


"Put you heart, mind, intellect and soul even into your smallest acts. 
This is the secret of success.
-   Swami Sivananda



Work Hard. Be Nice                         Factories in the Field: The Story of Migratory Farm Labor in California

"Who wouldn't like to go out walking in a pair of shoes had-made by Boehme?
Or delight in eating a mandarin orange from the Lacquered Garden of Chang-Tzu?


"Who wouldn't like to play a song on a reed flute made by Krishna?
Or sit down hungry at the table on a wooden bench constructed by Jesus?"

Maybe at the road's end all that matters is the splendor springing from a completed task.
The quantity of energy gathered in each work.                                             
-  Alberto Blanco, Why So Many Forms?


We Welcome Your Comments and Suggestions



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"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind."
- Anonymous



Americans and the California Dream                           Dark Sweat, White Gold: California Farm Workers


"Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions."
-  Anonymous


"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love,
and something to hope for."
-  Joseph Addison


"I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I work in the garden."
-  John Erskine


"The true husbandman will cease from anxiety, as the squirrels manifest no concern whether the woods will bear chestnuts this year or not, and finish his labor with every day, relinquishing all claim to the produce of his fields, and sacrificing in his mind not only his first but last fruits also."
-  Henry David Thoreau, Walden



Bitter Harvest: A History of California Farmworkers                   Gardening at the Dragon's Gate


Gardening and Spirituality


"The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow."
-  Author Unknown


Walking in a Garden - Quotes for Gardeners


"He who works his land will have abundant food."
-  Proverbs 12:11



Plant Seed, Pull Weed                                 From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden


"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them."
-  Henry David Thoreau


 "There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth.  The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their neighbors.  This is robbery.  The second by commerce, which is generally cheating.  The third is by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry."  
 -  Benjamin Franklin"


"If it is to be, it is up to me!"
-  Author Unknown


"A thinking human, that does, is worth fifty that just eat."
-  Richard Perez, editor of Home Power magazine



The Earth Moved                                        The Everything Lawn Care Book


 "All gardeners need to know when to accept something wonderful and unexpected, taking no credit except for letting it be."
-  Allen Lacy


"Among gardeners, enthusiasm and experience rarely exist in equal measures." 
-  Roger B. Swain


"Man matures through work
Which inspires him to difficult good."
-  Pope John Paul II


"To know and to act are one and the same."
-  Samurai proverb



Start Your Own Lawn Care Business                                Lawn Care Business Guide


"How to attract honey from the flower of the world - that is my everyday business.  I am busy as a bee about it."
-  Henry David Thoreau, Journal: August 7, 1851


"If you grow a garden you are going to shed some sweat, and you are going to spend some time bent over; you will experience some aches and pains.  But it is in the willingness to accept this discomfort that we strike the most telling blow against the power plants and what they represent."
-  Wendell Berry


"The only thing that endures over time is the 'Law of the Farm.'  You must prepare the ground, plant the seed, cultivate, and water if you expect to reap the harvest."
-  Stephen R. Cove


"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
-  Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Little Prince



The Lawn Bible                                                       Lawnscapes


"If you want a thing well done, do it yourself."
-  Charles Haddon Spurgeon


"After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done."
Murphy's Laws


"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance."
Gardeness: Wonderful World


"Good work is dignified. 
It develops your faculties and serves your community.
Work, in this view:
makes you honest with yourself,
requires that you develop your faculties and skills,
empowers you to do what you are really good at and love to do,
connects you in a compassionate way with the outside world,
supports the philosophy of non-destructiveness and sustainability,
and integrates work with personal life and community."
-  Roger Pritchard



Picture Perfect: Mowing Techniques              Lawn Geek: Tips and Tricks


"The work of a garden bears visible fruits - in a world where most of our labours seem suspiciously meaningless."
-  Pam Brown


"Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden."
-  Orson Scott Card.


"He who does not cultivate his field, will die of hunger."
-  Proverb from Guinea


"Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.
You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg."
-  Anonymous


Planting a Rainbow                                     Eating the Alphabet


"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."
-  Edward Phelps


"Many able Gardiners and Husbandmen are yet Ignorant of the Reason of their Calling;
as most Artificers are of the Reason of their own Rules that govern their excellent
Workmanship. But a Naturalist and Mechanick of this sort is Master of the Reason
of both, and might be of the Practice too, if his Industry kept pace with his Speculation;
which were every commendable; and without which he cannot be said to be a
complete Naturalist or Mechanick."
-  William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims, 1682


"It is far easier to start something
Than it is to finish it."
-  Amelia Earhart


"Sweep the garden, any size
said the roshi.  Sweeping, sweeping
alone as the garden grows
large or small.  Any song
sung working the garden brings
up from sand gravel soil through
straw bamboo wood and less
tangible elements Power
song for the hands Healing
song for the senses what can
and cannot be perceived
of the soul."
-  Olga Broumas



Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family                 Consider it Done! Ten Prescriptions for Finishing What You Start


"All the past we leave behind;
We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O Pioneers!"
-  Walt Whitman


"Callused palms and black fingernails precede a Green Thumb.   
Work - the activity that interferes with gardening.
When all the chores are done, the avid gardener will invent some new ones.
Gardening dissolves mental chatter in the sweat of bodily effort.  
How can gardening be considered a "leisure time" activity?
All play and no work makes Jack a dull boy - and a pain in the neck for others. 
We already live in the Garden of Eden, but we now have to work to keep it growing.
By the garden one knows the gardener. 
To dig is to discover. 
The toil and sweat open ourselves to fruitful possibilities. 
The wise gardener knows when to stop.


-   Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions: The Maxims of Gardening


"It is not how busy you are, but why you are busy - the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted."
-  Author Unknown


"The greatest thing is a life of obedience in the routine things of everyday life.  No amount of fine feeling can take the place of faithful doing."
-  William Barclay



Consider It Done: Accomplish 228 of Life's                    Home from the Hardware Store: Transform Everyday Materials


"There is no rest for the gardener ... but there is dessert."
-  Author Unknown


Leisure and Rest - Quotes for Gardeners


"I think that most people want the word garden to be a noun which describes a place that you have set aside for your plants, so that the word gardening would be a verb that describes
what you are doing when you work in your 'garden.'  In my philosophy, garden is a verb; it is what you do.  And, gardening is a noun that describes not what you did, but what you got when you gardened."
-   Tom Clothier, Gardening Walk and Talk


"A day without work is a day without eating."
-  Pai-chang


"The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat and some old clothes.  And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig."
-  Texas Bix Bender, Don't Throw in the Trowel


"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
-   Anne Frank



The Homemade Home                                                      LEISURE THE BASIS OF CULTURE

"Because work addiction keeps us busy, we stay estranged from our essential selves.  An aspect of that estrangement is that we cease asking ourselves if we are doing our right work.   Are we actually doing our true work, performing tasks or pursuing vocations that are good for us, for our families, for the universe?"
-   Diane Fassel


Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores


















"The question is, what are we busy about?"
-   Henry David Thoreau


"The only way to get positive feelings about yourself is to
take positive actions.   Man does not live as he thinks,
he thinks as he lives."
-   Rev. Vaughan Quinn


"If he does not plant the field that was given over to him as a garden, if it be arable land, the gardener shall pay the owner the produce of the field for the years that he let it lie fallow, according to the product of neighboring fields, put the field in arable condition and return it to its owner.
Code of Hammurabi, 1792 B.C.


The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life


"A green thumb is nothing more than hard work and the desire to make things grow."
-  Albert E. Tuttle


"Martha Stewart doesn't live here, and neither does Bob Villa."


"Come my spade.  There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and grave-makers; they hold up Adam's profession."
-  Shakespeare, Hamlet V,i


Sitting in A Garden - Quotes for Gardeners


"There are few gardens that can be left alone.  A few years of neglect and only the skeleton of a garden can be traced.  ...  Japanese artists working with a few stones and sand four hundred years ago achieved strangely lasting compositions.  However there, too, but for the hands that have piously raked the white sand into patterns and controlled the spread of moss and lichens, little would remain."
-  Russell Page, The Education of a Gardener, 1962



 Your Perfect Job                                              Finding Rest When the Work Is Never Done


Someone will sweep the fallen petals away away. I know, I know. Weight of red shadows.
-  Cid Corman


"Once one knows what really matters, one ceases to be voluble.  And what does really matter?  That is easy: thinking and doing, doing and thinking - and these are the sum of all wisdom...Both
must move ever onward in life, to and fro, like breathing in and breathing out.  Whoever makes it a rule to test action by thought, thought by action, cannot falter, and if he does, will soon find his
way back to the right road."
-  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"True understanding is actual practice itself."


"A mad never plant a garden larger than his wife can take care of." 
-   T.H. Everett


"If you see a whole- it seems that's always beautiful. Planets, lives ...   But close up a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.
-  Ursula K. LeGuin



When I Relax I Feel Guilty                                     Great Garden, No Sweat!


"Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to.  But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough.  Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them."
-  Victoria Glendinniont


"Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to.  But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough.  Too much attention, like too much feeding,
and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them."
-  Victoria Glendinning, Green Words, 1986


"Those who see worldly live as an obstacle to Dharma see no Dharma in everyday actions;  they have not discovered that there are no everyday actions outside of Dharma."
-  Zen Master Dogen


"It's easy to say no.  But to say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both
hands into life up to the elbows."
-  Jean Anouilh


Plot 34: Blood, Sweat and Allotmenteers                       Jerry Baker's Green Grass Magic:


"What, if anything, do the infinity of different traditional and individual ideas of a garden have in common?  They vary so much in purpose, in size, in style and content that not even flowers, or even plants at all, can be said to be essential.  In the last analysis there is only one common factor between all gardens, and this is the control of nature by man.  Control, that is, for aesthetic reasons...  The essence is control.  Without constant watchful care a garden - any garden - rapidly returns to the state of the country all around it."
-  Hugh Johnson, The Principles of Gardening, 1979


"It is a blessed sort of work, and if Eve had had a spade in Paradise and known what to do with it, we should not have had all that sad business of the apple."
-  Elizabeth von Arnim, 1898


"One of the most important resources that a garden makes available for use, is the gardener's own body.  A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race."
-  Wendell Berry


Hydrofarm Hot House Seed Starter 11-by-22-Inch   
Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Shrubs, and Trees 
Hydrofarm Jump Start Indoor Grow Light System 
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free  
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners  
Hydrofarm Germination Station with Heat Mat  
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual    
Burpee Seed Starter: A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and Outdoors
Plant Propagator's Bible
The New Seed Starter's Handbook
RION MLT3 Mini Lean-To Greenhouse
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing  


"Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer."


"Orare est laborare, laborare est orare.
To pray is to work, to work is to pray."
-  Benedictine Order Motto



"It was difficult to enjoy the trees and flowers when I was so aware of all that I had not yet done - pruning, weeding, transplanting, mulching, composting, tagging.  When I was doing the work myself, I was happy, free. "
-  Jay Neugeboren


"Life on a small farm might seem primitive, but by living such a life we become able to discover the Great Path.  I believe that one who deeply respects his neighborhood and everyday world in which he lives will be shown the greatest of all worlds."  
-  Masanobu Fukuoka


"I used to imagine him coming from the house, like Merlin strolling with important gestures
through the garden where everything grows so thickly, where birds sing, little snakes lie
on the boughs, thinking of nothing but their own good lives, where petals float upward,
their colors exploding, and trees open their moist pages of thunder -- it has happened every summer for years.

But now I know more about the great wheel of growth, and decay, and rebirth, and know my vision for a falsehood. Now I see him coming from the house -- I see him on his knees,
cutting away the diseased, the superfluous, coaxing the new, knowing that the hour of fulfillment
is buried in years of patience -- yet willing to labor like that on the mortal wheel."
-  Mary Oliver, Stanley Kunitz


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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
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       From January 1, 1999 through March 1, 2011
This webpage has been online since May 2001 
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Last Updated: June 8, 2011 

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