My garden is always a beautiful mess, and yet it always brings me joy. And I have to be grateful for that!
"The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives."
~ Gertrude Jekyll
To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.
Learn to be an observer in all seasons. Every single day, your garden has something new and wonderful to show you.
Like flowers, never leave dreams unattended...With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy."
~Lope de Vega
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
Few things evoke quite so instinctive a response from the senses as that of newly moistened soil after a fresh shower of rain.
Weeds are plants that haven’t learnt to grow in rows!We are stardust, we are golden and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
— Joni Mitchell
Life without a garden would be empty.
I believe the moon knows all the world’s secrets and if you listen, she’ll whisper to you in your sleep. I believe gardens do the same thing.
"Gardening is a long road, with many detours and way stations, and here we all are at one point or another. It's not a question of superior or inferior taste, merely a question of which detour we are on at the moment. Getting there (as they say) is not important; the wandering about in the wilderness or in the olive groves or in the bayous is the whole point."
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”
All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world — not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.
— John Lubbock
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
— John Muir
An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life.
“Let the rain kiss you.”
— Langston Hughes
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson
Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Nature is painting for us,
day after day,
pictures of infinite beauty in the garden,
if only we have the eyes to see them.
"Let us dance in the sun,
wearing wild flowers in our hair."
Susan Polis Schutz
Nature gives to
every time and season
some beauties of its own;
and from morning to night,
as from the cradle to the grave,
it is but a succession of changes
so gentle and easy that
we can scarcely mark
— Charles Dickens
Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion about everything – except itself. ~May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep, 1968
I have always looked upon decay
as being just as wonderful and
rich an expression of
life as growth.
— Henry Miller 1891-1980
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”
-- Rachel Carson
"Pluck not the wayside flower;
It is the traveler's dower.”
"The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly."
Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun
The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker, for it involves hours of walking round in circles, apparently doing nothing!
The invariable mark of wisdom is to see
the miraculous in the ordinary.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt"
- William Allingham
I never had any other desire so strong... that I might be [mistress] at last of a small house and a large Garden!
‘The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.’
“She calls herself a ‘general gardener’ because she grows everything and loves everything that grows.”
“There are no green thumbs or black thumbs. There are only gardeners and non-gardeners. Gardeners are the ones who ruin after ruin get on with the high defiance of nature herself, creating, in the very face of chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises. It sounds very well to garden in a ‘natural way.’ You may see the natural way in any desert, any swamp, any leech-filled laurel hell. Defiance, on the other hand, is what makes a gardener.”
For all his sophistication, man owes his very existence to four inches of top soil and the fact that it rains.
“Now the gardener is the one who has seen everything ruined so many times that (even as his pain increases with each loss) he comprehends – truly knows – that where there was a garden once, it can be again or where there never was, there yet can be a garden so that all who see it say, ‘Well, you have favorable conditions here. Everything grows for you’. Everything grows for everybody. Everything dies for everybody, too.”
“The rake, the hoe, the shears and the broom lie at the very heart of gardening”
So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
“The first purpose of a garden is to be a place of quiet beauty such as will give delight to the eye and repose and refreshment to the mind.”
~Gertrude Jekyll, A Gardener’s Testament.
“As overwhelming as your garden might seem, it boils down to three questions: What do you have to work with, what are you hoping to accomplish, and how do you make it happen?”
“Gardening is full of mistakes, almost all of them pleasant and some of them actually instructive.” ~Henry Mitchell
The secret of landscapes isn’t creation…It’s maintenance.
Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first.
Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now and they’ll o’ergrow the garden.
-William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) King Henry VI, Part II, Act III
“One thing I’ve learned is that the art never looks as good on paper as it does in my imagination.”
-Jennifer Thermes (true of gardens, too!)
“The fair-weather gardener, who will do nothing except when the wind and weather and everything else are favourable, is never master of his craft.”
– Henry Ellacombe
Flowers grow by inches but are destroyed by feet
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 someone else where to dig.
-Texas Bix Bender
We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?
When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.