A gardener has reached the top of their
craft the day they come to realize that we're not in control at
all! At best we're only humble servants to the
insistence of natural forces much more learned than we are.
Here's some of my favourite collected quotes that celebrate the joy and frustrations of this rewarding craft. If you have any you'd like to share, email and I'll add them here. Evelyn
"Spring has hit with a visual thunderclap followed by trumpet flourishes."
Diane Ackerman in CULTIVATING DELIGHT
"Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers,
"Grow, grow." THE TALMUD
our garden, like all gardens, is much more than a retreat.
It is also a place where we encounter the world.
Gardening engages the mind in an unending quest for knowledge, for
it would take many lifetimes to know and understand everything
that is found in even one small garden like ours."
from IN A GREEN SHADE: Writings from Homeground,
by Allen Lacy
"A callused palm and dirty fingernails precede a green thumb."
"When we want to learn something important about ourselves, it's a good idea to go into our garden. We'll find that we've planted a lot of answers there."
Freeman Patterson, in Creating Eden
who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength
that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something
infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance
that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." -
"May I a small house and large garden have; And a few friends, And many books, both true"
Abraham Cowley, 1664
is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all."
- Stanley Horowitz
"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."
- Marina Schinz
gentleman loves all that grows -
bud, shoot, or bough that blossoms dapple.
He plants the rose and feeds the rose
and guards the springtime apple.
Has a green thumb; is quick to praise
the frailest petal in his borders.
Can heal (and with a myriad sprays)
the peony's disorders.
So what has overtaken him,
what frenzy set his wits to wander
that he should ravage limb by limb
the wholesome lilac yonder?
That he should lay the privet low
and do the vines such treason
that scarce a twig, I think, will show
its leaf again this season?
A milder chap was never planned,
or one with more decorum.
But now the weapon's in his hand
and branches thick before 'em,
the self-same madness takes his mind
that took his mind when he was little
and owned a knife and could not find
sufficient sticks to whittle.
MAN WITH PRUNING SHEARS by Phyllis McGinley, 1954
endlessly interesting, like an enemy who occupies our thoughts and
schemes so much more than any friend, and who (though we would
never admit it) we should miss if he suddenly moved away."
Ursula Buchan, as excerpted in WOMEN GARDENERS
ed. Debroah Kellaway
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. " Margaret Atwood.