Quotes: Children in gardens

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Laura and I picked milkweed pods and opened them to feel the scale-shaped seeds overlapping like the skin of a dragon.

Margaret Atwood, in The Blind Assassin -

see What's Coming Up #135

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Kids can lose themselves for a lifetime in the endless variety in flowers and pods, looking, feeling, and taking in the nearly magical transformations. Above, Nigella damescena  seed pod -- when love in a mist becomes devil in a bush. Below, old fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) becomes lady-in-a-bath, and lambs ear lives up to its name.

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Gardening is restorative. It brings us back to the things we thought we had lost in childhood. It brings us back to our senses -- to the downy feel of the leaves of silver sage; to the perfume of jasmine and gardenias; to the taste of spearmint; to the sound of bamboo rustling in the sudden rush of wind before a storm; to the cool white beauty of a moonflower unfolding as dusk turns to night.

- Allen Lacy, in The Inviting Garden -

see What's Coming Up #83


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Gardens are full of all kinds of life waiting to be seen, held, carried to show an tell in a custom-made box...

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Take them into the garden young and at your eye level. Nature will always be part of their world view.

- Janet & Steven -  



Don't know why you
feel compelled to do
a thing a certain way?
Bet you saw someone
doing it just that way
when you were two.

- Janet -          


...there are some notable differences between those of us who started gardening when we were children and our brothers and sisters of the spade who came to the pursuit later in life -- the late bloomers, so to speak. ...They are serious gardeners... as for the rest of us, we started out as children and something of the child remains in us. Gardening may be work but it begins as play -- something spontaneous, with no restrictive rules.

- Allen Lacy, in The Gardener's Eye and Other Essays  -
see What's Coming Up #89


Another remnant of childhood to which I confess is a yen for plants that serious gardeners hold in low account, especially gaudy ones that lack a shred of pretence to modesty...

- Allen Lacy, in The Gardener's Eye and Other Essays -
see What's Coming Up #74

How they love the gaudy poppy, lily, peony...

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Above: Only one ripe tomato to pick from your garden today? Kid rules say to have the most fun with it you can; give it to Thomas the turtle.

Below: One young boy and 3 "bigger kids" help
the keeper offer their garden's kale to a giraffe.



There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling as gathering vegetables one has grown.

- Alice B. Toklas -   


(Caterpillars) have most wonderful appetites and hardly stop feeding all day long... they grow very quickly; and in a few days time they find their jackets are much too tight for them. Then a most curious thing happens. Their skins split right down the back, and they wriggle and twist about... till at last they manage to creep out of them altogether and appear in new ones, which had been gradually forming underneath the old!
Wouldn't it be nice if we could get new suits of clothes, or new frocks, as easily as this?

- Theodore Wood, Butterflies and Moths Shown to Children -



   Black swallowtail caterpillar ("parsley worm")
   devouring fennel.