Quotes about gardeners' nature

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...She knew
things aren't always
and neither are they never...

- Chris Everson,  
in Untitled  
written for Betty Everson -  



A happy person is not a person in a certain set
of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. 

- Hugh Downs -  
see What's Coming Up #133  






Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart.

- Russell Page, in The Education of a Gardener -  
see Growing Concerns #767  



Yearning is essential to
the garden experience.

- Rand Lee -  
see What's Coming Up #22  





The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.

- Gertrude Jekyll -
see What's Coming Up #44 and What's Coming Up #132


The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation.
It becomes an obsession.

- Phyllis McGinley, in The Province of the Heart -
see Growing Concerns #768


Sometimes I even envy
the gardener who inhabits
a restricted plot of ground.
It discourages foolishness.

       - Roy Barrette -
        see What's Coming Up #35


There is no try,
only do, or do not.

       - Yoda -
        see What's Coming Up #53


Only years of practice
will teach you the
mysteries and bold
certainty of a real gardener,
who treads at random,
yet tramples on nothing.

       - Karel Capek -
        see What's Coming Up #39


Gardening is in large measure a phenomenon
of attention.

       - Allen Lacy,
       in The Inviting Garden -
        see What's Coming Up #76


She was amazing... I always feel closest to her, and my dad, when I'm in the garden.  ...I think we humans have the capacity to sense more than we know, but only when we're removed from the world's distractions.  A garden does that.

- Karen Schmidt, of the Botanical Garden Society of Northwest Michigan -
see What's Coming Up #90

We play for immortality with every seedling and new plant.


   ...the laying out of the
    spring bulb garden (was) a crucial   
   operation, carefully charted and
   full of witchcraft. ...As the years went
   by and age overtook her, there was
   something comical yet touching in
   her bedraggled appearance...
   her studied absorption in the
   implausible notion that there would
   be yet another spring, oblivious to the
   ending of her own days, which she
   knew perfectly well was near at hand,
   sitting there with her detailed chart
   under those dark skies in the dying
   October, calmly planning the

- E.B. White, Onward and Upward in the Garden, 1979 -



Steven sees so much that I walk right

past. Sometimes he shows me pictures of
my own gardens and I
say "Ooo, where did
you take that?"

         - Janet -
        see What's Coming Up #113



This is gardening, not brain surgery.

- Alan Armitage -      
see What's Coming Up #127      




And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows.

- Rudyard Kipling, The Glory of the Garden, 1911 -


   The man who has
   planted a garden
   feels that he has
   done something
   for the good of
   the whole world.

- Charles Dudley Warner, in My Summer in a Garden -
see What's Coming Up #153



   Appreciation is
   a wonderful thing:
   It makes what is
   excellent in others
   belong to us as well.

- Voltaire -


Volunteer gardeners do indeed make the world better, and
they are appreciated! Paul Needle, Phil Gigliotti and
Gordon Findlay at the Detroit Zoo.

How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.

- Voltaire -
see What's Coming Up #134


There is one thing you will find practically impossible to carry into your own greenhouse and that is tension.

- Charles H. Potter -
see What's Coming Up #132


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 -


In my garden, care stops at the gate and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.

- Alexander Smith -


My good hoe as it bites the ground revenges my wrongs, and I have less lust to bite my enemies. In smoothing the rough hillocks, I smooth my temper.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -


He's the best physician who knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1733 -


Who has deceived thee so often as thy self?

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738 -


If you wou'd not be forgotten
as soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
or do things worth the writing.

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1738 -
see What's Coming Up #125


A Plowman on his legs is higher than a Gentleman on his knees.

- Benjamin Franklin, in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1746 -
see What's Coming Up #134


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

- Thomas Church -
see What's Coming Up #178


I know of no common interest that exceeds gardening as a source of lifelong friendships, nor as a means of making new friends almost constantly.

Allen Lacy, in The Inviting Garden
see What's Coming Up #125


One becomes a gardener by becoming a gardener.

Allen Lacy, in The Inviting Garden


If I was trying to conceal my lack of skill as a gardener I'd say these plants (that die in my garden) are short-lived. But it's not true...

- Tony Reznicek, in the talk Why I Grow the Plants I Do -


I used to worry about bulbs... how to stop them from coming up early. Now, after years of watching I know they're often up several inches in March, but bloom fine regardless.

- Theresa Bismack -
see What's Coming Up #136


He had heard about talking to plants in the early 70's on radio 4 and thought it an excellent idea. Although, talking is perhaps the wrong word for what Crowley did.

What he did was put the fear of God into them.

More precisely, the fear of Crowley.

In addition to which, every couple of months Crowley would pick out a plant that was growing too slowly or succumbing to leaf wilt or browning or just didn't look quite as good as the others, and he would carry it around to all the other plants. 'Say Good bye to your friend," he'd say to them. "He just couldn't cut it..."

Then he would leave the flat with the offending plant and return an hour or so later with a large, empty flower pot which he would leave somewhere conspicuously around the flat.

The plants were the most luxurious, verdant and beautiful in London. Also, the most terrified."

- Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, in Good Omens -


Gardens are a form of autobiography.

- Sydney Eddison, in
Gardening for a Lifetime
see What's Coming Up #148


All gardens are a form of autobiography.

- Robert Dash -


   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 Dale  -
see What's Coming Up #165







Would this bearded iris (above), 'Festiva Maxima' peony (below)
toadlily (Tricyrtis, below right) fit the bill, Claude?





   More than anything, I must have flowers,
   always, always.

- Claude Monet -


No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden... But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.

- Thomas Jefferson to portrait painter Charles W. Peale, 1811 -
see What's Coming Up #151


In a thousand unseen ways we have drawn shape and strength from the land.

- Lyndon B. Johnson -


Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors.

- Mary Cantwell, author, essayist -
see What's Coming Up #167


Your job as gardener is to keep things running smoothly for the plants and animals that live in or visit your yard, whatever the weather decides to do.

- Ruth Shaw Ernst -
see What's Coming Up #164