Quotes: The seasons in the garden

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Variegated sweet Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'). It's a rabble of shoots one day, then a sweep of graceful stems the next. 

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Are the trees starting to bud or am I imagining things? And, no, I haven't been drinking when I noticed this.

- Joe Kuskowski, February Rambles -


There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer.

- Gertrude Jekyll -
First an artist, Jekyll moved into garden design
as her eyesight failed. We may owe our inheritance
of Jekyll innovations to the extra sensory appeal of spring.


The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February. ... Spring is too far away to comfort by anticipation, and winter long ago lost the charm of novelty.

- Joseph Wood Krutch, The Twelve Seasons, 1949 -


Bless that good ol' Equinox -- the plants have come to life again. It's so nice to watch them all turning toward the sun at their summertime rate (rather than therir slow weak winter wobblings) -- a reminder that we're all stretching for the light again.

- Sonja Nikkila -  
What's Coming Up #198, Spring Acceleration  



Gardening is the most ephemeral art. A garden is in constant flux, season to season and moment to moment.

                          - Will & Ariel Durant, founders of Smith & Hawken -
                              see What's Coming Up #110

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Last night, there came a frost, which has done great damage to my garden. It is sad that Nature will play such tricks with us poor mortals.

- Nathaniel Hawthorne -

'Hurrah! Blister my kidneys,' exclaimed he in delight. 'It is a frost! - the dahlias are dead.'

- R.S. Surtees, Handley Cross, 1843 -

Sometimes terrible weather is, sometimes it isn't. There are autumns when we just need to have Nature take things out of our hands. Really, we were tired of the dahlias despite their beauty. Frost can release us.

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A year without its winter would seem all wrong to me... It is a necessity, not just a necessary evil.

- Christopher Lloyd -

see What's Coming Up #71

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A garden in winter is the absolute test of the true gardener.

- Rosemary Verey, in The Garden in Winter -

see What's Coming Up #71

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It is in midwinter that I sometimes glean from my pines... a curious transfusion of courage.

- Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac -

see What's Coming Up #72

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Above: Jack pine needles, leatherleaf Viburnum (V. x rhytidophylloides) and spring witchhazel hybrid (Hamamelis x mollis 'Jelena')


Winter's palette is clear and spare, restrictive enough to curb the excesses of even the most daring gardeners.

- Rosemary Verey, in The Garden in Winter -

see What's Coming Up #72

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I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.

- Nathaniel Hawthorne -

see What's Coming Up #161


Don't worry, it always comes. Call it Indian summer or whatever. There are always a few days of beautiful weather after Veteran's Day.

- Marya Macunovich -
see What's Coming Up #163


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth 
seeking the successive autumns.

- George Eliot -

see What's Coming Up #161

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life.

- P. D. James -

see What's Coming Up #170


There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer.

- Gertrude Jekyll -
see Houseplants' Spring Revival in What's Coming Up #198

One of the frustrations of my job was not being able to say, "I'm sorry, I can't cover this cosmic event on the other side of the world, because I have to go watch my daffodils bloom."

Charles Kuralt, retired TV newsman, Charles Kuralt's America, 1995 -