Our Favourite Gardening Quotations
“Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.”
A garden without cats can scarcely be called a garden at all. -Beverley Nichols
The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination. -Thomas D. Church
The garden flew round with the angel,
The angel flew round with the clouds,
And the clouds flew round and the clouds flew round
And the clouds flew round with the clouds.
But that things go round and again go round
has rather a classical sound.
The main purpose of a garden is to give its owner the best and highest form of earthly pleasure. -Gertrude Jekyll
Nobody can design a more satisying garden for you than the one that you think out for yourself. It could take years, but in the doing of it, you should be in paradise. -Mary Keen
This used to be among my prayers: A piece of land not so very large, which should contain a garden, and near the house, a spring of ever-flowing water, and beyond these a bit of woods. -Homer
Why keep a garden account and reckon the cost of pure joy? Is it not cheap at any price? -Mabel Osgood Wright
We are always told that the first thing we must do on getting a garden is to make a plan…But, in fact, the last thing I ever want to do is make a plan–I feel weak just thinking about it. My idea of heaven was (and still is) to indulge in a lavish buying spree. And the consequences? Too bad. Bugger plans! -Helen Dillon
People go through five stages of gardening. They begin by liking flowers, progress to flowering shrubs, then autumn foliage and berries; next they go for leaves, and then the undersides of leaves. -The Duchess of Devonshire
“,,,sipping the cold soup made from the chrysanthemums of dreams…” -Paul Carroll
Every year, back comes spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants. -Dorothy Parker
Think small. Planting tiny seeds in the small space given you can change the whole world or, at the very least, your view of it. -Linus Moody
Some people spend their time dreaming of a paradise in heaven. I would rather try to create it here on earth. -Jenny Ferguson
A massive dose of inspiration should result in drastic action. Be bold and never question inspiration-driven ideas. Timidity results in inactivity and a stagnant or non-existent garden. -Thomas Hobbs (“Shocking Beauty”)
It is a fact of gardening that the earth will swallow up the fork or the snipper within two minutes of your putting them down to turn to a patch of weeds; if they are brightly colored (forget those chic dark green things) you stand a better chance of finding them, in a year or two, but tools ought not to be such an investment that you feel you must reallocate your investments when they are lost. -Dominique Browning (“Paths of Desire”)
Portrait by a Neighbour by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Before she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!
It’s long after midnight
Her Key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!
She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon,
She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,
She forgets she borrowed butter
And pays you back cream!
Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace.
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden. Abraham Cowley, 1666
I started clipping. Four or five hours later I came out of my trance. Now I know why my few friends who have gardens were so obsessed. You disappear into the roots and plants and leaves. The smell alone is hypnotic. Gardening is like resting with the earth, except not like death; closer to a good night’s sleep, because you wake up from it feeling refreshed. I had to make myself stop for lunch. Then I had to make myself stop for the day. -Stacy Horn
“[Garden visitors] stand and stare and comment on our dedication to the job, how our backs must be aching and how we can help in their garden when we’re finished with our own.” from Heligan: A Portrait of the Lost Garden (Note: These are exactly the same things that gardens say to us here on the southwest coast of Washington State. Heligan is on the coast of Cornwall in SW England.)
I value my garden for being more full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly I give them fruit for their song. Joseph Addison
My whole life has been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God’s presence, the kind of trandscendent, magical experience that let’s you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first compost heap.” Bette Midler
“…a house sits, ideally on a green lawn like a white stamp on an unaddressed envelope…that is happiness to many. I like an envelope scrawled all over with a stamp indecipherable from ink and inside a letter than it full of repose and serenity.” Kate Llewellyn