30 Quotes on Gardening

On getting your hands dirty.

Gardening is the purest of human pleasures. -Francis Bacon

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. -Thomas Jefferson

The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. -Michael Pollan

What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season. -Kate Morton

How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. -Benjamin Disraeli

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. -Greek Proverb

Ol’ man Simon, planted a diamond. Grew hisself a garden the likes of none. Sprouts all growin’ comin’ up glowin’ Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun. Colors of the rainbow. See the sun and the rain grow sapphires and rubies on ivory vines, Grapes of jade, just ripenin’ in the shade, just ready for the squeezin’ into green jade wine. -Shel Silverstein

I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden. -John Erskine

Regardless of geographical region or culture gardening is perhaps the most common and shared experience of Nature. -S. Kelley Harrell

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments. -Janet Kilburn Phillips

If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. “Green fingers” are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart. -Russell Page

Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor’s motorized garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one. -Dave Barry

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. -Claude Monet

Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a garden than any place else on earth. -Dorothy Frances Gurney

Earth laughs in flowers. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiration. -Lou Erickson

No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green it wakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith. -Albert Schweitzer

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land. -Abraham Lincoln

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. -The Koran

When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden. -Minnie Aumonier 

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

Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating. -Wendell Berry

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul. -Luther Burbank

It didn’t occur to me that… that gardening, like music, could demand practice, patience, a willingness to make mistakes. -Amy Stewart

The garden, historically, is the place where all the senses are exploited. Not just the eye, but the ear – with water, with birds. And there is texture, too, in plants you long to touch. -William Howard Adams

A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space – a place not just set apart but reverberant – and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry. -Michael Pollan

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized. -Allan Armitage

Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion. -Eudora Welty

All gardeners know better than other gardeners. -Chinese Proverb

Images: Irene Kightly [2], Jenny Downing


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Jessica Marati

Jessica Marati currently resides in New York City and covers travel and sustainability for EcoSalon. Catch her weekly column, Behind the Label.