1. Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were–Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.
2. A weed is but an unloved flower.
3. However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow’.
4. 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.
5. The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. But always, to her, red and green cabbages were to be jade and burgundy, chrysoprase and prophyry. Life has no weapons against a woman like that.
10. The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
11. All gardening is landscape painting,’ said Alexander Pope.
12. A garden always has a point.
13. I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.
14. We are exploring together. We are cultivating a garden together, backs to the sun. The question is a hoe in our hands and we are digging beneath the hard and crusty surface to the rich humus of our lives.
15. Tree planting is always a utopian enterprise, it seems to me, a wager on a future the planter doesn’t necessarily expect to witness.
16. I’ve got six months to sort out the hackers, get the Japanese knotweed under control and find an acceptable form of narcissus.
17. Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.
18. The green thumb is equable in the face of nature’s uncertainties; he moves among her mysteries without feeling the need for control or explanations or once-and-for-all solutions. To garden well is to be happy amid the babble of the objective world, untroubled by its refusal to be reduced by our ideas of it, its indomitable rankness.
19. 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.
20. He even knew the reason why: because enough men had gone off to war saying the time for gardening was when the war was over; whereas there must be men to stay behind and keep gardening alive, or at least the idea of gardening; because once that cord was broken, the earth would grow hard and forget her children. That was why.
21. To dream a garden and then to plant it is an act of independence and even defiance to the greater world.
22. There is a tale…It tells of the days when a blight hung over our land. Nothing prospered. Nothing flourished. Not even zucchini would grow.
23. By bringing a soulful consciousness to gardening sacred space can be created outdoors.
24. In Summer there were white and damask roses, and the smell of thyme and musk. In Spring there were green gooseberries and throstles [thrush], and the flowers they call ceninen [daffodils]. And leeks and cabbages also grew in that garden; and between long straight alleys, and apple-trained espaliers, there were beds of strawberries, and mint, and sage.
25. Plants want to grow; they are on your side as long as you are reasonably sensible.
26. Life already has so many boundaries and pressures – why add more in the garden?
27. Our most important job as vegetable gardeners is to feed and sustain soil life, often called the soil food web, beginning with the microbes. If we do this, our plants will thrive, we’ll grow nutritious, healthy food, and our soil conditions will get better each year. This is what is meant by the adage ”Feed the soil not the plants.
28. Speaking the words he had been taught, directing them no longer upward but to the earth on which he knelt, he prayed: ‘For what we are about to receive make us truly thankful.’ … he… felt his heart suddenly flow over with thankfulness… like a gush of warm water… All that remains is to live here quietly for the rest of my life, eating food that my own labour has made the earth to yield. All that remains is to be a tender of the soil.
29. But most of all, it was a tribute to hope. Hope that something beautiful would grow despite the harsh winter, the frozen earth and a world that was constant at war.
30. Squirrels are blamed for many crimes they are not responsible for, but in this case honesty compels me to say it was the squirrels done it. I saw them.
31. Almost anything you do in the garden, for example weeding, is an effort to create some sort of order out of nature’s tendency to run wild. There has to be a certain degree of domestication in a garden. The danger is that you can so tame your garden that it becomes a thing. It becomes landscaping.
32. Zen practice gets you out of your head and out working in the garden.
33. I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they’re feeling because that’s how I read the seed catalogs in January.
34. April is the kindest month. April gets you out of your head and out working in the garden.
35. Life is like a garden: it gives you a few things, and you make of them what you can.
36. No matter the state of the world, or how dark the shadow that has fallen on our city, I find it curiously comforting to know that if you plant a seed and give it sunlight and water, it will grow.
37. Charlie had been doing something to the hedge; it was not exactly trimmed, but its disorder was now angular instead of bunchy.
38. The experience of watching your garden grow gives you some idea of how future AI systems will feel when observing human life.
39. Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good, creative death.
40. So far as I am concerned the difference between men and women is that men are interested in cutting grass and women are not. I actually prefer a daisy-sprinkled lawn; Jack, of course, wanted meticulous stripes.
41. We have in fact all the comfort of an excellent kitchen garden, without the constant eyesore of it’s formalities, or the yearly nuisance of it’s decaying vegetation. Who can endure a cabbage bed in October!
42. You can spend your whole life traveling around the world searching for the Garden of Eden, or you can create it in your backyard.
43. In a world full of roses, stand out like a dandelion in the middle of a green, plush lawn!
44. We seem to have lost the gift of patience, of waiting for time to unfold its story.
45. It is not hard to start a small garden, all you need is a sapling, a planting pot, a small bag of soil, and regular watering. There you go, you helped cooling the earth down by one plant.
46. I want to live in a world where weeds still sometimes get the last word.
47. A lot of people think that to make a garden, all you have to do is put a few seeds in the ground. These are the same people who think that conceiving a baby makes you a good parent.
48. If weeds constantly overrun your garden rows, ask yourself what those are and why they are growing there. Put down the hoe long enough to consider what the weeds are telling you.
49. We may not have a new roof by then. But we will have flowers. Far more important, wouldn’t you agree?
50. The spring blossoms get you out of your head and out working in the garden.
51. I see in activism a kind of futility. The real power is in doing.
52. Come in,” she tells her, and she invites her in to see her treasures, all affectionately addressed by diminutive nicknames: taters, carotelles, strawbabies, peasies, and so on. “Explain to your readers that it’s a sin not to cultivate the earth,” she says to Monika, and her elementary truth startles me. Why don’t our priests thunder from the pulpit against this first of all sins?
53. Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently!
54. Everything grows for everybody. Everything dies for everybody, too.
55. Zen practice gets you out of your head and out working in the garden.
56. A visitor to a garden sees the successes, usually. The gardener remembers mistakes and losses, some for a long time, and imagines the garden in a year, and in an unimaginable future.
57. If I can’t garden in it, then I won’t wear it.
58. When I die, bury me with a few garden tools, I shall make a garden in the heaven too.
59. I don’t want to return to the world outside these Gardens. All I want is to notice the dew on a leaf. The holy busyness of worms in the soil.
60. The kitchen garden satisfies both requirements, a thing 0f beauty and a joy for dinner.