the garden of life

If you would be happy all
your life, plant a garden.

Chinese proverb


I'm still devoted to the garden. . . although an old man, I am but a young gardener.

Thomas Jefferson


I do not envy the owners of very large gardens.  The garden should fit its owner or his or her tastes, just as one's clothes do; it should be neither too large nor too small, but just comfortable.

Gertrude Jekyll
Of course, the character of my garden is also determined by things beyond any human decision, mine or anyone else's.

Allen Lacy

In one's garden a person may be one's own artist without apology or explanation.  Here is one spot where each may experience the "romance of possibility."

Louise Beebe Wilder

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

John Erskine

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank


A garden really lives only insofar as it is an expression of faith,
the embodiment of a hope and a song of praise.

Russell Page


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Those who plant trees plant hope.

Lucy Larcom

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a home-grown tomato.

Lewis Grizzard

I have a garden of my own,
Shining with flowers of every hue;
I loved it dearly while alone,
But I shall love it more with you.

Thomas Moore
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

My garden, with its silence and pulses of fragrance that come
and go on the airy undulations, affects me like sweet music.
Care stops at the gates, and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.

Alexander Smith


I look upon the pleasure which we take in a garden as
one of the most innocent delights in human life. . . It
gives us a great insight into the contrivance and wisdom
of Nature, and suggests innumerable subjects for meditation.


the garden of life   

To cultivate a garden is. . . to go hand in hand with Nature
in some of her most beautiful processes, to learn something
of her choicest secrets, and to have a more intelligent interest
awakened in the beautiful order of her works elsewhere.

Christian Bovee

When the world wearies and society ceases
to satisfy there's always the garden.

William Affleck


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The work of a garden bears visible fruits--in a world
where most of our labours seem suspiciously meaningless.

Pam Brown


Native Americans all over the U.S. and Canada use a term they call
the Three Sisters to describe the Native American way of life
through the gardening technique of planting corn, beans and squash
together on the same mound.  These Three Sisters--corn, beans
and squash--supplement and complement each other.  The vines
of the bean plant grow up the corn stalk.  The huge leaves of
the squash vines keep the ground moist for all of the roots.
The nutritious vitamins from each of the plants escapes
into the soil so that they each benefit from one another.

Deborah Champlain


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I think that gardening is nearer to godliness than theology.

Vigen Quoiran

Those who plant gardens, plant happiness.

Chinese proverb


I use the word "aim" perhaps too loosely, for I surely will have many aims
in connection with every garden I attempt; the first perhaps is quite simply
to leave a place more beautiful than I find it.

Russell Page



When I go into my garden, all the cares, perplexities, and griefs of existence,
all the burdens of life slip from my shoulders and leave me with the heart
of a little child that asks nothing beyond its present moment of innocent bliss.

Celia Thaxter


Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as the paint,
and the soil and sky as the canvas--working with
nature provides the technique.

Elizabeth Murray


I do agree with Michael Pollan's assessment that "suburban America has been
laid out to look best from the perspective not of its inhabitants, but of the
motorist."  So this is our heritage:  gardening based on public opinion.
And we are reduced to garden management.

Terry Hershey
Soul Gardening

St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden when someone asked
what he would do if he were suddenly to learn that he
would die before sunset that very day.  "I would
finish hoeing my garden," he replied.

Louis Fischer

People are not made to rust out in idleness.  A degree of exercise is as
necessary for the preservation of health, both of body and mind, as
our daily food.  And what exercise is more fitting, or more appropriate
of one who is in the decline of life, than that of superintending a
well-ordered garden?  What more enlivens the sinking mind?
What is more conducive to a long life?

Joseph Breck


Where would the gardener be if there were no more weeds?

Chuang Tzu


All gardens, even the most native and naturalistic, benefit from
the hand of an artful pruner. In this season where the garden is
poised for the green flood of springtime, remember that our gardens
are co-creations, shared with mother earth. And like any good
mother, she expects you to tidy up your room.

Tom Spencer

For the Infinite has sowed his name in the heavens in burning stars,
but on the earth he has sowed his name in tender flowers.

Jean Paul Richter


One can get lost in their garden and the rest of the world ceases to exist,
if only for a while. Anger dissipates with every shovel of dirt moved, pleasure
is found in the simplest forms, excitement is felt as each tiny plant matures
and then triumph with the harvest of the first tomato of the season. The
love of gardening never goes away. Even if someone is unable to garden
themselves, they enjoy the gardens of others.

Renee Hogan

the garden of life

Look at the soil, feel the soil, smell the soil: The Beginning!
Wise is the person who sees the cherry trees in bloom
and does not say "life is not a bowl of cherries." 
Looking at your garden involves far more than your eyes.
Once we stop looking we often see It right away.    
What I make of my garden depends upon how close I stand to it. 
Gardening tempts you to look, again and again, until the novel is seen. 
If you keep looking for one thing, you will find many.      
A poverty of vision is not the only limitation. 
Sensations flow with the seasons. 
Seeing with one eye and feeling with the other does help bring things into focus.  
Gardening boils down to doing and seeing for yourself.

Mike Garofalo
Pulling Onions

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the
soil and sky as canvas--
working with nature provides the technique.

Elizabeth Murray


It takes time and devotion to learn the language of color and lighting in
the garden.  Your tastes are sure to change over time, reflecting your
inner evolution.  Seeing the garden as a canvas for your celebration of
Nature's palette is a wonderful expression of the soul's love of beauty
and artistry.  Your own inner intuition, however, is often your best
teacher, but don't forget that Mother Nature will always have a few
surprises up Her sleeve as well.  Perhaps your greatest insight will be
that this glorious exploration of light and color and their interrelationship
is really meant to illuminate the many facets of your being and personality.

Christopher and Tricia McDowell
The Sanctuary Garden