Wisdom Found In The Garden
“Landscape Design is not hard, it is a lot of easy layers.”- Tara Dillard
“As overwhelming as your garden might seem, it boils down to three questions: What do you have to work with, what are you hoping to accomplish, and how do you make it happen?” -Billy Goodnick
“Gardening is full of mistakes, almost all of them pleasant and some of them actually instructive.” ~Henry Mitchell
The secret of landscapes isn’t creation…It’s maintenance. ~Michael Dolan
Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first.
Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now and they’ll o’ergrow the garden.
-William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) King Henry VI, Part II, Act III
“One thing Iâ€™ve learned is that the art never looks as good on paper as it does in my imagination.” -Jennifer Thermes (true of gardens, too!)
â€œThe fair-weather gardener, who will do nothing except when the wind and weather and everything else are favorable, is never master of his craft.â€â€“ Henry Ellacombe
5 dollar hole for 50 cent plant.
For all his sophistication, man owes his very existence to four inches of top soil and the fact that it rains.
We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?
The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell someone else where to dig.
-Texas Bix Bender
“The rake, the hoe, the shears and the broom lie at the very heart of gardening”
“Now the gardener is the one who has seen everything ruined so many times that (even as his pain increases with each loss) he comprehends – truly knows – that where there was a garden once, it can be again or where there never was, there yet can be a garden so that all who see it say, â€˜Well, you have favorable conditions here. Everything grows for you’. Everything grows for everybody. Everything dies for everybody, too.”
“There are no green thumbs or black thumbs. There are only gardeners and non-gardeners. Gardeners are the ones who ruin after ruin get on with the high defiance of nature herself, creating, in the very face of chaos and tornado, the bower of roses and the pride of irises. It sounds very well to garden in a â€˜natural way.’ You may see the natural way in any desert, any swamp, any leech-filled laurel hell. Defiance, on the other hand, is what makes a gardener.”
“She calls herself a ‘general gardener’ because she grows everything and loves everything that grows.”
~ Elizabeth Lawrence
The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker, for it involves hours of walking round in circles, apparently doing nothing. ~ Helen Dillon
To create a garden is to search for a better world. In our effort to improve on nature, we are guided by a vision of paradise. Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece or only a modest vegetable patch, it is based on the expectation of a glorious future. This hope for the future is at the heart of all gardening.~ Marina Schinz
Gardening gives one back a sense of proportion about everything – except itself. ~May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep, 1968.
Organic gardening isnâ€™t doing nothing, itâ€™s doing the right thing at the right time to have the minimal impact on the natural network. -Doug Green
Gardening imparts an organic perspective on the passage of time.
– William Cowper
“A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us. . . . What I am saying is that if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds. We will begin to understand and to mistrust and to change our wasteful economy, which markets not just the produce of the earth, but also the earth’s ability to produce.”
Many things love to come and live off your plants, including bacteria, bugs, birds, and bunnies. If you don’t control them, entire crops can be ruined. The result of your careful cultivation, in your garden and in your life, can be lost to predators in a short time. . . . Take a look at your life, what toxic relationships, substances and emotions are feeding on your energy and taking away from what you have to give to others. Eliminate them.
-Vivian Elisabeth Glyck
â€œIf well managed, nothing is more beautiful than the kitchen garden.â€
~William Cobbett, The English Gardener, 1829
The Soul in the Garden
Often I hear people say, “How do you make your plants flourish like this?” as they admire the little flower patch I cultivate in summer, or the window gardens that bloom for me in the winter;
“I can never make my plants blossom like this! What is your secret?” And I answer with one word, “Love.” For that includes all,~the patience that endures continual trial, the constancy that makes perseverance possible,the power of foregoing ease of mind and body to minister to the necessities of the thing beloved, and the subtle bond of sympathy which is as important, if not more so, than all the rest….I am fully and intensely aware that plants are conscious of love and respond to it as they do to nothing else.
You may give them all they need of food and drink and make the conditions of their existence as favorable as possible, and they may grow and bloom, but there is a certain ineffable something that will be missing if you do not love them, a delicate glory too spiritual to be caught and put into words.
Learn to be an observer in all seasons. Every single day, your garden has something new and wonderful to show you.
An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life.
When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.
We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden.
So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
‘The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.’
â€œDesigning the garden is like learning to speak. You begin with odd words â€“ learning the individual plants. Then you create a simple phrase, finding two or three plants that look well together, next comes a sentence and finally the complete story.â€
~ Beth Chatto
â€œEvery gardener should be an artist along his own lines. That is the only possible way to create a garden, irrespective of size or wealth.â€ -Vita Sackville-West
Gardens are not just case studies in design. They are stories of peopleâ€™s lives.
Wherever man exists, he finds the need to redesign, to recreate the world. A more beautiful world, purer, sweeter smelling and more colorful. A garden is probably the spot where the hopes for civilization are best captured. In fact, man defines himself by his garden.
-THE ENCHANTED GARDENS OF THE RENAISSANCE
About The Flowers:
. . I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.~Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”
– Luther Burbank
The garden should be adorned with roses and lilies, the turnsole, violets, and mandrake; there you should have parsley, cost, fennel, southern-wood, coriander, sage, savory, hyssop, mint, rue, dittany, smallage, pellitory, lettuces, garden-cress, and peonies.
There should also be beds planted with onions, leeks, garlic, pumpkins and shallots. The cucumber growing in its lap, the drowsy poppy, the daffodil and brank-ursine ennoble a garden. Nor are there wanting, if occasion further thee, pottage-herbs: beets, herb-mercury, orache, sorrel and mallows, anise, mustard, white pepper and wormwood do good service to the gardener.
Alexander of Neckam (1157 – 1217)
Source: Of the Nature of Things (De naturis rerum) 1187
Gardening and Writing:
From the Forward to â€˜Green Thoughtsâ€™ By Eleanor Perenyi, 1918-2009,
â€œWhy, then presume to write a book about gardening? The simplest answer is that a writer who gardens is sooner or later going to write a book about the subjectâ€”I take that as inevitable. One acquires oneâ€™s opinions and prejudices, picks up a trick or two, learns to question supposedly expert judgments, reads, saves clippings, and is eventually overtaken by the desire to pass it all on. But there is something more: As I look about me, I have reason to believe I belong to a vanishing species. Gardens like mine, which go by the unpleasing name of â€˜labor intensiveâ€™ are on their way out and before they go, I would like to contribute my pennyâ€™s worth to their history.â€
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.
-Dwight David Eisenhower
Better to be pruned to grow than cut up to burn.
“The rules of the garden are the rules of art; the rules of the rock garden are the more awful rules of Nature herself” ~Reginald Farrer, My Rock Garden 1920
“Wherever humans garden magnificently, there are magnificent heartbreaks.”
~Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman
â€œSimplicity, tranquility, and clarity are the underlying baselines of my best work, and the belief that a garden can be a work of art.â€
~ Ted Smyth
found on sundials:
NON NUMERO NISI SERANAS (or AUREAS) and variations: Let others tell of storms and showers, I count only sunny hours
TEMPUS FUGIT and variations: Time flies
BEHOLD AND BE GONE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
CARPE DIEM Seize the day
DEPRESSA RESURGO I set to rise
DISCE TUOS NUMERARE DIES Learn to number thy days
EHEU FUGACES LABUNTUR ANNI Alas the fleeting years slip by
TRIFLE NOT YOUR TIME IS SHORT
Lâ€™HEURE PASSE, Lâ€™AMITIE RESTE Time passes, friendship remains
FESTINAT SUPREMA The last hour approaches
FUMUS ET UMBRA SUMUS We are naught but smoke and shadow
HOC TUUM EST The present is all you may claim as yours
HODIE MIHI, CRAS TIBI Today is mine, tomorrow may be yours
THE IDLE WHO WOULD BE COUNTED WISE
THINK ALL DELIGHT IN PASTIME LIES
NOR HEED THEY WHAT THE WISE CONDEMN:
AS THEY PASS TIME, TIME PASSES THEM
I NOTE THE TIME THAT YOU WASTE
NOW IS YESTERDAYâ€™S TOMORROW
MORA TRAHIT PERICULUM Delay is dangerous
MORS OMNIA VINCIT Death conquers all
NIL DAT QUOD NON HABET Nothing comes of nothing
A CLOCK THE TIME MAY WRONGLY TELL, I NEVER IF THE SUN SHINES WELL
NEQUE LUX SINE UMBRA There is no light without shade
NIHIL VELOCIUS ANNIS Nothing is swifter than time
Câ€™EST Lâ€™HEURE DE BOIRE (or VIVRE) Itâ€™s time to drink (or live)
WITH MY SHADOW MOVES THE WORLD
SOL SPLENDIT OMNIBUS The sun shines for all
DU HABST DEN ETWAS GUT GETHAN Of the hours let there be none, in which by you no good is done
WE BOTH HASTEN TOWARDS SUNSET
SILENS LOQUOR Though silent, I speak
LEAD KINDLY LIGHT
~collected by michaelweishan.com