Get inspired by these famous gardening quotes and old proverbs. Read words of wisdom on plants, flowers, weeds and what gardening means to us all.

Life begins…


If you have a garden in your library, everything will be complete. – Marcus Tullius Cicero, Letter to Varro, 1st century AD

Life begins the day you start a garden. – Chinese proverb

A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust. — Gertrude Jekyll (2011) ‘Wood and Garden: Notes and Thoughts, Practical and Critical, of a Working Amateur’ Cambridge University Press

Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years. – Unknown

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade. –Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Glory of the Garden’ (1911)

Garden as though you will live forever. – William Kent

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


The love of gardening…


The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies, but never grows to the enduring happiness that the love of gardening gives. – Gertrude Jekyll (2016) ‘Wood and Garden – Notes and Thoughts, Practical and Critical, of a Working Amateur’ Read Books Ltd

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon (1625) Essays ‘Of Gardens’


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

The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway. – Michael Pollan (2007) ‘Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education’ p.64, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. – Robert Louis Stevenson (2015) ‘The Complete Works of Robert Louis Stevenson: Novels, Short Stories, Poems, Plays Memoirs, Travel Sketches, Letters and Essays (Illustrated Edition)

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin “Growing with the Seasons: A Sharing of Insights Into the Creative Aspects of Organic Gardening”. Book by Frank Giannangelo and Vicky Giannangelo, July 1, 2008.

My most beautiful masterpiece…


Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? – Douglas Adams (2009). “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, p.79, Pan Macmillan

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows. – Doug Larson


At Christmas I no more desire a rose, Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth; But like of each thing that in season grows. – William Shakespeare, ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ (1595) act 1, sc. 1, l. 105

Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone. – Jean Jacques Rousseau

Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors. –Oscar de la Rentawn – Biography

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. – Claude Monet

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

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


I grow plants for many reasons…

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. – David Hobson

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. – Henri Matisse (1992). “Jazz”, George Braziller


I like gardening. It’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself. – Alice Sebold “Above and beyond”. Interview with Katharine Viner, August 23, 2002

A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. – May Sarton (2014). “At Seventy: A Journal”, p.53, Open Road Media

If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. – Robert Brault

The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. – Gertrude Jekyll (2011). “Wood and Garden: Notes and Thoughts, Practical and Critical, of a Working Amateur”, p.1, Cambridge University Press


I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. – Claire Joyes, Claude Monet (1975). “Monet at Giverny”, Wh Smith Pub

Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors. – Mary Cantwell

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. – A.A. Milne, ‘If I May’ Miniature Masterpieces (30 Oct. 2015)

All gardeners know better than other gardeners. – Chinese proverb


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