Snippets from Garden Writing

A lot has been written about flowers and gardening. While some of it is sublime and a lot of it is hyperbole, most of it is just amusing.

one of Rupyard Kipling's homes in England

Photo: florriebassingbourne

This is one of Rupyard Kipling's homes in England. He wrote of gardening that "the glory of the Garden occupieth all who come".

A lot has been written about flowers and gardening. While some of it is sublime and a lot of it is hyperbole, most of it is amusing. Here are some of my favorite quotes from people who write about gardening:

  • Long before gardening was thought of as an activity for gentlewomen, Francis Bacon wrote, “God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures.  It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man.”
  • An unknown woman in more modern times wrote: “I could certainly think of leaving my husband, but I never imagine leaving my garden.”
  • John Ruskin showed some snobbery when he said, “Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.  They are the cottager’s treasure.”
  • Mary Milford reflected her vision of empire by writing that “one is never thoroughly sociable with flowers til they are provided with decent, homely, well-wearing English names.”
  • And in 1911, Rudyard Kipling collaborated with a Mr Fletcher to write flippantly:

And some can point begonias and some can bud a rose
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam
For the glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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