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Noon Edition

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 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.

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