I'm not much of a gardener, but I definitely want to learn more. Last year was the first time in many years that I really went for it in a couple small plots. I was pleased as punch that some of what I planted actually grew! Of course, there were some failures too. But overall, my experience made me excited to try gardening again this year. However, it is a bit of work, so I found the following quotes inspiring, funny, and thought-provoking — just what I needed for more motivation. 

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.

— Voltaire

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

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

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

— Liberty Hyde Bailey

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

Photo: Thieury/Shutterstock

Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.

— Rudyard Kipling

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.

— Francis Bacon

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.

— May Sarton

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

— Gertrude Jekyll

Trees and plants always look like the people they live with, somehow.

— Zora Neale Hurston

It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.

— B.C. Forbes

Photo: Scorpp/Shutterstock

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece

— Claude Monet

Garden as though you will live forever.

— William Kent

A person cannot love a plant after he has pruned it, then he has either done a poor job or is devoid of emotion.

— Liberty Hyde Bailey

The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.

— Michael Pollan

If a tree dies, plant another in its place.

— Carl Linnaeus

There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.

— Alfred Austin

I like gardening — it's a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself.

— Alice Sebold

The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. 

— Michael Pollan

The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.

— Joel Salatin

Photo: Zocchi Roberto/Shutterstock

Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.

— Wendell Berry

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.

— Ruth Stout

All gardeners know better than other gardeners.

— Chinese proverb

But always, to her, red and green cabbages were to be jade and burgundy, chrysoprase and prophyry. Life has no weapons against a woman like that.

— Edna Ferber

If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. 'Green fingers' are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.

— Russell Page

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

— Greek proverb

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.

— Janet Kilburn Phillips

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.

— Abraham Lincoln

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

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