Flowers often take on symbolic meanings, particularly in literature. During the Victorian era, flowers were used to communicate unsaid meaning – the secret language of flowers. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a well-known poet at the forefront of the transcendentalist movement, once wrote, “the Earth laughs in flowers.”
Even though he lived over a century ago, his words continue to inspire gardeners today, transcending the boundaries of time and evoking a kinship with nature. Quotes from famous authors and other prominent figures often provide inspiration to people and help them contemplate the meaning of the human condition.
Gardening is an activity that provides immense benefits in many areas of life. A research project in Australia, entitled "The Congruent Garden: An Investigation into the Role of the Domestic Garden in Satisfying Fundamental Human Needs," interviewed gardeners on the values of gardening in their everyday lives. The researcher, Mike Steven, established that gardens have the potential to satisfy nine basic human needs (subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity, freedom) across four existential states (being, having, doing and interacting). Below are several uplifting gardening quotes from people of a variety of backgrounds that will inspire you to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the spiritual lessons gardening can teach.
1. To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn
2. We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. – Alphonse Karr from his book A Tour Round My Garden
From afar, rose bushes are innocuous, but their sharp thorns can be a persistent reminder of woes and discord. Despite this, roses are a favorite of gardeners due to their fragrance and vibrant color. This quote reminds you to change your perception and focus on the positive aspects of life instead of the negative.
3. Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors. – Oscar de la Renta, Dominican fashion designer
4. Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein
The proliferation of technology can cause stress and strain for those caught in its rush. You may find it useful to take a break from social media and reconnect authentically with life, being mindful of the natural world and the sense of connectedness it instills.
5. A flower blossoms for its own joy. – Oscar Wilde
6. Choose only one master – nature. – Rembrandt, Dutch Golden Age painter
7. Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than emperors. – Mary Cantwell
Although gardeners may experience frustrating setbacks, they should be encouraged to dream and to take the initiative to accomplish their dreams. It is important to have an active imagination, which helps you retain your vision of your ideal garden and bring it to life.
8. There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp. – John Steinbeck
9. Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul. – Alice Walker
Beauty comes in many different forms, and gardening is no exception. Gardening can be a joyful and restorative experience for many people, helping them alleviate stress and become more connected to nature.
10. Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound. – Edwin Curran
11. Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. – Theodore Roethke
Theodore Roethke was a nonconformist and eccentric poet who influenced future poets to pursue the mysteries of the inner self. Flowers are often a symbol of regenerative power and resilience in times of darkness and despair, providing both literal and figurative color to a dreary environment.
12. There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments. – Janet Kilburn Phillips
13. Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. – Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Baroque writer of the Spanish Golden Age
14. 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, American poet
Gardening is a great way to supplement your diet with organically grown, fresh produce. As well as being self-sufficient, planting a garden with fruits and vegetables is a fulfilling experience that imparts a sense of accomplishment.
15. 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
16. 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, gardener and author
17. Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature. – Steve Maraboli
Steve Maraboli is an inspirational speaker, best-selling author, and behavioral scientist recognized as a leading voice in human behavior. His quote is applicable to gardening, as well as to life. It is important that you tend to your garden with passion and good effort, as showing indifference or apathy will result in lackluster results.
18. My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish, or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society. – Andrew Weil, American Scientist
19. Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it. – Rumi, 13th century Persian poet
20. I've always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend. – C. Z. Guest, American Style Icon
The seemingly endless sprawl of metropolitan areas can be isolating. Gardening is a great way to assuage loneliness, as plants are constant companions that inspire us to look for beauty in simple things.
21. If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Marcus Tullius Cicero
22. Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. – Hans Christian Andersen
23. Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in being. Allow nature to teach you stillness. – Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and self-help author
24. Nature poets can't walk across the backyard without tripping over an epiphany. – Christian Wiman