The Glory Of The Garden

By Mary Ellen Ellis | January 29, 2022
Image by Volokhatiuk
by Mary Ellen Ellis
January 29, 2022

As a gardener and a writer, I know the power of words and of hard work. I enjoy reading and writing about all subjects, but gardening is special. One particular quote combines my love of words and of gardening better than any other. 

Rudyard Kipling’s The Glory of the Garden

I love poetry, and Kipling’s works are special. He had a way with words of course, but also a rhythm to his poems that invite reading them out loud. A favorite is The Glory of the Garden. From it, this quote inspires in so many ways: 

“such gardens are not made by singing: –‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade”

Why I Love This Quote

This line from the longer poem is enough on its own. It says it all really, about gardening. It says a lot about life too. Gardens are made by hard work, a lesson I’ve learned over the years since I owned my own home. 

I have always loved gardens. When I was younger, I admired them and dreamed of having my own. But actually putting the work in was another matter. At first, I think I only wanted the end product. I wanted to get there without sweating, kneeling in the dirt, or getting an aching back after hours of work. 

Over time, though, I came to appreciate and even enjoy the work that comes with gardening. The end product may look the same whether I did it or I paid someone else to do it, but it feels different. I enjoy the fruits of my labor so much more because I did it. The same is true of so much in life. If it’s worth having, in other words, it’s worth working for. 

I would encourage any gardener to find the Kipling poem and read the whole thing. It’s an eight-stanza ode to the work gardeners do, including those who do the “netting strawberries and killing slugs“ and “some who can pot begonias and some can bud a rose.” All work done that contributes to the glory of the garden is valuable.

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