I don’t think I have ever visited a botanical garden where I didn’t see the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson “The Earth Laughs in Flowers” on a sign, carved into a bench, on a stepping stone, etc. There’s no doubt that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s kinship with nature and wise words have inspired many gardeners for over a century.
Gardeners often find inspiration in proverbs, verses and quotes from famous authors and prominent figures to help them conquer gardening challenges and life obstacles. With social media so popular now, you can be sipping your morning coffee, scrolling through Facebook and come across a picture of beautiful flowers with a quote of just a few simple words that seems to pertain specifically to you.
Some quotes can be like a powerful mantra that we repeat in our head as we make big life changes. Sometimes a quote just sticks with us because it’s endearing or funny and can lighten a situation. Below is a list of my top 5 inspiring garden quotes.
1. “Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.” (Author unknown) – So often, I have gotten lost in deep thought while pruning, deadheading, watering or harvesting my garden, walking away with resolutions to problems that had nothing to do with gardening and an armful of harvested veggies. Along the same line Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “All my hurts, my garden spade can heal” and another unknown author, “You can bury a lot of troubles, digging in the dirt.” Whichever quote you prefer, the message conveyed is the same. Our gardens are often a place of meditation, therapy or solace for the mind and soul.
2. “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” (Janet Kilburn Phillips) – I love this quote because it reminds us all to lighten up and try new things in the garden. If a plant is suffering in the spot you planted it, take it as a lesson learned, not a failure, and simply dig the plant up and try a new spot. Many of us learn better from doing than from simply being told how to do things. I constantly encourage my garden center customers to try new things and experiment. The results may be amazing or disappointing, but either way you’ll learn something new.
3. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” (Abraham Lincoln) – This is a gardener’s version of “you can see the cup as half empty or you can see the cup as half full.” In life, you can focus on the negative or you can focus on the positive.
4. “Count the garden by the flowers, not the leaves that fall. Count your life by smiles, not the tears that roll.” (Author unknown) – This is another endearing garden quote that reminds us to focus on the positive things in life.
5. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anais Nin) – I came across this quote when I was at a crossroads in my life and it inspired me to have faith in myself and my ability to blossom, grow and change, regardless of how scary that change was. Flowers aren’t afraid to bloom, and caterpillars are not afraid to leave their cocoons once they become butterflies. Nature is constantly changing. Think how boring our gardens would be if flowers, birds, butterflies and bees second-guessed their actions as much as people do.