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One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth. ~ Dorothy Frances Gurney

Gardens are planned spaces, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials. The most common form today is known as a residential garden, but the term garden has traditionally been a more general one. Zoos, which display wild animals in simulated natural habitats, were formerly called zoological gardens. Western gardens are almost universally based on plants, with garden often signifying a shortened form of botanical garden.


We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. ~ Eve
Sorted alphabetically by author or source
  • Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like.
    • Alfred Austin, The Garden That I Love (London: Macmillan and Co., 1894), p. 112.
  • Exclusiveness in a garden is a mistake as great as it is in society.
    • Alfred Austin, The Garden That I Love (London: Macmillan and Co., 1894), p. 117.
  • Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit.
    • If you have a garden in the library, we will have everything we need.
    • Cicero, Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro.
  • God the first garden made, and the first city, Cain.
    • Abraham Cowley, Several Discourses by Way of Essays in Verse and Prose (1668), 5. "The Garden".
  • My garden painted o'er
    With Nature's hand, not Art's.
    • Abraham Cowley, Several Discourses by Way of Essays in Verse and Prose (1668), 11. "Of Myself".
  • We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
  • It is not ponderable things alone that are found in gardens, but the great wonder of life, the peace of nature, the influences of sunsets and seasons and of all the tangible things to which we can give no name, not because they are small, but because they are outside the compass of our speech. In the great legend of the Fall the spiritual disaster of Man is symbolised by his exclusion from a garden, and the moral tragedy of modern industrialism is only the repetition of that ancient fable. Man lost his garden, and with it that tranquillity of soul that is found in gardens.
  • The most beautiful of all gardens is assuredly not that which is rather forest or field than garden, the 'landscape garden' of a false taste; nor, on the other hand, the shaven and trimmed and weeded parterre with an unstarred lawn; but rather the garden long ago strictly planned, rigidly ordered, architecturally piled, smooth and definite, but later set free, given over to time and the sun; not a wilderness, but having an enclosed wilderness, a directed liberty, a designed magnificence and excess.
    • Alice Meynell, "Coventry Patmore", in The Second Person Singular and Other Essays (Oxford University Press, 1921), p. 107.
  • In laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to be considered is the genius of the place.
    • Alexander Pope (circa 1729), in "a little paper" which he gave to Joseph Spence, quoted in Joseph Warton, An Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope, Vol. II (5th edition. London, 1806), pp. 174–175.
  • To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
    To rear the column, or the arch to bend,
    To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot,
    In all, let Nature never be forgot.
  • Consult the genius of the place in all,
    That tells the waters or to rise, or fall,
    Or helps th'ambitious hill the heav'ns to scale,
    Or scoops in circling theatres the vale,
    Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
    Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,
    Now breaks, or now directs, th'intending lines,
    Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
    • Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731–1735), Epistle IV: To Burlington (1731), line 57.
  • Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
    And half the platform just reflects the other.
    The suff'ring eye inverted nature sees,
    Trees cut in statues, statues thick as trees;
    With here a fountain never to be play'd,
    And there a summer-house that knows no shade.
    • Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731–1735), Epistle IV: To Burlington (1731), line 117.
  • Nothing is more completely the child of art than a garden.
    • Walter Scott, "On Landscape Gardening", The Quarterly Review, Vol. XXXVII (March 1828); reprinted in The Miscellaneous Works of Sir Walter Scott, Vol. XXI: Periodical Criticism, Vol. V (Edinburgh: Robert Cadell, 1836), p. 84.
  • A gardener's greatest skill isn't control, or planning, or power...
    It's listening.
    The plants know exactly what to do, and will tell you what they need to do it.
    All you must do is listen...
    ...and provide.
  • Come into the garden, Maud,
    For the black bat, night, has flown.
  • Once again, I experienced that overwhelming joy in the universe that I had felt in London outside the V and A. But this time, my consciousness of the world seemed larger, more complex. It was the mystic's sensation of oneness, of everything blending into everything else. Everything I looked at reminded me of something else, which also became present to my consciousness, as if I were simultaneously seeing a million worlds and smelling a million scents and hearing a million sounds-- not mixed up, but each separate and clear. I was overwhelmed with a sense of my smallness in the face of this vast, beautiful, objective universe, this universe whose chief miracle is that it exists, as well as myself. It is no dream, but a great garden in which life is trying to obtain a foothold. I experienced a desire to burst into tears of gratitude; then I controlled it, and the feeling subsided into a calm sense of immense, infinite beauty.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 307
  • My garden is a lovesome thing—God wot!
    Rose plot,
    Fringed pool,
    Fern grot—
    The veriest school
    Of peace; and yet the fool
    Contends that God is not.—
    Not God in gardens! When the sun is cool?
    Nay, but I have a sign!
    'Tis very sure God walks in mine.
  • My garden is a forest ledge
    Which older forests bound;
    The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
    Then plunge to depths profound!
  • An album is a garden, not for show
    Planted, but use; where wholesome herbs should grow.
  • I walk down the garden paths,
    And all the daffodils
    Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
    I walk down the patterned garden-paths
    In my stiff, brocaded gown.
    With my powdered hair, and jewelled fan,
    I too am a rare
    Pattern. As I wander down
    The garden paths.
  • And add to these retired Leisure,
    That in trim gardens takes his pleasure.
  • A little garden square and wall'd;
    And in it throve an ancient evergreen,
    A yew-tree, and all round it ran a walk
    Of shingle, and a walk divided it.
  • The garden lies,
    A league of grass, wash'd by a slow broad stream.
  • The splash and stir
    Of fountains spouted up and showering down
    In meshes of the jasmine and the rose:
    And all about us peal'd the nightingale,
    Rapt in her song, and careless of the snare.
  • A little garden Little Jowett made,
    And fenced it with a little palisade;
    If you would know the mind of little Jowett,
    This little garden don't a little show it.
    • Francis Wrangham, Epigram on Dr. Joseph Jowett. Familiarly known as "Jowett's little garden." Claimed for William Lort Mansel and Mr. Horry.

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