I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
Now I’ve joined the army that fights the weeds.
For me no flashing saber and sword,
To battle the swiftly marching horde;
With a valiant heart I fight the foe,
My only weapon a trusty hoe.
No martial music to swing me along,
I march to the robin redbreast song.
No stirring anthem of bugle and drum
But the cricket’s chirp and the honey bee’s hum.
No anti-aircraft or siren yell
But there’s Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell.
With a loving heart and a sturdy hand,
I defend the borders of flower-land;
While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane,
A butterfly pilots his tiny plane;
But I shall not fear his skillful hand,
My enemy charges only by land.
Would those who lead nations in war and hate
But lay down their guns at some garden gate,
There, bury- their bombs and their bloody deeds,
And join the grand army that’s fighting the weeds.
-Alma B. Eymann-
Prayer in a Garden
Today the world seemed cruel, but evening hours
Were filled with perfume from forgotten flowers.
I saw again familiar filigree
Of moonlight through my lacy Lilac tree ;
I heard the robins stirring in their nest;
And saw the path that fairy feet had pressed;
Reflected stars were in my garden pool;
On my warm face the breeze was kind and cool.
The silence seemed to speak, my head was bowed,
Then ramblers that had grown into a cloud
Lifted my eyes that, tear-washed, now could see
The beauty that today was lost to me.
Dear god, who is so near to flowers, and birds,
Be nearer still, as I shall search for words
To thank Thee for the blessings night revealed,
Which through the day discouragement concealed.
-Eva Sparks Taylor
Whatever a man’s age, he can reduce it several years
by putting a bright-colored flower
in his buttonhole.
As I work among my flowers, I find myself talking to them, yes
reasoning and remonstrating with them, and adoring them as if they were
human beings! Much laughter I provoke among my friends by so doing, but that
is of no consequence. We are on such good terms, my flowers and I.
– Celia Thaxter 1835-1894-
This is the garden’s magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it,
Himself outgrows his flowers.
He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord’s good time
Does any seedling grow.
He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.
He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev’ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.
And when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.
-Marie Nettleton Carroll-
I want real flowers, perennials which not only grow
and change and die, but also rise again and astonish me!
A garden shouldn’t just bloom and look pretty;
it should develop like the rest of life.
Otherwise it, and we, live
only to be spaded under.
Emma L. Roth-Schwartz
The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat
and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold
drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.
– Texas Bix Bender, Don’t Throw in the Trowel
The Gardener’s Morning
The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.
Get up and get out in the garden,
For the morning hours flee.
I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.
The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning
can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day –
like writing a poem or saying a prayer.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh-