Every spring as temperatures heat up and the ground begins to thaw, excitement grows. People can’t wait to get outside, some to play, others to work in their lawn and garden. For those who would rather play ball, take a hike or camp out, understanding why others would rather dig around in the dirt can be maddening. Here are some quotes from some well-known gardeners that might satisfy some of the curiosity.

“Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” —Francis Bacon

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” —Cicero

“When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” —Mahatma Gandhi

“You’re closer to God’s heart in the garden than any place else on earth.” —Dorothy Frances Gurney

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne

“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” —Helen Hayes

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.” —Thomas Jefferson

“There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give an impression of beauty and delight.” —Gertrude Jekyll

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.” —Claude Monet

“To dig one’s own spade into one’s own earth! Has life anything better to offer than this?” —Beverley Nichols

“Green fingers are the extension of a verdant heart.” —Russell Page

“A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.” —May Sarton

“Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.” — Sir Walter Scott

“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” —George Bernard Shaw

“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” —Henry David Thoreau

“No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” —Booker T. Washington

“Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.” —Eudora Welty


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