Strength may wield the ponderous spade, May turn the clod, and wheel the compost home; But elegance, chief grace the garden shows, And most attractive, is the fair result Of thought, the creature of a polished mind.
E'vn in the stifling bosom of the town, A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms That soothes the rich possessor; much consol'd, That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint, Or nightshade, or valerian, grace the well He cultivates.
Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet; She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet. She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)
Source: Crossways, 1889. Down by the Salley Gardens
But well-a-day, the gardener careless grew, The maids and fairies both were kept away, And in a drought the caterpillars threw Themselves upon the bud and every spray. God shield the stock! if Heaven send no supplies, The fairest blossom of the garden dies.
A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has his mind precisely against what is wrong with us. . . . What I am saying is that if we apply our minds directly and competently to the needs of the earth, then we will have begun to make fundamental and necessary changes in our minds. We will begin to understand and to mistrust and to change our wasteful economy, which markets not just the produce of the earth, but also the earth's ability to produce.
If you grow a garden you are going to shed some sweat, and you are going to spend some time bent over; you will experience some aches and pains. But it is in the willingness to accept this discomfort that we strike the most telling blow against the power plants and what they represent.
Beauty is momentary in the mind.- The fitful tracing of a portal; But in the flesh it is immortal. The Body dies; the body's beauty lives. So evenings die, in their green going, A wave, interminably flowing. So gardens die, their meek breath scenting The cowl of Winter, done repenting.