"Native ability without education is like a tree without fruit."
"Apprentice yourself to nature.
Not a day will pass
without her opening a new and wondrous world of
experience to learn from and enjoy."
- Richard W. Langer
"People are always talking about
tradition, but they forget we have a tradition of a few hundred years of nonsense and stupidity, that there is a tradition of idiocy, incompetence and crudity."
- Hugo Demartini
"Learning is a treasure that will
follow its owner everywhere."
- Chinese Proverb
"Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with
results, turn as they learn.
Learning to think as a gardener is inseparable from the acts of gardening.
Learning how to garden is learning how to slow down.
Wise is the person whose heart and mind listen to what Nature says.
Time will tell, but we often fail to listen."
- Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions
Listen to all, plucking a feather
from every passing goose,
but, follow no one absolutely.
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Beware of a man of one book.
- English Proverb
"If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need."
"What a blessing it is to love books.
Everybody must love something, and I know of no objects of love that give such substantial and unfailing returns as books and a garden."
- Elizabeth von Arnim
"Will is the root, knowledge is the
stem and leaves, and feeling is the flower."
"T'is education forms the common mind:
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined."
- Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
"The essence of education is the education of
- Benjamin Disraeli
"You must not know too much or be too
precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things."
- Henry David Thoreau
"To teach is to learn twice."
- Joseph Joubert
"Our ordinary mind always tries to
persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees."
- E.F. Schumacher
"I first read classical and
modern Western and Eastern philosophers when I was fifteen,
and have since considered myself a person with a humanistic, pragmatic, secular,
philosophical outlook on most matters. I have been content to use reasoning
to help me solve most of my problems. Like most people, I make room for
mythical, poetic, and symbolic viewpoints when dealing with many artistic,
psychological and values issues.
- Mike Garofalo
"Compared to gardeners, I think it is
generally agreed that others understand very little about anything of consequence."
- Henry Mitchell
"Must we always teach our children
with books? Let them look at the stars and the mountains above. Let them look at the waters
and the trees and flowers on Earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education."
- David Polis
"Mastery is not something that strikes
in an instant, like a thunderbolt,
but a gathering power that moves steadily through time, like weather."
- John W. Gardner
"If we represent knowledge as a tree, we know
that things that are divided are yet connected. We know that to observe the divisions and ignore the connections is to destroy the tree."
- Wendell Berry
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new
idea, never regains its original dimensions."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
"Publishing a volume of verse is like
dropping a rose petal
down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo."
- Don Marquis
"When planning for a year, plant corn.
When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people."
- Chinese Proverb
"Never regard study as a duty, but as
the enviable opportunity to learn to know the
liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and
to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs."
- Albert Einstein
"If a man speaks in a forest and there
is no woman
there to hear him, is he still wrong."
"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches
patience and careful watchfulness;
it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."
- Gertrude Jekyll
"I love being asked to identify plants,
and I don't know which gives me more pleasure:
to know what they are or not to know what they are."
- Elizabeth Lawrence
"One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can."
- William Wordsworth
"Whoever acquires knowledge but does
not practice it is as one
who ploughs but does not sow."
"Gardening is something
you learn by doing — and by making mistakes....
Like cooking, gardening is a constant process of experimentation, repeating the successes and throwing out the failures.
- Carol Stocker
"The longer the island of knowledge,
the longer the shoreline of wonder."
- J. Singer
"If you want knowledge, you must take
part in the practice of changing reality. If you want to know the taste of a pear,
you must change the pear by eating it yourself."
- Mao Tse-tung
"Gardening is a labour full of tranquility
and satisfaction; natural and instructive, and as such contributes to the most
serious contemplation, experience, health and longevity."
- John Evelyn, 1666
"God is in the details."
- Mies Van Der Rohe
"Details are all there are."
"We think in generalities, but we live
- Alfred North Whitehead
"No amount of genius can overcome a
preoccupation with detail."
- Levy's Eighth Law
"Very simple ideas lie within the reach only
of complex minds."
- Remy de Gourmant
"Just as the bee takes the nectar and
leaves without damaging the color or scent of the flowers, so should the sage act in a village."
- Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha, Pali Cannon
"Knowledge is like a garden: if it is
not cultivated, it cannot be harvested."
- Proverb from Guinea
"The more one gardens, the more one
learns; And the more one learns, the
more one realizes how little one knows."
- Vita Sackville-West
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Complied by Mike Garofalo
"I imagine most of that stuff on the
information highway is roadkill anyway."
- John Updike
"The bookful blockhead, ignorantly
With loads of learned lumber in his head."
- Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
"Seeing is different than being
- Proverb from Kenya
"A word to the wise ain't necessary, it is the stupid ones who need all the advice."
- Bill Cosby
"Nature teaches more than she
preaches. There are no sermons in stones.
It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral."
- John Burroughs
"A love of flowers would beget early
rising, industry, habits of close observation, and of reading. It would incline the mind to notice natural phenomena, and to
reason upon them. It would occupy the mind with pure thoughts, and inspire a sweet and gentle enthusiasm; maintain simplicity of taste; and ... unfold in the heart an enlarged, unstraightened, ardent piety."
- Henry War Beecher
"Some books are to be tasted, others
to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
- Frances Bacon
"Study nature, love
nature, stay close to nature.
It will never fail you."
- Frank Lloyd Wright
"Earth and sky, wind and trees, rivers
and fields, the mountains and the sea. All are excellent schoolmasters and teach some of us more than we could ever learn from books."
"For the sensory thinker, the world of the
mind bears a direct physical resemblance to the world outside."
- Robert Sommer
"A modest garden contains, for those
who know how to look and to wait,
more instruction than a library."
- Henri Frederic Amiel
"You can't learn anything from saguaro
cactus, from ocotillo. They are just passing through; their roots, their much heralded dormancy in the dry season, these are only illusions of permanence. They know even less than you do."
- Barry Lopez
"I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden."
- Frances Hodgson Burnett
"I must study politics and war that my
children may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My children ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
- John Adams, 1767-1848
"The whole problem with the world is
that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
- Bertrand Russell
"A gardener's best tool
is the knowledge from previous seasons.
And it can be recorded in a $2 notebook."
- Andy Tomolonis
"Garden writing is often very tame, a real waste when you think
how opinionated, inquisitive, irreverent and lascivious gardeners
themselves tend to be. Nobody talks much about the muscular
limbs, dark,swollen buds, strip-tease trees and unholy beauty that
have made us all slaves of the Goddess Flora."
- Ketzel Levine's Talking Plants
"He who learns teaches, he who teaches learns."
- African proverb (Thanks Billie!)
"Human history becomes more a race
between education and catastrophe."
- H. G. Wells, 1920
"In Europe, the word peasant was a
term of contempt used by the nobility, but the Chinese scholars used to fancy themselves rustics. Agriculture was viewed as a noble
occupation; buying and selling, by contrast were considered nonproductive. One of the
founders of the Chinese civilization was said to have been the venerable She Nung, the
"Divine Farmer." A scholar often affected to be nothing more than an "old farmer" or a
"simple fisherman" and referred to his elegant villa as "my thatched hut." This
Rosseau-like feeling for the country life is an important undercurrent in the scholarly tradition."
- Edwin T. Morris
"One country ... one ideology, one system is
not sufficient. It is helpful to have a variety of different approaches ... We can then make a joint effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind."
- Dali Lama
"The original Greek meaning of the
word 'anthology' is a collection or gathering of flowers in bloom."
- Jane Garmey
"Nature teaches more than she
preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral."
- John Burroughs
"People say that life is the thing,
but I prefer reading."
- L.P. Smith
"With the rapid growth of ecocriticism, concisely defined by
as "the study of the relationship between literature and the physical
environment," and with continued public concern over environmental issues,
writings on nature and natural history are of increasing interest to literary
scholars. Garden writing stands in an intriguing relationship to the broader
genre of nature writing. Although garden writers take as their subject "the
physical environment," it is an environment that they are actively working to
change or "cultivate." Garden writing, then, should provide particularly rich
material for the work of ecocriticism, given that it offers unique insights into the discursive strategies through which human beings describe, celebrate, defend, and propagate their transformation of nature
- Laurie Aikman, Attending to the Garden
"Knowledge increases in proportion to
its use; that is,
the more we teach the more we learn."
- H. P. Blavatsky, 1831-1891
"Tell me and I'll forget. Show
me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand."
- Native American Proverb
"Do not believe in anything simply because you
have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
"Be open to all teachers
And all teachings,
And listen with your heart."
- Ram Dass
"Man is a strange animal, he doesn't
like to read the handwriting on the wall until his back is up against it."
- Adlai Stevenson
"Soon enough, however, even the veteran net
surfer grows tired of speed thrills and choppy
surfaces. The tide is already turning toward
information design with greater depth, sense
of place, and the quiet grace of painting and literature.
As the look and feel of the new
media finds its own niche in cultural life, designers will want to expand information
to include virtual worlds that draw on the soothing, contemplative aspects of pre-digital
Technological thrills will cloy until we can inject some of the meditative profundity of the Victorian novel or the landscapes of Corot into the Internet."
- Michael Heim, Virtual Reality and the Tea Ceremony, 1998
Virtues and a Good Life
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
Last modified or updated on February 26, 2016.
First posted online on May 2, 2012.
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California
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