Garden/ Paradise



  The belief that paradise was up ahead, always just out of reach, had never wavered during the relentless rise of European secularism since the sixteenth century. From then until now, the tenacious grip of the symbolism of the paradise myth on human minds has remained tight, outlasting even that of God for many. Paradise has become the unacknowledged faith of our times, the driving myth of progress and consumer capitalism. We see aspects of the old perfection myth born again everywhere: in Arcadian dreams of country living, in environmentalist hopes for a return to a Golden Age of global harmony, and even in the supermarkets' ambition to make a Perpetual Spring in the fruit and vegetable department."

-Kevin Rushby

Paradise: A History of the Idea That Rules the World


"We've got to get ourselves back in the garden...."

(60's anthem)



"The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there."

-G.B. Shaw



"They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot.."

-Joanie Mitchell


"The creation of sacred landscapes and 12-tribe societies, attuned to the rhythms of nature, was a magical work of priest craft. All branches of art and science were brought together in one system under the guiding standard of that cosmological formula, geometrically represented in figure 25. Plato referred to it in the Republic as the 'pattern in the heavens' which provides the ideal foundation plan either for a political site or the individual world view."

John Michell & Christine Rhone

Twelve-Tribe Nations: and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape



   "When it came to questions of sex and relationships, the Bible's main source on what constituted perfection was the Genesis story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. With some minor variations the tale also appears in the Torah and the Qur'an. It is very familiar and consequently we often overlook the fact that this is undoubtedly the most beautifully concise description of perfection ever written. In the biblical version, it takes just 25 verses to establish Adam and Even in their paradise, 24 more to describe how they lose it. Neither is this a case of over-zealous editing. Within those verses comes a succinct idea of what all human beings would wish for, particularly if retreating to a sunny olive grove in the Mediterranean: impressive bodily health, sunny olive grove in the Mediterranean: impressive bodily health, physique and longevity; an abundance of good food that requires no work; exclusive rights to a large and fertile stretch of land, plus, of course, an attractive and perfectly matched partner."

-Kevin Rushby

Paradise: A History of the Idea that Rules the World



" I may perhaps be reckoned an Enthusiast when I assert that I am really surprised that Men of Fortune do not employ their Time in this manner. I am very certain that the other Amusements they run into are so far from being able to stand in Competition with that more profitable one (of gardening) that the very naming of them with it would be sufficient Invective: Let each Gentleman consider them in his own Mind: He will see the force of what I say: Let him reflect upon Horses and Dogs, Wine and Women, Cards and Folly etc., and then upon Planting. Will not the last engross his whole Mind, and appear worthy of employing all his Attention? Can there be a more genteel, a more rational Amusement? Can any thing tend more to the preserving of Health, and the prolonging of Life? Can any thing be more innocent, or productive of greater Pleasure?"

Reverend William Hanbury (1758)



"….ere long the most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil. No community whose every member possesses this art can ever be the victim of oppression in any of its forms."

Abraham Lincoln 1859


"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture."

Thomas Jefferson


"Individuals and their governments around the world observe a curious ambivalence about the potential spread of plant species. By no rational practice would the parasites of humans or their domesticated animals be freely dispersed. The lessons learned in one region are sufficient to cause erection of quarantine against these parasites' entry into a new range....Curiously, this logic operates only intermittently concerning the deliberate spread of other taxa."

-Richard Mack and Mark Lonsdale, in the journal BioScience


   "Modest gestures have already been made, such as special laws regarding ballast pumping and used tire inspection. But there is neither a general strategy for dealing with these invaders nor a widespread awareness of our vulnerability. We have made the globe a biological Cuisinart, and we will either have to deal with the consequences or use our scientific capacity to improve forecasting and monitoring."

-Donald Kennedy, in the journal Science,2001


"Democracy has nothing to fear as long as people love the land and grow things."

Benjamin Franklin


"I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden."

John Erskine


"Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart."

Karael Capek


"Deep down I suspect that many gardeners regard themselves as small-time alchemists, transforming the dross of compose (and water and sunlight) into substances of rare value and beauty and power. Maybe at some level we're still in touch with the power of the old gardens."

Michael Pollan

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's -eye View of the World



"Four acres was the allotted space of ground,

Fenced with a green enclosure all around.

Tall thriving trees confess'd the fruitful mould;

The reddening apple ripes here to gold."

Pythagoras  (Alexander Pope's translation)


"…And don’t forget the garden, the garden with golden trelliswork. And have people around you who are as a garden-or as music on the waters in the evening, when the day is turning into memories. Choose the good solitude that gives you the right to remain good in some sense."


Beyond Good and Evil



"The gardening definition of a weed is a 'plant growing in the wrong place.' I can't agree with that. A chrysanthemum may grow in the wrong place, but I can dig it up and be done with it. If weeds were so amenable to interference, they would not be weeds. A weed is a plant that is not only in the wrong place, but intends to stay."

-Sara Stein My Weeds,



"This was one of my prayers. For a parcel of land not so very large, which should have a garden….."



Book: "Gardening for the Future of the Earth" by Howard-Yana Shapiro. Ph.D. & John Harrison


"I survey my garden-its beauty, its bounty, its sharing, its challenging factors of nature’s mandates of sun, wind, moisture, time consumption, weed competition, mental satisfaction and gratification to my soul, which says, "I have never been so close to heaven as when I am working in my garden."

William S. Sherren


"To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds, and watch their renewal of life,-this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do."

Charles Dudley Warner

My Summer in a Garden (1871)


"Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating. The food he grows will be fresher, more nutritious, less contaminated by poisons and preservatives and dyes than what he can buy at a store. He is reducing the trash problem; a garden is not a disposable container, and it will digest and re-use its own wastes. If he enjoys working in his garden, then he is less dependent on an automobile or a merchant for his pleasure. He is involving himself directly in the work of feeding people."

Wendell Berry

A Continuous Harmony


Book: "The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild: The Forgotten Father of the Flower Garden" by Michael Leapman

Book: "Seeds Of Fortune: A Gardening Dynasty" by Sue Shephard

Book: "Gods and Goddesses In the Garden: Greco-Roman Mythology and the Scientific names of Plants" by Peter Bernhardt

Book: "The Naming Of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants" by Anna Pavord

Book: "Seed To Seed: The Secret Life of Plants" by Nicholas Harberd

Book: "Earthly Paradises: Ancient Gardens in History and Archaeology" by Maureen Carroll

Book: "The Plants that Shaped Our Gardens" by David Stuart

Book: "The Garden Book" by Babara Abbs et. Al.

Book: "The Garden in Ancient Egypt" by Alix Wilkinson

"Heirloom Vegetable Gardening" by William Woys Weaver

Book: "The Shaker Garden: Beauty Through Utility" by Stephanie Donaldson

Book: "Encyclopedia of Flower Gardening" Ed. by Janet Cave

Book: "Cassell's Directory of Plants for Family Gardens: Everything You Need to Create a Garden" by Lucy Huntington

Book: "The Sensuous Garden" by Montagu Don

Book: "Dangerous Garden; The Quest for Plants to Change Our Lives" by David Stuart

Book: "The Plants that Shaped Our Gardens" by David Stuart

Book: "The Art of the Kitchen Garden" by Jan & Michael Gertley

Book: "Gardens Around the World: 365 Days" by Mick Hales

Book: The Winterthur Garden: Henry Francis du Pont's Romance With the Land" by Denise magnani et al.

Book: "The Most Beautiful Gardens In The World" by Alain Le Toquin

Book: "A Plague of Rats and Rubber-Vines: The Growing Threat of Species Invasions" by Yvonne Baskin



© 2001




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