This Compost

by Walt Whitman Now I am terrified at the earth! It is that calm and patient, It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions, It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseased corpses, It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor, It renews with such unwitting…

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The Lilac Fairy

by Cicily Mary Barker White May is flowering, Red May beside Laburnum is showering Gold far and wide; But I sing of Lilac, The dearly-loved Lilac, Lilac, in Maytime A joy and a pride! I love her so much That I never can tell If she’s sweeter to look at, Or sweeter to smell. As…

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I am Going to Sleep

by Alfonsina Storni Teeth of flowers, hairnet of dew, hands of herbs, you, perfect wet nurse, prepare the earthly sheets for me and the down quilt of weeded moss. I am going to sleep, my nurse, put me to bed. Set a lamp at my headboard; a constellation; whatever you like; all are good: lower…

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by Jennifer Ebeling Amaryllis is so sweet and fair, A name that’s true, beyond compare. Though Herbert made the genera split, He picked a name we’d soon forget So gauche, it starts with hippeasst, In the game of names, it comes in last Rather follow like sheep where Linnaeus led, Honoring a shepherdess who willing…

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by Linda Leinen The naming of plants? It really does matter. It isn’t correct to think all are the same. You may think at first I’m indulging in patter, but I tell you — a plant must have four different names! First comes the name that tells us its genus — Gaillardia, Solanum, Ilex or…

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Taxonomy

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Taxonomy is the best words in the best order.     Note: Samuel Taylor Coleridge was one of the first to note the symmetry in taxonomy and poetry. As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Carl Linnaeus

by Carl Linnaeus We have not the strength of the elephant, but our intelligence has tamed the strongest of them. We have not the speed of the hare, but our genius has learned to capture the speediest of them. We have not front feet to dig through the earth like the mole, but our minds…

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August Strindberg

by August Strindberg Linnaeus was, in reality, a poet who happened to become a naturalist. As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all. August Strindberg

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How Did it Happen That Their Lips Came Together

by Victor Hugo How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.       Note: Today in…

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A Garden to Walk In

by Victor Hugo A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in — what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.         Note: Today in 1885, Victor Hugo died, the author of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame as well as Les Miserables. A gardener,…

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Sorrow is a Fruit

by Victor Hugo Sorrow is a fruit. God does not make it grow on limbs too weak to bear it.       Note: Today in 1885, Victor Hugo died, the author of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame as well as Les Miserables. A gardener, Hugo had many wonderful garden-inspired quotes. As featured onThe Daily Gardener…

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Life is the Flower

by Victor Hugo Life is the flower for which love is the honey.        Note: Today in 1885, Victor Hugo died, the author of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame as well as Les Miserables. A gardener, Hugo had many wonderful garden-inspired quotes. As featured onThe Daily Gardener podcast: Words inspired by the garden are…

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by Alexander Pope Thou who shalt stop, where Thames’ translucent wave Shines a broad Mirror through the shadowy cave; Where ling’ring drops from mineral Roofs distill, And pointed Crystals break the sparkling Rill, Unpolished Gems no ray on Pride bestow, And latent Metals innocently glow. Approach! Great Nature studiously behold; And eye the Mine without…

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by John Milton Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing; Hill and…

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