Stephen Cox Garden Trust is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239)


Wisdom words to help the gardener

Insights of  reflection, humour, consolation, joy, inspiration, harmony and spirituality.


Around the garden you will find over 30 plaques of welsh slate attached to various archways, garden buildings etc. Each one of these contains a quotation: words of garden wisdom, spirituality, reflection.


As in life I find it is good when i the garden to be able to take stock of the situation around us, our place in the great scheme of things. This is another reason why I am particularly fond of 'Desiderata' by Max Ehrmann.


I especially sought out these quotations and had them specially made. I share them here with you, and hope that you too will enjoy them.


A selection  of quotations from my garden

"By a garden is meant

Mystically a place of

spiritual repose, stillness,

peace, refreshment, delight."

(John Henry Cardinal Newman)


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.

(Karel Capek)


He who knows

what sweets and virtues

 are in the ground,

the plants, the waters, the heavens,

and how to come at these enchantments - 
is the rich and royal man.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)



He who cultivates a garden,

 and brings to perfection

 flowers and fruits 
cultivates and advances

at the same time his own nature.



In the poor man's garden grow 
Far more than herbs and flowers - 
Kind thoughts, contentment,

peace of mind, 
And Joy for weary hours.

(Mary Howitt)



is an active participation

 in the deepest mysteries

of the universe."

(Thomas Berry)



"Gardens are not created

 or made, they unfold,

to reveal the ground plot

 of the mind and heart

of the gardener

and the good earth." 

(Wendy Johnson)


 "Everything that slows us down

 and forces patience,

everything that sets us back

into the slow circles of nature,

 is a help.  

Gardening is an instrument of grace."

(May Sarton)


Who loves a garden
Finds within his soul
Life's whole;
He hears the anthem of the soil
While ingrates toil;
And sees beyond his little sphere
The waving fronds of heaven, clear.

(Louise Seymour Jones



A garden is the mirror of a mind. 

 It is a place of life,

a mystery of green 
moving to the pulse of the year,

 and pressing on and

pausing the whole 
to its own inherent rhythms.

(Henry Beston)

To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand 
and eternity in an hour.

(William Blake)



And for our work—

though showers
And autumn frosts destroy—
Our greatest pay

is not measured
In fruit and flower we've treasured,
But in the golden hours
That brought us health and joy!

(Frederick Frye Rockwell)



Whoever makes a garden
Has never worked alone;
the rain has always found it,
The sun has always known;
The wind has blown across it
And helped to scatter seeds;
Whoever makes a garden
Has all the help he needs.

Whoever makes a garden
Has oh so many friends:
The glory of the morning,
The dew when daylight ends,
And rain and wind and sunshine
And dew and fertile sod,
For he who makes a garden
Works hand in hand with God.

No occupation is

so delightful to me

as the culture of the earth,

and no culture conmparable

to that of the garden

(Thomas Jefferson)



Gardening is medicine

that does not need 
a prescription ...

And with no limit on dosage.



The garden reconciles

 human art and wild nature,

hard work and deep pleasure,

spiritual practice

and the material world. 

 It is a magical place

because it is not divided.

(Thomas Moore)



 I sit in my garden,

gazing upon a beauty

that cannot gaze upon itself

And I find sufficient

purpose for my day.

(Robert Brault,)



"Kind hearts are the gardens,

Kind thoughts are the roots,

Kind words are the flowers,

Kind deeds are the fruits,

Take care of your garden,

And keep out the weeds,

Fill it with sunshine,

Kind words and kind deeds."






The glory of gardening:

hands in the dirt,  head in the sun,

heart with nature.

To nurture a garden

is to feed not just on the body,

 but the soul.

(Alfred Austin)




The love of gardening is a seed

that once sown never dies,

but always grows and grows

to an enduring and ever-increasing

source of happiness.

(Gertrude Jekyll)



I think that if ever a mortal

heard the voice of God

it would be in a garden

at the cool of the day.

(F. Frankfort Moore)


I should like to enflame the whole world

with my taste for gardening.

There is no virtue

that I would not attribute

to the man who lives

to project and execute gardens.

(Prince De Ligne)



A garden

should be in a constant state

of fluid change,

expansion, experiment, adventure;

above all it should be

an inquisitive, loving,

but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.

(H. E. Bates)




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)




A garden really lives only insofar

as it is an expression of faith,

the embodiment of a hope

and a song of praise.

(Russell Page)





Gardens are not created or made,

they unfold, spiralling open

like the silk petals of an evening primrose flower

to reveal the ground plot

of the mind and heart of the gardener

and the good earth.

(Wendy Johnson)



In the garden I tend to drop

my thoughts here and there.

To the flowers I whisper

the secrets I keep

 and the hopes I breathe.

I know they are there to eavesdrop for the angels.




In my garden

there is a large place for sentiment.

My garden of flowers

is also my garden of thoughts

and dreams.

The thoughts grow as freely

as the flowers,

and the dreams are as beautiful.

(Abram L. Urban)



With rake and seeds and sower,

And hoe and line and reel,

When the meadows shrill with "peeping"

And the old world wakes from sleeping,

Who wouldn't be a grower

That has any heart to feel?

(Frederick Frye Rockwell)




I have found, through years of practice,

that people garden in order

to make something grow;

to interact with nature;

to share, to find sanctuary, to heal,

to honour the earth, to leave a mark. 

Through gardening, we feel whole

as we make our personal work of art upon our land.

   (Julie Moir Messervy)





To create a garden is to search for a better world.

  In our effort to improve on nature,

we are guided by a vision of paradise. 

Whether the result is a horticultural masterpiece

or only a modest vegetable patch,

it is based on the expectation

of a glorious future. 

This hope for the future is

at the heart of all gardening.

 (Marina Schinz)




Everything that slows us down

and forces patience,

everything that sets us back

into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace.

(May Sarton)



The most noteworthy thing

about gardeners

 is that they are always optimistic,

always enterprising,

and never satisfied. 

They always look forward

 to doing something better

than they have ever done before.

(Vita Sackville-West)



The glory of gardening:

hands in the dirt,  head in the sun,

heart with nature.

To nurture a garden

is to feed not just on the body,

 but the soul.

(Alfred Austin)


The first purpose of a garden

is to be a place of quiet beauty

such as will give delight to the eye

and repose and refreshment to the mind.

 (Gertrude Jekyll)



Connection with gardens,

even small ones, even potted plants,

can become windows to the inner life. 

The simple act of stopping and looking

at the beauty around us can be prayer. 

(Patricia R. Barrett)  











is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239) in England & Wales


PURPOSE: To advance education in the subjects of horticulture, conservation , wildlife and heritage by providing study courses, training placements, talks, and workshops and other means for the enrichment of the Wiltshire/Calne and S.Glos/N.Somerset area communities and for the improvement of human well being in general based upon the Founder’s garden, library, writings, teaching and spiritual philosophy.