We are all able to quote one or two gardening proverbs, even if we don’t really understand what they mean. Most of these will have been handed down to us, by family members, of an older generation. No-one knows where most of these old sayings originated, or why they were first coined. But one can imagine the first time they were spoken, that they were meant more literally than they are today.
Compare if you will, the Chinese proverb “A thorn defends a rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom”, with the modern sayings, especially those from the youth culture, and imagine any of them being passed on to the next generation.
Many of the so called quotations from “celebrities” are nothing short of vulgarities, with coarse language and profanities. Will people who hang on their every word and action, really want to recall them in years to come?
As with all proverbs, those related to gardening are thought provoking and can in fact fit many situations. An African proverb says “knowledge is like a garden, if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested”. What a profound thought that really is.
Some garden proverbs such as “don’t make mountains out of molehills”,”you reap what you have sow” and “fresh as a daisy”, are well known all over the world. Despite television, the internet and other forms of the media, one cannot imagine the words of, for example Big Brother contestants, being remembered for a few weeks, let alone for hundreds of years, by people around the globe.
Perhaps as gardeners, we should be proud of these wonderful words of wisdom, and put a few of them in our gardens. What could be better, than something like “he that plants thorns must never expect to gather roses” in your rose bed? “Friends are flowers that never fade”, in your border, where your visitors are able to see them?
Yes, some of them mat be sentimental, but what is wrong with that? After all, you are probably very proud of your garden and enjoy showing it off to friends and family. Why not let them see that the reason for your beautiful garden, is that you have a romantic heart.
Or, perhaps you would rather have something more modern and catchy? What about something by John McEnroe – “you can’t see as well as those f*****g flowers, and they’re f*****g plastic”.