Garden Quotations: Robert Benson


I’ve been reading Digging In: Tending to Life in Your Own Backyard by Robert Benson.

I’ve enjoyed Benson’s other books, particularly his book Living Prayer, and I’m enjoying this one as well: it’s sweet and simple and sometimes humorous, and I read a few pages each night before bed.

Benson isn’t really a gardener. He describes himself as the supportive laborer for his wife–the real gardener in the family. That means this wise little memoir is perhaps even better suited for the non-gardeners among us: I imagine it could inspire more than a few of them to pick up a spade and plant a rose.

But here and there, Benson writes something that I read with a jolt of recognition. Yes. That’s it, exactly, I say to myself.

Which is what I said when I read this:

“Gardens are about waiting and about hope as much as they are about anything.

You wait for spring to come and for roses to bud out and for the earth to green up again. You wait for seeds to germinate and irises to spread. You wait for the dogwoods to turn white and pink and for the maple to go golden in the fall. And all the while you hold a vision of some new thing in your head, of what the garden will be someday.

You cannot hurry it along, not any of it. Spring comes when it comes; roses bloom when they will; the garden grows at its own sweet pace. What it teaches you is to wait, to be patient, and to pay attention.

Some morning the sun will rise, and something you have always dreamed of will come true.”


Posted on

April 9, 2020

1 Comment

  1. Ashley

    Oh how I needed this today. We’ve been “reigning in” many of our gardens this month but there is still a bit near the house that looks like the African Bush. But time…


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