21 June 2013

Get Ye to Your Garden

Richard King (pseudonym of Richard King Huskinson, 1879-1947), With Silent Friends (London: Bodley Head, 1917), pp. 61-62:
I would say to the bitter of spirit and the unhappy, and to all those for whom life and friendship and love have proved illusions, "Get ye to your garden, and henceforth the only hurting delusion in life will be the failure of the seed to live up to its illustration in the catalogue." But perhaps the whole secret lies in the fact that gardening is a hobby which needs your spare time all the time, and that no agony of regret can enter a mind in which every waking moment is spent in doing or making up for what has been left undone. For a garden is never finished; that is its engrossing charm. Over a collection of books or a collection of beetles only a limited portion of time can be spent, while golf loses much of its fascination when the sun has sunk to rest and no living person is at hand to hear how you foozled your drive at the ninth tee. But a man infatuated with his garden has no time for any relaxation except sleeping and eating. The moment he becomes slack signs of his negligence become only too apparent. His work is really never done. But hope and the promise held out by Mr. Sutton and Mr. Carter bear him along until the time comes when every moment not spent outside upon his knees seems like time uselessly thrown away. And always he is being purified and made simpler and nearer to God, as all of us are who work with nature amid beauty. I wonder if any gardener has ever been really bad; or rather I wonder whether it is possible for a man to remain unregenerate and wicked who really loves his garden.
Mr. Sutton and Mr. Carter: Sutton's Seeds and Carter's Tested Seed Company

A related post: Agricultural Pursuits