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“September is the time to begin again. In the country, when I could smell the wood-smoke in the forest, and the curtains could be drawn when the tea came in, on the first autumn evening, I always felt that my season of good luck had come.”
“... in Paris one should have everything or nothing. We had often had nothing, and that had had a special charm, because Paris more than any other city has pleasures available to the poor.”
“Sooner or later every gardener must face the fact that certain things are going to die on him. It is a temptation to be anthropomorphic about plants, to suspect that they do it to annoy.”
“It takes a while to grasp that a garden isn't a testing ground for character and to stop asking, what did I do wrong?”
“The kiss of the wind for lumbago, / The stab of the thorn for mirth, / One is nearer to death in a garden / Than anywhere else on earth.”
“I have spoken to plants myself, and if pressed for conclusions would have to say that those I threatened did better than those I — well, I wouldn't say prayed over, but pleaded with, cajoled. A rhododendron that hadn't bloomed for six years was flatly told it would be removed the following year if there were no flowers. Need I say that it has bloomed profusely ever since?”
“Americans resent the vagaries of weather to a degree unknown to other peoples. ... Weather is a force we have lost touch with. We feel entitled to dominate it, like everything else in the environment, and when we can't are more panic-stricken than primitives who know that when nature is out of control they can only pray to the gods.”
“[Petunias are] as hopelessly impractical as a chiffon ball dress.”
“I love blue more than any other color. I am inordinately attracted to any blue substance: to minerals like turquoise and lapis lazuli, to sapphires and aquamarines; to cobalt skies and blue-black seas; Moslem tiles — and to a blue flower whether or not it has any other merit.”
Eleanor Perenyi, U.S. writer, amateur gardener
(1918 - 2009)
Full name: Baroness Eleanor Spencer Stone Perenyi.