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Mabel Osgood Wright

  • Neither a garden nor a gardener can be made in one year, nor in one generation even.

  • ... her little kindnesses ... were set edgewise like thin streaks of lean in overwhelmingly fat bacon.

  • Evan was English born, and like many a younger son of that vigorous race preferred free flight to sitting underneath in an overcrowded nest, with no more interesting view before him than that of his elder brother's legs.

  • Mother love is invariably held sacred, as it should be, but why has father love never had its due?

  • Imagine how terrifying it would be if we had to decide the beginnings of things for ourselves: as to what race we should belong, what sex, and all that, instead of placidly coming out of unconsciousness to find it all arranged!

  • Why has no one written a November rhapsody with plenty of lilt and swing? The poets who are moved at all by this month seem only stirred to lamentation, giving us year end and 'melancholy days' remarks, thereby showing that theory is stronger than observation among the rhyming brotherhood, or else that they have chronic indigestion and no gardens to stimulate them.

  • ... in the city at best one lives the life of others, the life of the shop, the street, the crowd, while in the country one must live one's own life.

  • How we are all more or less creatures of Sun, Shadow, and Imagination, impressed or depressed by weather!

  • ... it is really astonishing how few colors are inharmonious when they are profusely massed and have green for a background.

  • ... the various earth odors all have a separate tale to tell, and the leaf mold of the woods bears a wholly different fragrance from that of the soil under pasture turf, or the breath that the garden gives off in great sighs of relief when it is relaxed and refreshed by a summer shower.

  • Why is it that so many people think that charity consists in giving away merely what they cannot use instead of the article the recipient needs?

  • Surely there is no greater garden for human-nature study than the flotsam and jetsam of the hospital.

  • ... even as human vitality is at its lowest ebb in the early morning, so it is with plant life in the early spring.

  • It doesn't so much matter what one loves. To love is the transfiguring thing.

  • I have always noticed that when people consider others eccentric, it is because they are reveling in some form of enjoyment that their critics can neither compass nor share ...

  • That is the stimulus of nature; it is never, never old, and always developing. Even the scarred, wrinkled earth herself is a mere infant among the old ladies and gentlemen that tread foot-paths in the sky ...

  • ... what is life worth if one has nothing to give away? This lack, it seems to me, must be the sharpest pang of poverty.

  • Nature, when undisturbed, is never monotonous, you know. Even when using green, the most frequent color on her palette, she throws in contrasting tints by way of expression, and you will seldom see two sides of a leaf of the same hue, and the leaf stem frequently gives a good dash of bronze or purple.

  • Let everyone who makes garden plans frequently insert the letters C.P. in them as a reminder, the same standing for climate permitting.

  • ... what's the good of having news an' ye must coop it? It's like cold veal pie upon the chest for supper, the same being over old, under done, and dry o' gravy.

Mabel Osgood Wright, U.S. writer, first president of Connecticut Audubon Society

(1859 - 1934)

This book was authored by “The Gardener.” When pressed, Wright gave the pseudonym Barbara; her real name was discovered later.