Gardening Poems

Collection Notes

The beauty of a garden is matched only by the beauty of the carefully tended verse.

As we tend to our gardens, there are so many moments of magic and wonder. A hummingbird visits the Cardinal flower blooming just in front of us. The perfect ray of sunshine might illuminate our snapdragons, making them glow. We harvest the heirloom beans that have been passed down through the family for generations and we recall those who came before us. READ MORE

Bill Dugan


Your Flowers Are Pretty

body bent by too many years propped up with a silver cane feet doing a slow shuffle he wobbles along holding a green bucket totters over every flower scoops each a dipper of water he moves from geranium to geranium to geranium like a honey bee floating across the white porch of the Sunnyside Retirement…  READ MORE

Knowing When

Knowing when to harvest a pear is like knowing when to pull in the oars gliding to a pier  READ MORE

Paper Garden

January. Restless. Hundreds of Spring hopes. Hours… and hours… and hours spent With graph paper.  READ MORE

Troy-Bilt Pony

Let the grass grow. I garden first so I choose the beast in the middle stall, the dirtivore, and leave the herbivores for another day, though I have at hand their new spark plugs, filters, grease, and oil.  READ MORE

Full Flower Moon

Now we plant for Summer: our Dorinny Sweet Corn, our Copenhagen Market Cabbage, our Provider Bush Snap Beans, our Red Cored Chantenay Carrots, our Flashy Trout Back Lettuce, our Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach,   READ MORE

Three Haiku

Planting bulbs in the shaded yard she lets the phone ring Our first garden… growing carrots and weeds   READ MORE

Star Lily

Last year I dug a pond— Heaved up roots, old wire and pots, Smoothed the deep ground, lined it, Let water flood its hold like liquid glass. Your family gave you the lily for Christmas;  READ MORE

Joy of Being

time-lapse flower, I open suddenly, spectacularly: a firework of petal and pistil of stamen and sepal, my colors no longer closed, but billowing in the breezes and bending with the bees. To live like that— what beauty! To love like that— what bliss  READ MORE

Summer Days for Me!

Winter is cold-hearted, Sping is yea and nay, Autumn is a weather cock Blown every way. Summer days for me When every leaf is on its tree. —Christina Rossetti —I found this in A Gardener’s Bouquet of Quotations, edited by Maria Polushkin Robbins (Dutton).  READ MORE

Indian Summer

Three pumpkins hunker on the front porch steps yellow leaves litter the sidewalk patter end over end into a pile when the wind blows from the north  READ MORE


Across the lightness of winter rabbit tracks and remnants of foliage sketching the air Joe Pye Weed suddenly skimpy, thin as a starving starlet its lacy lavender a memory to savor.   READ MORE

I Wanted the Spring for You

I wanted the Spring for You, That time when the Earth is black with warmth, When your hand connects with the Dirt and you know it is time. That day when the rains are gone  READ MORE

Picking Limas

We work together side by side, sashaying deftly in and out, the bee tracing his petaled prize while I probe leaves for mine. He settles into golden dust, my palm surrounds the swollen beans—as we pack our pouches full.  READ MORE


The forecaster says, “This time I really mean it, frost everywhere, not just in colder valleys.” And the weather seems to mean it, too. The clear day has that steel  READ MORE

Uncommon Names

Aunt Murgatroid is picky Over what we call her plants! And though she’s always fussing, She’s the best of all our aunts.  READ MORE
people gathered around a harvest

Garden Meditation

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people. For children who are our second planting, and though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where their roots are.  READ MORE

Shelling Peas

helling peas isn’t easy. I shelled my share as a kid. They pop out of their shells, they get eaten they roll out of the bowl and roll around on the floor. We shelled we ate they rolled. Mother mumbled over each half-bowl of peas swept the porch floor and next year planted more.  READ MORE

The Garden in Her Own Mind

hen the doors to the world slammed shut she entered the garden, when she could no longer walk she knelt in the dirt, when her muscles atrophied she planted bulbs, when she lost a husband she mulched the bougainvillea, in the winter of her life she pored over seed catalogues, when her children left she…  READ MORE

Ajuga in November

Tiny flower of vibrant hue Blooming alone in the cold and rain— Would that I were as courageous as you. And why are you trying to bloom again? I pluck you now in bleak November. Come, share my warmth inside my door, And my heart will longingly remember That springtime will return once more! By…  READ MORE

Blessing for a Gardener

Be a gardener. Dig a ditch, toil and sweat, and turn the earth upside down and seek the deepness and water the plants in time. Continue this labor and make sweet floods to run and noble and abundant fruits to spring. Take this food and drink and carry it to God as your true worship.…  READ MORE

Summer Garden

ike gaudy girls, the scarlet poppies fling their skirts in the air. Sweet peas twine green fingers through friendly fences, beckoning each passer-by with a come-hither scent. The gardener, in floppy hat and flowered gloves, arrives with trellis and wire to put a stop to it all. Behind her, dandelions escape in bright puffs and…  READ MORE

One March Day

ne March day Leaves begin to talk of spring. You can barely hear The pale green whisper… Day by day, the voices rise In leafy dialects of maple, Hickory, oak, Until the air is alive With the sound Of green conversation.    READ MORE

Spring in Winter

When winter with One mighty blow Whirls its white Empire of snow And chills the sky To frosty gray, Spring seems far And far away. But hidden On a dogwood tree With branches bare And shivery, Safe and silent Winter through, Spring is near And near to you. Buds wrapped in coats Of frosty gray…  READ MORE

A Chinook Psalm

The garden is rich with diversity With plants of a hundred families In the space between the trees With all the colors and fragrances Basil, mint, and lavender, God keep my remembrance pure, Raspberry, Apple, Rose, God fill my heart with love, Dill, anise, tansy, Holy winds blow in me. Rhododendron, zinnia, May my prayer…  READ MORE

Cabbage Thief

anted: Caterpillar, Green with yellow stripe, Last seen swiping leaves from the cabbage garden.” He might have received a pardon had he turned himself in peacefully, but he went into hiding, changed his identity. Disappeared for good. Who could believe when they saw the white-winged butterfly— that it was Caterpillar himself back in the neighborhood.  READ MORE

Prize Fighter

nto a hole in our yard deep enough to bury a body, my son dumps eggshells, onion skins, biodegradable scraps, uses a shovel to churn the debris like a sailor rowing in a hurricane. Watching him, I almost forget the hurt inflicted by a troubled teen, remember him as a child playing in a sandbox,…  READ MORE

Letter to the Rhododendron

ou are so thirsty, little one, your leaves droop in the dappled shade of the maple, but when I send water your way, you perk up, shaking like a golden finch drying from a bath. And still you end each day forlorn and every night I awaken you with the cool tube of the hose.…  READ MORE

The Garden

Oh garden how I loathe you With your weeds, purslane and that annoying       lemon balm. The sound of a fresh dandelion root popping is       one of my favorite sounds. The smell of herbs and marigolds keeps me calm. Oh garden how I adore you Planting, cultivating, and reaping—this is my church       of the soil. Digging…  READ MORE

Celery Pride

Glancing down at bright green stalks of celery on my plate crisp to the bite stuffed now with cream cheese I have to remind myself that this celery grew in my garden not in supermarket packets celery that grew like miniature trees lined up in two short rows I talked to it, fed it, gave…  READ MORE

Meadow Keep

  Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria These oxen vexeth me no end. If I want to plow forward they want to pull to the right toward the river. If I want to make a second pass over the rocky soil they refuse, as if to say, “Master, this we have done once—not again!” I will not…  READ MORE


The bag contains all the necessary tools, Shovel, compass, map, peanut butter sandwich. Even though the map is a crude rendition You are quite sure your trip will be a success. Climbing the steep hill shortly after dawn You rest under the crabapple tree. Once again studying the map Using the compass to check the…  READ MORE

The Life That I Have

I am digging up morning glories (once again wondering who named them that). Invasive, they have spread themselves from one spot to another, tangling themselves around seedlings.  READ MORE

Faux Pearls

I am digging up morning glories (once again wondering who named them that). Invasive, they have spread themselves from one spot to another, tangling themselves around seedlings.  READ MORE

Last Gasp

Fall is when gardens act out, Their crops bodacious. Sedum's soft florets make landing pads for bumblebees that dazzle the Solidago.  READ MORE

People Are Like Plants

People are like plants I've been thinking Some are big, bold and sassy Like sunflowers, while others Remind of, well, Violets a-shrinking  READ MORE

Flower Seed

In her final autumn did Mother gather these flower seed praying to gods of Spring and Chemotherapy, merely following life-long-gardener habit, hoping home-bred varieties wouldn't vanish with her, or knowing I would sort her seed before her dishes or her clothes?  READ MORE

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