The Glory of the Garden

I am slowly coming around, it has been a quiet day, a lazy day, 
a summer's day, 
a day for gardening and a day for reading.  
Thinking of England as I absorb this jet lag from New Zealand 
and enjoying 
the words of Rudyard Kipling. 
Wherever you are, I hope, if not now, then at some point soon, 
you will enjoy the Glory of the Garden.  

The Glory of the Garden

Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along with the thin red wall,
You find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, wiht the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the man and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise,
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden is abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:- 'Oh, how beautiful!' and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of hte Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936



  1. A day of gardening and reading...sounds wonderful, Jeanne. And the Kipling piece was a joy to read, I love his masterful works - so vivid, so uplifting. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

  2. Nothing like a bit of poetry to keep us on track. Lovely verse.

  3. Thank you Jeanne, I have never seen this poem before. How clever it is, so full of images that ring true.
    I particularly like the "grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives".
    Spoken like a true gardener

  4. Moves me to tears! Thank you Jeanne.

  5. Hi Jeanne
    It must be bittersweet to be home... happy to be home again yet missing your other home.. NZ

    The roses are glorious.. and I will need to save this poem and re-read..

    Take care.. xxx Julie

  6. Thank you all...I hemmed and hawed on this one. Poetry is not for everyone but than I thought about what we do....writing blogs and isn't there a poet in each of us? It may sound corny. It does not matter what shape or form it comes in, it is an expression of our thoughts. Painting, writing, photography, drawing....
    It just happened at that moment in time Rudyard Kipling's words struck a chord with that I felt others might appreciate as well.

    I am now coming out of jet lag stupor and happy to say the mind is going a million miles an hour. So many things to little time. Where is that list???

    This poem will always be the perfect reminder to slow down!

  7. Beautiful...just my sentiments today!!!

  8. Glad the dreaded jetlag is subsiding Jeanne....really enjoyed reading this - I hsve never heard ot it so - thanks! x


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