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When to work in the garden

From “My Garden” by Anna Lea Merritt

The Century Magazine, Volume LXII, No. 3, July 1901, p. 349. Available on Google Books.

  • Sunday. You may work in the garden, because it is not really work, but all happiness and holiness. Draw the line at digging.

  • Monday. Work all day in the garden, so as to have it off your mind for the rest of the week.

  • Tuesday. Continue to work in the garden, because this is early in the week. Time enough for other things to-morrow.

  • Wednesday. Begin the other things, but bring your reading or sewing into the garden, where you may enjoy it as a background. It will immediately become a foreground.

  • Thursday. Work in the garden because you did not yesterday.

  • Friday. Work in the garden to make it quite tidy by the end of the week, as you don't intend to touch it on Sunday.

  • Saturday. Work in the garden, because it is a holiday, and you will do as you like.

When quite well and happy,

Work in the garden because you are glad.

When weary and heartsick,

Work in the garden because it will rest you.

When it rains,

Work in the garden because then is the time to plant and weed.

When the winds blow,

Work now to save the slender stalks from breaking.

When there is drought,

Work in the garden to save your plants.

When it is winter,

Work now to give sheltering care.

When it is spring,

Work in the garden because everybody does.

When it is summer,

Live in the garden to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

When it is autumn,

Work in the garden, because now is the time

to transplant, divide, and multiply,

and to lay down in the earth the

glories for next summer.

If there is any other time when you cannot find an excuse for working in the garden, remember that it was the first duty and place of man, and that there is no philosophy of life, no beauty of art, which has not its seed in the earth or can flourish without knowledge of a garden. What, indeed, was the punishment of Adam and Eve but to be driven out of their Eden?

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