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The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's CompanionEssential Writings$
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Liberty Hyde Bailey, John Stempien, and John Linstrom

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501740237

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501740237.001.0001

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A Reverie of Gardens

A Reverie of Gardens

(p.24) A Reverie of Gardens
The Liberty Hyde Bailey Gardener's Companion
John A. Stempien, John Linstrom
Cornell University Press

A quatrain from Ralph Waldo Emerson introduces this chapter and the idea of the "garden sentiment," referred to here as "garden-desire," is further explored. Garden-desire is not based on materialism, since it is cheaper to buy plants than to grow them. Instead, it is based on the simple idea of self-expression through the growing of plants, which breaks us out of "the long estrangement of our artificial lives." Bailey also warmly describes the process of a germinating plant, likening it to the germinating garden sentiment. Lastly, Bailey introduces an elsewhere-repeated trope of describing plants as "old friends," a companionship "of things that are real and clean." The chapter concludes with a reference to Emerson's fellow Transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau.

Keywords:   garden-desire, Ralph Waldo Emerson, plants, Henry David Thoreau, gardening

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