Garden Poems

A Collection of Classic Poems Inspired by Gardening and Garden Environments

Senior couple walking in Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, elevated view
Karl Weatherly / Getty Images

The idea of a garden, a cultivated enclosure, has always been important in poetic imagination, as parable, as metaphor for human activity, as sanctuary, going all the way back to the original garden, the Biblical Garden of Eden. And the activity of gardening lends itself inevitably to metaphors of human work, human influence on the natural world, and all the natural processes of life, growth, senescence and death.

Here’s our collection of classic poems in English that draw on the spirit, the work and the experience of garden cultivation, and the special environment that results, an actual or metaphorical garden.

  • William Shakespeare,
    The Gardener’s Speech from Richard II (1597)
  • Andrew Marvell,
    “The Mower, Against Gardens” (1681)
  • Andrew Marvell,
    “The Garden” (1681)
  • King James Bible,
    The Garden of Eden from Genesis (Oxford Standard edition, 1769)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
    “This Lime Tree Bower My Prison” (1797)
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
    “The Deserted Garden” (1838)
  • Matthew Arnold,
    “Lines Written in Kensington Gardens” (1852)
  • Walt Whitman,
    “This Compost!” (from Leaves of Grass, 1867 edition)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson,
    “The Gardener” (1885)
  • Amy Lowell,
    “Behind a Wall” (1912)
  • Amy Lowell,
    “The Little Garden” (1912)
  • Edna St. Vincent Millay,
    “Blight” (1917)
  • e.e. cummings,
    “This is the garden: colors come and go” (1917)
  • Robert Frost,
    A Girl’s Garden” (1920)
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    Your Citation
    Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. "Garden Poems." ThoughtCo, Aug. 8, 2016, thoughtco.com/poems-inspired-by-gardens-2725462. Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. (2016, August 8). Garden Poems. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/poems-inspired-by-gardens-2725462 Snyder, Bob Holman & Margery. "Garden Poems." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/poems-inspired-by-gardens-2725462 (accessed November 19, 2017).