Good writing is always a breaking of the soil, clearing away prejudices, pulling up of sour weeds of crooked thinking, stripping the turf so as to get at what is fertile beneath. It would be amusing to carry the simile further. Those bulbs that flower in the sand and wither! The gay fiction annual that has to be planted again every year! Those experimental plants from Russia, France, and Greenwich Village that are always getting winter killed—confound ’em!—is it worth while planting them again? The stocky perennial that keeps coming up and coming up—so easy to grow and so ugly. Scarlet sage that gives a touch of fiery sin to the edge of the suburbanite’s concrete walk! And then the good flowers—as honest as they are beautiful! The well-ordered gar den! The climbing rose that escapes and is the most beautiful of all!
Henry Seidel Canby
Henry Seidel Canby (1878–1961), U.S. author, editor. “Cultivate Your Garden,” Definitions: Second Series, Harcourt (1924).