searching for gardening metaphors

CalleLillyNovember 10, 2002

Maybe you can help? I am collecting gardening/horticultural words and phrases that we use in our everyday conversation. For example: ÂSheÂs a late bloomer or ÂWe need to weed out the defective products. Do YOU use any such metaphors? Do you know where I could look for this kind of information? Maybe you could ask your friends? As a graduate student in linguistics (Cal State Dominquez Hills), the data I collect will be used for a research paper called, ÂThe Greening of Our Vocabulary. I would greatly appreciate any and all help that you might offer. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Susan Ross

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"late bloomer"
"bad seed"
"mushroom treatment" (business slang for being kept in the dark and covered with bullsxxt)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2002 at 9:43AM
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Google has some good data on it, don't forget to review the religous and literary use of garden the Garden of Eden, or Xanadu.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Metaphors

    Bookmark   November 10, 2002 at 1:26PM
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johnp(z4 mn/wi)

a couple off the top of my head:

we've got to nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.

My nephew's growing like a weed.

Prune out the deadwood (fire people not doing their share)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2002 at 2:23PM
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clfo(z7 with luck)

"Cultivate ____________" fill in the blank with "good will" "friendship" etc.

Many inorganic items are said to be "sprouting" such as "houses are sprouting up all over the region."

Will your paper be posted on the web so that we can read it? Sounds interesting.
all the best,
C.L. Fornari

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 8:25AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

"Putting down roots..."

"As the twig is bent..."

Does "Can you dig it?" qualify?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 4:08PM
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People are "transplanted" New Yorkers, Californians, whatever.
There is a hair dye called "Castings" which any gardener knows means worm p**p.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 3:32PM
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It might be a stretch, but the Bible.

There is a verse in Prov. or Eccl. referring to children being like olive plants around thy table.

It has a meaning based of older trees depending on the additional sprouts for vigour.

I don't think this is exactly what you may have had in mind, but a possible review of Proverbs, Eccl., maybe Psalms and the Gospels may give you some inspiration for your own terms, or bring to mind something.

If you are into language topics, there is a book on figures of speech that apparently stands alone - Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, by E.W. Bullinger.

Its interesting even to non-bible people.

Figures have names. The Author dismantles the names in syllable components to explain the exact science of the proper way to apply figures of speech.

It appears that the Bible is one of the few works of history that is precise in the application of the figures of speech.

This book is about 500 pages and covers possibly 150 figures of 220 known to man. Some figures of speech have up to 40 varieties, many of which are handled in this book.

I wrote once about the influence of improper tree selection in Beaverton, Oregon.

In that opinion, I was able to drive a point with at least 3 figures that passed a thought like football players pass a ball. Something like:

Beaverton uses tree selection that will waste thousands of dollars. Dollars wasted on broken concrete, dollars wasted on tree replacement, dollars wasted on leaf clean-up. Is this a good destination for our money.

That had 4 figures. Sentence ending & beginning the same. Then it passed "dollars" with the figure Anaphora - repetition. The figure Asyndeton - no ands - moves all the emphasis to a final climax statement. The final climax is Erotesis - a question that supplies the answer.

Many ands - polysyndeton places equal weight on each term. If I used that, then there would be no climax statement.

Ommission of a word needed for grammer, insists that the meaning of an entire sentence be literal.

Its something I enjoy and have applied.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 5:38PM
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John_D(USDA 8b WA)

The problem with looking for metaphors on the web is that everyone else is doing it, too, and coming up with the same hits.

I've started working on a list of my own. The problem will be convincing readers to go along with me. . . .

But there's no rush,

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 10:33PM
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stellagord(z5b? Toronto)

"Shrinking Violet"
"He's green" (young/inexperienced)
"you reap what you sow"

...Those are the first that come to mind.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 10:25AM
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This was in a Hallmark movie I watched last Sunday.

The story was about a woman that is pregrant and not married during WWII. Her father (a preacher I think) had her married off to a farmer out west to save his and her reputation. The farmer agreed to marry the woman knowing the cirrcumstances Long story short, the farmer falls in love with the woman and she can not understand how he could love a child that was not his.

Here is the metaphor

"Any one can plant a seed, but only a farmer can make it grow."

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 3:22PM
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couple I haven't seen above:
Getting the 'dirt' on someone - ie the news;
Like two peas in a pod (twins);
growing like a bean (ie fast&/or thin)
she was A rose among thorns

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 9:56PM
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Don't forget the expressions 'low-hanging fruit' and 'cherry picking'.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 7:27AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

A thorny heart, soul/ personality
needle in a haystack,
he is knee high to a grasshopper
he is thin as piss on a hot rock (well not quite a garden metaphor)
strong as a tree, a stout branch, week as a dry twig, soft as a rock,

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Mario Vaden, your 'Memember' Page proclaims that you do not exist.
What am I to conclude?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:15AM
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poppa(z5 MA)

A few i can think of....

"small potatoes" - minor issue
"cabbage head" - dunce
"hot tamale" - yowza!
"in a pickle" - not a friendly place
"Tough row to hoe" - Not in an easy place
"nut doesn't fall far from the tree" - like mother, like daughter :-)
"the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" - envyous
"apple of my eye" - likes apples

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 1:07PM
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down the primrose path - quote from Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream

fresh as a daisy

you'll rue the day - era of Shakespeare

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:16AM
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A rose by any other name...
the lilies of the field...
And the one I grew up with-he needs pruning at the knees.
she's as prickly as a berry bush(came from England, I think)
she has the blushes of a wild rose.
Earth laughs in flowers. (Emerson)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 6:41PM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

Smellin' like a rose. (Referring to someone in a good position)
Every rose has it's thorn.
Stop and smell the roses.
Young as spring chicken.
In the spring/fall of life.
Like a knot on a log. (referring to a slacker)
Dumb as sap.
Dumb as dirt.
Plant a seed, feed a nation.
Separating the chaff from the grain. (biblical metaphor)
Goes together like peas and carrot. (Run Forrest, run!)...
A little sprout. (referring to a small child)
Pumpkin head. (Someone not using their intelligence)
The grapes of wrath.
More grows in the garden, than what the gardener sows. (Old Spanish proverb)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Hello Everyone,

I am currently working on starting a Gardening business, (strictly garden design, maintenace, weeding, mulching, container gardens as well) NO LAWN MAINTENANCE/MOWING. Need help with a name, if anyone has any ideas as to a catchy name I would love to hear it. Thank you so much, and Happy Gardening..

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:06PM
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In re: to Luvhummingbirds--what about: From Design to Devine"

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:32PM
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