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"Why is the act of cultivating so compelling?

All my life, the garden has been the great teacher in everything I cherish.  As a child, 
I dreamed of a world that was loving, that was open to all kinds of experience, 
where there was no prejudice, no hatred, no fear.  The garden was a world 
that depended on care and nourishment.  And it was an interplay of forces; 
as much as I responded to the garden, the garden, in turn, responded to my touch,
 my presence.

The garden isn't, at its best, designed for admiration or praise; it leads to an appreciation of the natural universe, and to a meditation on the connection between the self and the rest of the natural universe.

...In the beginning, a garden holds infinite possibilities. What sense of its nature, or its kingdom, is it going to convey? It represents a selection. not only of whatever individual plants we consider to be beautiful, but also a synthesis that creates a new kind of beauty, that of a complex and multiple world.  What you plant in your garden reflects your own sensibility, your concept of beauty, your sense of form.  Every true garden is an imaginative construct, after all."

                                            Stanley Kunitz, in his book: The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

Fowler Library Walkway