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Learning English in the Garden

Gardens don’t just happen. They take work by people who find pleasure in them. I can relate to the gardener in the following classic poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. However, the child who is speaking in the poem cannot understand him at all. As you read this poem, imagine a child speaking as he watches the gardener at work.

The Gardener

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The gardener does not love to talk.
He makes me keep the gravel walk;
And when he puts his tools away,
He locks the door and takes the key.

Away behind the currant row,
Where no one else but cook may go,
Far in the plots, I see him dig,
Old and serious, brown and big.

He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue,
Nor wishes to be spoken to.
He digs the flowers and cuts the hay,
And never seems to want to play.

Silly gardener! summer goes,
And winter comes with pinching toes,
When in the garden bare and brown
You must lay your barrow down.

Well now, and while the summer stays,
To profit by these garden days
O how much wiser you would be
To play at Indian wars with me!

Learn more from “The Gardener”.

Learn more from “The Gardener” by downloading our resource guide here.


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