20 Songs About Gardening

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Are you looking for the perfect song to listen to while you’re gardening? With these 20 songs below, you’re sure to find a favorite! From songs that simply talk about gardens and helping a garden thrive, to more creative songs that compare illusory gardens to emotions such as love and safety, this list has it all!

1. “Avant Gardener” by Courtney Barnett

“Avant Gardener” by Courtney Barnett follows the singer as she tries to deal with her sadness and difficulties with regular, mundane routines. Her anxiety on a day-to-day basis keeps her from feeling happy. As a result, she has panic attacks and can’t breathe.

However, she does gain inspiration from her neighbor, who finds happiness in gardening — so Barnett tries to find happiness while creating a garden, too!

She sings, “Life’s getting hard in here so I do some gardening / Anything to take my mind away from where it’s supposed to be / The nice lady next door talks of green beds / And all the nice things that she wants to plant in them.”

2. “Gardening at Night” by R.E.M.

In “Gardening at Night”, R.E.M. sings about a lot of somewhat vague and confusing things. However, the bulk of the song discusses how many things in life can feel useless — which in turn isn’t a very happy thought for most.

Throughout the song, the band sings the lyrics, “Gardening at night.” While this can mean anything, this song still remains one of the best songs with garden in the title!

3. “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles

Ready for a classic? The Beatles’ 1969 song “Octopus’s Garden”, which appears on the band’s album Abbey Road, opens with the lyrics, “I’d like to be under the sea / In an octopus’s garden in the shade.”

Ringo Starr wrote the song after a captain of a boat told him that octopuses travel around the bottom of the sea and create a garden for themselves full of rocks and other materials that they find. This song, therefore, follows the band as they sing about how happy they would be if they were in an octopus’s garden, with no real fear or care in the world.

4. “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)” by Elton John

1982’s “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)” by Elton John is about missing a friend. John sings about wanting to hang out with this friend and play together as if they were younger. He also sings about stumbling upon a garden, which is now empty, and wondering about the gardener who made such a beautiful place.

He sings, “And what’s it for? This little empty garden by the brownstone door / And in the cracks along the sidewalk, nothin’ grows no more / Who lived here? He must have been a gardener that cared a lot / Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop.”

5. “Secret Garden” by Madonna

“Secret Garden” by Madonna, released in 1992, explores the singer’s state of mind and emotions as she compares herself to a secret garden. She discusses how this garden would differ from her in many ways, and she hopes it would be better than who she is.

So, she sings, “There’s a petal that isn’t torn / A heart that will not harden / A place that I can be born / In my secret garden.”

6. “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” by Quincy Jones

1990’s “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)” by Quincy Jones also features Barry White, Al B. Sure!, El DeBarge, and James Ingram. In this song, the group sings a love song to the one they want to be with. They explain that they want to be with this person in their own little world — and their own little garden.

7. “Magic Garden” by Dusty Springfield

“Magic Garden” by Dusty Springfield begins with the lyrics, “There is a garden / Something like the shadow of a butterfly / And lies beyond the gates of dark and light / And darling, it belongs to me.”

Springfield goes on to explain that this garden is hers — and nothing bad is in the garden. It’s a dream world where she can escape to, as she won’t face fear or insecurities here. She also invites the one she loves to join her in this “Magic Garden”.

8. “Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson

1972’s “Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson follows the singer after he experienced an uncomfortable real-life experience. He went to perform with many other artists at Madison Square Garden — where he was booed after he tried to sing some of his new songs. The crowd only wanted to listen to his old music!

Nelson wrote this song in response and explained that he wants to always create new music, even if people don’t like it. Throughout the song, he discusses this “Garden Party”.

At the end of the song, he sings, “If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck / But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck.”

9. “I Build This Garden For Us” by Lenny Kravitz

In “I Build This Garden For Us”, Lenny Kravitz sings “In this garden / This lovely garden / I build a temple of love.” Kravitz goes on to explain that he and his partner will always be okay in this garden, as it’s made of love. They have nothing to fear here, and they’ll always be together!

10. “Rose In Paradise” by Waylon Jennings

“Rose In Paradise” by Waylon Jennings tells the story of a man who falls in love with a woman. He loves her so much and builds her a home with a magnificent garden. However, his jealousy takes control — and this woman becomes a prisoner in her own home, as a result.

As the song progresses, we learn that she ran away, possibly with the gardener that her husband hired. Now, the man is left heartbroken, though he only has himself to blame.

The song ends with the lyrics, “Now there’s a rose out in the garden / It’s beauty cuts just like a knife / They say that it even grows in the winter time / And blooms in the dead of the night.”

11. “Spanish Harlem” by Aretha Franklin

“Spanish Harlem” by Aretha Franklin, released in 1971, follows the singer as she compares a young woman to a rose in a garden. She explains how beautiful this rose is, as well as how unique. Later in the song, we learn she’s not just talking about a rose — as she then sings that a man will take this rose away once he sees her beauty.

12. “Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden” by Prince and the Revolution

Prince and the Revolution’s song “Our Destiny / Roadhouse Garden” tells two different stories. In “Our Destiny”, the group sings about falling in love with someone and feeling as if it’s fate. In “Roadhouse Garden”, Prince sings about a house and home — and of course, a garden.

As he discusses his garden, he talks about his own life and emotions. So, he ends up singing, “This is the garden where emotions grow / Twenty-four feelings all in a row / It’s alright, yeah, it’s alright.”

13. “Safe In My Garden” by The Mamas & The Papas

“Safe In My Garden” by The Mamas & The Papas is one of the best songs to listen to while gardening. This song opens with the lyrics, “Safe in my garden / An ancient flower blooms / And the scent from its nature / Slowly squares my room.”

While many interpretations can be found in this song, the band mainly sings about how they only feel safe in their own garden, as the title suggests.

14. “Garden Song” by John Denver

John Denver is always good to listen to when you’re gardening! In his song “Garden Song”, Denver begins the song by singing the lyrics, “Inch by inch, row by row / Gonna make this garden grow / All it takes is a rake and a hoe / And a piece of fertile ground.”

As he goes on, he sings about everything he’s going to do to ensure that his garden grows. However, he also takes the time to sing about how he only truly feels free when he’s in his garden!

15. “Under the Ivy” by Kate Bush

“Under the Ivy” by Kate Bush, which appears on her 1985 album Hounds of Love, follows the singer as she sneaks away from a party. However, before she fully sneaks off, she tells someone else where she’s going — so they can follow her. Therefore, this song could be about a romantic getaway.

As she sings about this situation, she also talks about gardens. Bush sings, “Go into the garden, go under the ivy / Under the leaves, away from the party / Go right to the rose, go right to the white rose.”

16. “Garden of Eden” by Guns N’ Roses

1991’s “Garden of Eden” by Guns N’ Roses explores various examples of problems in the world, particularly problems because of religion and governmental control. The band sings about all of these issues and how so many people cannot live well, as a result.

To this, they sing, “Said, we’re lost in the Garden of Eden / And there’s no one who’s gonna believe this.”

17. “Running Through the Garden” by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac’s song “Running Through the Garden” could be interpreted in many ways. However, it appears the singer is explaining that she’s finally realized what a toxic and poisonous person she’s become. She didn’t mean to turn out this way.

So, she compares herself to a toxic garden. When she meets someone and falls for them, she accidentally forces them into this garden of hers — and feels sorry for it. As a result, the band sings, “Never did I mean to / Imprison you / Here in my garden / Like I am imprisoned.”

18. “The Hanging Garden” by The Cure

1982’s “The Hanging Garden” by The Cure remains hard to decipher, to this day. The band very rarely plays it, nor do they open up about what it means. However, the song does repeatedly discuss “The Hanging Garden”, animals, and people feeling fearful of animals in this garden!

19. “Garden” by Pearl Jam

In “Garden”, Pearl Jam sings from the point of view of a man who knowingly goes to his doom. This could be seen as a man involved in a romantic relationship that will end, and he knows it. However, this song could also be seen as an exploration of war and soldiers.

The band sings the lyrics, “I will walk with my hands bound / I will walk with my face, blood / I will walk with my shadow flag / Into your garden, garden of stone.”

20. “Love Is a Garden” by Jewel

“Love Is a Garden” by Jewel is the last song on our list! In this 2008 track, Jewel sings about a relationship that has come to an end at the beginning of the song. She admits that they were just kids, so what did they know?

However, by the time the chorus comes around, she begins to change her tune. She wants her partner back. Now, she realizes that for relationships to really thrive, they need to be treated as if they were gardens!

So, she signs, “Love is a garden if you let it go / It fades away before you know / Love is a garden, it needs help to grow / Ours is starving, but there’s still hope.”