A NEIGHBOR of mine in the village
Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
And he said, “Why not?”

In casting about for a corner
He thought of an idle bit
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
And he said, “Just it.”

And he said, “That ought to make you
An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength
On your slim-jim arm.”

It was not enough of a garden,
Her father said, to plough;
So she had to work it all by hand,
But she don’t mind now.

She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow
Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left
Her not-nice load.

And hid from anyone passing.
And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one
Of all things but weed.

A hill each of potatoes,
Radishes, lettuce, peas,
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
And even fruit trees

And yes, she has long mistrusted
That a cider apple tree
In bearing there to-day is hers,
Or at least may be.

Her crop was a miscellany
When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything,
A great deal of none.

Now when she sees in the village
How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right,
She says, “I know!

It’s as when I was a farmer–”
Oh, never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale
To the same person twice.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem A Girl’s Garden


  1. Ven says:

    What I get from this poem is that society resembles this little girl’s garden.
    The “village”, meaning the local government, does not hear advice, and can’t decide on one crop (direction/action etc). The girl having had the same experience sees that but never tells the people of the village twice. She thinks it’s pointless because they don’t hear advice.

  2. mbrcanbek says:

    It may seem hard to believe at first, but the song is actually about a girl becoming pregnant.
    In the beginning it describes her doing something childish when her father gave her a “garden”, which is a metaphor for independence.
    “She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow” this can also be a metaphor as her carrying her child that has disgraced her. “She hid from anyone passing” it still is disgracing her…
    “She says she thinks she planted one Of all things but weed.” Another mean word for her child, “weed”. The baby is growing…
    Go back to the “dung in the wheelbarrow” part and at the end it says she left her “not nice load” therefore she gave her child away.
    “And yes, she has long mistrusted That a cider-apple In bearing there today is hers Or at least may be.” — “Now when she sees in the village How village things go, Just when it seems to come in right, She says, “I know!”
    So, as she sometimes goes to the village she most likely sees her child growing up from a “weed” or “dung” to a “cider-apple tree”. She finally aknowledges that the child is hers and in the last part of the poem she “never tells the tale to the same person twice”…it can still be a disgrace to her.

  3. Trey says:

    I didnt understand the poem but I thought it was very well detailed.

  4. Nancy G says:

    Did anyone notice the word “tree” is missing after cider apple… ? In 1964, my high school chorus won a blue ribbon for this lovely poem put to music. I still enjoy singing it to myself on occasion. It’s very lyrical without the music. Frost must have been smiling when he wrote the words.

  5. Laura* says:

    Thanks for all your comments and prospectives on this poem. I have chosen to use this poem for a class project and i needed other people’s views. Thanks!!
    Laura* Blodgett

  6. Candy says:

    This poem is awesome I really enjoyed it It is the best one I have ever read I know it is about a girl that takes care of her garden,does it her own way, and doesn’t listen to her father. It is so good im gonna use it to read as my poem for the class project

  7. Serena says:

    the poem tells of a girl’s experience and what she learns from it.

    The father doesn’t tell her to plow it he says, there’s not enough land to plow, but just enough for her to get stronger and become independent. At first she’s eager, doesn’t mind having to work it by hand, but then she’s always leaving it in the middle, and goin of to do something more fun.

    but, she doesn’t stick with one thing, its all over the place ‘She says she thinks she planted one
    Of all things but weed.’ she plants practically everything except weeds, even a fruit tree.

    Her crop was a miscellany
    When all was said and done,
    A little bit of everything,
    A great deal of none.

    she’s got a bunch of plants, but no actual ‘fruit’

    then, from what i see, ‘oh, never by way of advice’ is sarcastic, she enjoys telling the story, because she has learned from it, to stick with something and do one thing well, rather than do it haphazardly

    although she ‘messed up’, she still learns, the lesson still continues, which would be the apple tree

  8. Butner Stem Elementary 4th grade says:

    The girl in this poem did not take advice because she thought she could do the garden her own way. The girl’s character is flawed because she is untruthful about how her garden grew and she doesn’t take care of things that need to be done (the wheelbarrow). The poem is told in third person.

  9. Chandani says:

    This is a poem with much insight about a father’s understanding of a child’s need for idependence. he found a suitable place for her garden – not samll, not big. Hoping it will strenghen her for her future.

    This poem of a young girl who wanted independence, and once she got it, She had to do several things on her own, some nice, some not so, but the important thing is that she got much experiance both good and bad. However some experiances that we get during of young life will be there for us much later – the cider apple tree.

    Now she is older, but she sees the going ons around, and remembers the time when she wantedn her own independence.


  10. Sam Aiello says:

    i am in chorus and we sing this as a song! i just wanted to say how beautiful this song is, as a song and a poem! i give props to robert frost! you are amazing.

  11. Bec says:

    I get this poem, but I don’t get what inspired him to write it. I mean it’s kind of stupid if you think about it. There’s really no point. It’s just about a girl and her garden and what she does to it.

  12. hilary says:

    mike thats how i feel about the poem too!! you really helped me write this essay about it thanks

  13. Josh Kennedy says:

    Chuckle – I found this poem, “A Girl’s Garden” by Robert Frost, because it is mentioned in a fine, hilarious book (compiled by three editors named Camp, kennedy, and Waldrop) called “Pegasus Descending: A Collection of the Best Bad Verse in English.” The editors were apparently refused permission to reprint this one becuase Frost’s estate didn’t want it to appear in a book of bad poetry, even though stinkers by other luminaries such as Wordsworth and Emily Dickinson were also included. But the editors assured me that this poem was worth investigating all the same, and indeed, it is one of Frost’s worst. Meanwhile, I highly recommend the Pegasus book – it’s a scream.

  14. Ashley says:

    I have to SING this for choir instead of a poem. In fact I have to sing it tonight. At 7:30 its like 6:09 now. BUH Bye

  15. Dilshad says:


  16. Mike says:

    I have a completely different take on this poem. The poem is more about how the girl doesn’t take the father’s advice on how to plant and maintain a garden.

    For example, “Her Father said, to plow;….
    She wheeled the dung in the wheelbarrow along a stretch of road;
    But she always ran away and left
    Her not-nice load,”

    The poem goes on to say that she begged the seed, and how her crops were a miscellany. It has fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. In other words, it doesn’t have a structure to it. It’s just thrown together.

    Later the poems says that when she sees how village things go, she says I know, its has when I was a farmer. Never by advice, meaning she doesn’t take advice on how to do things just like how she didn’t take her father’s advice on how to plant a garden. And I believe the last line is where you learn what this poem is all about. It says she never shares the story. Doesn’t tell the same person twice because then she would be giving advice to another person just like how her father gave her advice. Despite his advice, she had a plentiful garden. Tell me what you think of my take on this poem!

  17. Phille says:

    How nice

  18. Jerri says:

    I absolutely love this poem. The first time I was introduced to it and Robert Frost was in my choir class in college. We performed this poem which had been set to music. It opened a whole new world of poetry to me.

  19. Amanda says:

    i thought this poem was very relaxing and heartwarming Because of its very well ideals it made me pictures a little girl really planting her own garden in my head while reading the peom and i thought it means if you try you can do anything if you keep trying.

  20. Alex says:

    This is best poem I have read I love the way the words are used and you have to read it several times to understand the meaning of the story. I wish rthere was more information on thsi peom becuase i need for my class and it would be helpful if i could have it soon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Robert Frost better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.