holes and hills. But, after all
I left my own garden yesterday, and went over to where Polly was getting the weeds out of one of her flower-beds. She was working away at the bed with a little hoe. Whether women ought to have the ballot or not (and I have a decided opinion on that point, which I should here plainly give, did I not fear that it would injure my agricultural influence), I am compelled to say that this was rather helpless hoeing. It was patient, conscientious, even pathetic hoeing; but it was neiher effective nor finished. When completed, the bed looked somewhat as if a hen  had scratched it: there was that touching unevenness about it. I think no one could look at it and not be affected. To be sure, Polly smoothed it off with a rake, and asked me if it was n’t nice; and I said it was. It was not a favorable time for me to explain the difference between puttering hoeing, and the broad, free sweep of the instrument, which kills the weeds, spares the plants, and loosens the soil without leaving it in holes and hills. But, after all, as life is constituted, I think more of Polly’s honest and anxious care of her plants than of the most finished gardening in the world.
misogyny threaded throughout the book, e.g., —
Observation. — Woman always did, from the first, make a muss in the garden.
p25 : link
Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)
wikipedia : link