"I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden." -- Abraham Cowley, The Garden, 1666
I believe one of the signs of a true gardener is this: We would gladly give up a big room in a house to gain even a modest garden. Maybe it's because we'd much rather be outside than in. Maybe it's because housework is, well, work...while gardening is pleasure. I know I'd rather spend two hours pulling weeds than 30 minutes scrubbing a bathroom.
No ornate room with everything artfuly arranged is more beautiful than a simple garden, even one blowsy and untamed.