What must the gardener do during winter in "The Gardener" by Robert Louis Stevenson?

Quick answer:

The speaker says that in the winter, the gardener will have to put his tools away and stop laboring in the garden, as there will be no plants to tend to and no work to be done.

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In Robert Louis Stevenson's poem "The Gardener," the speaker describes the gardener's endless labor in the garden. He seems to devote all of his time to the cultivation of the plants and never has a moment to spare to speak to or play with the speaker. However, the speaker suggests that the gardener's labor cannot be constant, as winter will take away his ability to work:

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

In the winter, the garden will shrivel and die, as its crops cannot withstand the cold. It will be "bare and brown" with no plants for the gardener to tend to. Thus, the endless work that the gardener does will have to come to a stop, and he will have to "lay [his] barrow down" and rest.

The speaker suggests to the gardener that in order to fully enjoy these "garden days" during the summer when the garden is in bloom and at its peak, he should not just toil ceaselessly to cultivate plants that will die in a few short months, but rather enjoy their beauty and the sunshine of summer by taking a moment to stop his work and play with the speaker.

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