"I never promised you a rose garden” is a saying that was popularized as the title of a 1964 book by Hannah Green, the pen name of Brooklyn-born author Joanne Greenberg. The novel is about a teenage girl’s battle with schizophrenia; this was followed by a 1977 film and a 2004 play. The song “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden” (1970) was written by Joe South and sung by Lynn Anderson.
“I never promised you a rose garden” means the same thing as “I never said this was going to be easy.” “Jesus never promised a rose strewn path when He said ‘take up they cross and follow me’” was cited in print in 1960. The saying is sometimes used when talking about political promises.
Wikipedia: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden may refer to:
. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (novel), a 1964 semi-autobiographical novel of a teenage girl’s battle with schizophrenia by Joanne Greenberg
..I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (film), a 1977 film based on the Joanne Greenberg novel
..I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (play), a 2004 play based on the Joanne Greenberg novel
. (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden, a song written by Joe South.
Wikipedia: Joanne Greenberg
Joanne Greenberg (born September 24, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American author best known for the bestselling novel, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden written under the pen name of Hannah Green. It was adapted into a 1977 movie and a 2004 play of the same name.
She received the Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial Fiction Award as well as the Jewish Book Council of America award in 1963 for her novel The King’s Persons, which was about the massacre of the Jewish population of York at York Castle in 1190. She is a professor of creative writing at the Colorado School of Mines.
18 November 1960, Van Nuys (CA) News, “Food for the Spirit” by Jeanne Roberts, pg. 7-B, col. 4:
Jesus never promised a rose strewn path when He said “take up they cross and follow me.”
27 January 1961, Van Nuys (CA) News, “Food for the Spirit” by Jeanne Roberts, pg. 5-B, col. 4:
As Christians, we are not promised a “rose strewn” pathway. However, when the road gets tough, we have a Saviour to whom we cling.
Harper’s Bible Commentary
By William Neil
New York, NY: Harper & Row
Jesus joins the prophets in foreseeing no rose-strewn path for the people of God.
OCLC WorldCat record
I never promised you a rose garden,
Author: Joanne Greenberg
Publisher: New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston 
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : Juvenile audience : English : [1st ed.]View all editions and formats
Chronicles the three-year battle of a mentally ill, but perceptive, teenage girl against a world of her own creation, emphasizing her relationship with the doctor who gave her the ammunition of self-understanding with which to destroy that world of fantasy.
OCLC WorldCat record
I never promised you a rose garden
Author: Joe South
Publisher: New York : Lowery Music, ©1970.
Edition/Format: Musical score : Popular music : English
Ace of Spades HQ
September 30, 2013
AP Fact Check: Yeah, Obama’s Lied About “If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep Your Doctor”
Nancy Pelosi, 2013: I never promised you a rose garden
Nancy Pelosi, 2010: YOU’RE ALL GETTIN’ A ROSE GARDEN!
Posted by: Ace at 01:44 PM
New York City • Government/Law/Politics • Monday, September 30, 2013 • Permalink