What Is Gardening
Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants. This is such a huge topic that we have to differentiate between ornamental plants, root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits and herbs. Ornamental plants are grown for their foliage, flowers or overall appearance. On the other hand root and leaf vegetables, fruits and herbs are mainly grown for consumption. This is mainly used for medicinal, cosmetic, animal and human consumption. Everyone who practice any form of gardening is called a gardener.
Forest gardening, this is the world’s oldest form of gardening and was a plant-based food production system. Forest gardening originated along jungle-clad river banks and in the wet foothills of monsoon regions. In the process of improving their immediate environment, families identified useful tree and vine species. They cultivated the crops and at the same time undesirable species were eliminated. Eventually foreign species were also selected and incorporated into the gardens.
After the emergence of the first civilizations, wealthy individuals began to create gardens for purely aesthetic purposes. Ornamental gardens, such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are well known and were declared as a World Heritage Site and are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
During The Middle Ages gardening declined and after the fall of Rome gardening was only done with the purpose of growing medicinal herbs and/or decorating church altars.
By the late 13th century, rich Europeans began to grow gardens for leisure and for medicinal herbs and vegetables. The gardens were surrounded by walls to protect them from animals and to provide seclusion. During the next two centuries, lawns, raising flowerbeds and trellises of roses were planted. Fruit trees were common in these gardens. The gardens in the monasteries were a place to grow flowers and medicinal herbs but they were also a space where the monks could enjoy nature and relax.
During the 16th and 17th century gardens had a more classic appearance and were symmetric proportioned and balanced. The pattern used during this period was a garden built around a central axis and they were divided into different parts by hedges. Commonly, gardens had flowerbeds laid out in squares and separated by gravel paths. This was also the time that new flowers such as tulips, marigolds and sunflowers were introduced.
In the 18th century, gardens remained a privilege reserved for the upper class. They were laid out more naturally, without any walls. Gardens of this century often contained shrubberies grottoes, pavilions, bridges and follies such as mock temples. By the next century, gardens became available to the middle class as well. Also, in 1804 the Horticultural Society was formed.
Gardens of the 19th century contained plants such as the monkey puzzle or Chile pine. This is also the time when the so called “gardenesque” style of gardens evolved. These gardens displayed a wide variety of flowers in a rather small space. Rock gardens increased in popularity in the 19th century.
Types of Gardening
Most of today’s gardening takes place near the home on the residence and is known as residential gardening. Although a garden typically is located on the land near a residence, it may also be located on a roof, in an atrium, on a balcony, in a window box, or on a patio or vivarium.
Gardening also takes place in non-residential green areas, we find this in parks, public or semi-public gardens (botanical gardens or zoological gardens), amusement and amusement parks, along transportation corridors, and around tourist attractions and garden hotels. In these situations, a staff of gardeners or groundskeepers maintains the gardens.
Indoor gardening is the growing of houseplants within a residence or building, in a conservatory, or in a greenhouse. With the whole world moving to a greener earth, indoor gardens are nowadays incorporated as part of air conditioning or heating systems.
Native plant gardening is geared towards the use of native plants with or without the intent of creating wildlife habitat. The goal is to create a garden in harmony with, and adapted to a given area. This type of gardening typically reduces water usage, maintenance, and fertilization costs, while increasing native faunal interest.
Water gardening is concerned with growing plants adapted to pools and ponds. Bog gardens are also considered a type of water garden. These gardens all require special conditions and considerations. Aquaponic gardening and Hydroponic gardening are just two types that gained popularity in recent times. In aquaponics fish are used to supply the nutrients to the plants and in hydroponic gardening the nutrients are mixed in the water supply and circulated through the root system.
Container gardening is when plants are grown in any type of container either indoors or outdoors. Common containers are pots, hanging baskets, and planters. Container gardening is usually used in atriums and on balconies, patios, and roof tops. The term vertical gardening is used when plants are cultivated in upright positions by utilizing troughs, hanging baskets and pallets.
Community gardening is a social activity in which an area of land is gardened by a group of people, providing access to fresh produce and plants as well as access to satisfying labour, neighbourhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. Community gardens are typically owned in trust by local governments or non-profit organizations.
Gardening arguably is one of the oldest occupations and refers to any person involved in gardening. From the hobbyist in a residential garden, the homeowner supplementing the family food with a small vegetable garden or orchard, to an employee in a plant nursery or the head gardener in a large estate.
The term gardener is also used to describe garden designers and landscape gardeners, who are involved chiefly in the design of gardens, rather than the practical aspects of horticulture.
Gardening is not to be confused with farming. In respect to its food producing purpose, gardening is distinguished from farming chiefly by scale and intent. Farming occurs on a larger scale, and with the production of sellable goods as a major motivation. Gardening is done on a smaller scale, primarily for pleasure and to produce goods for the gardener’s own family or community.
Incoming search referrals:
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- Residential Gardening and Native Plant Gardening