Gardening is the activity of growing plants and encompasses a wide range; from small containers grown indoors or outdoors to residential yards to long boulevard plantings to fruit orchards. A garden may be a specialized garden with only one type of plant grown or a general garden with a wide variety of plants.
History of gardening extends to prehistoric times when man started gardening for food but gardening for pleasure came much later. Physical evidence of ornamental gardening, horticulture and landscape designing is available in shape of Egyptian tomb paintings dating as back as 1500s BC.
Persia's Darius the Great was said to have a paradise garden while the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are considered to be one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. The Persian influence is seen in Greece in the post-Alexander era (350BC). The gardening tradition came to Rome around 117 BC-57 BC and there is evidence of greater development later when wealthy Romans built elaborate garden around villa.
Gardening as a hobby is more about residential gardening, which takes place near your home. Residential gardens are typical located in the front or back yard but may also be located on a roof, balcony, flower box or patio or in an atrium. Indoor plants may also be grown within a house or building, in a greenhouse or a conservatory and sometimes conceived as a part of a system for improving quality of indoor air.
No matter the type of garden you plan to make, gardening is a labor intensive hobby that requires your active participation. Gardening, in that sense is different from farming and forestry. It is different from farming both in scale and intent. Farming is done on a large scale and the primary motive is production of saleable goods. Gardening is done on a much smaller scale, primarily for pleasure and production of goods for home use. However, moderate size vegetable gardening can sometimes fit into the category of farming as well.
Gardening becomes an art when it enters the realm of landscape architecture, which is actually garden maintenance and not gardening per se. Community gardens, on the other hand, are collectively gardened lands meant to provide fresh produce and plants, promote sense of community, for improving neighborhoods and connection to the environment. Community gardens provide satisfying labor and are typically owned by non-profit associations or public trusts.
One of the toughest tasks in planning a garden is to select plants, not because they are difficult to grow but because there are simply too many. The best place to begin gardening is with the soil; you take care of the soil and the plants will take care of themselves.
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