Gardening is a pastime that is enjoyed by many people across the world. Part of its appeal is that it is both relaxing and rewarding. The ability to see a plant grow as a result of one’s personal efforts can give a person a sense of pride and accomplishment. This is particularly true when planting edible gardens that can help feed a family. Gardening has been a part of human activity for thousands of years and continues to thrive today. There are many ways to share the gift of gardening with friends or family members. One way to do that is to teach them its nuances. This can be done by explaining differences in gardening, and even exposing them to public gardens or professional gardens that can be found in museums. Residential Gardening The flowers, lawn, shrubbery, and trees that surround home are all considered types of residential gardening, as are traditional gardens of vegetables and herbs. In addition plants, rocks, water fountains, or a combination of all three can be used to create the ultimate residential garden. This type of gardening greatly impacts the appearance of a person’s house. Done correctly the front residential garden can add to the curb appeal of a residence and even improve its overall value. In the back yard, a beautifully planned garden can add to the homeowner’s enjoyment and turn it into a place that is ideal for relaxing or enjoying the company of friends and family.
- Easy Water Wise Gardening: A PDF article by the government of San Diego, California, talking about water conservation and gardening. This article covers drip irrigation, mulching, and the type of pavement that is best suited for water conservation.
- Residential Landscaping: A University of Missouri web page about landscaping at home. Included are tips for design, land use and planning.
- Creating a Backyard Habitat: A Natural Resources Enterprise information resource for making a wildlife habitat. Includes links to multiple Mississippi State University publications concerning this subject.
Indoor Gardening Any home or apartment that receives adequate sunlight can house an indoor garden. Choices for this type of garden range from herbs for the kitchen, to colorful potted flowers. There are several benefits associated with creating an indoor garden. For people who do not have the outdoor space, it allows them to enjoy the beauty of a garden, there’s no need to worry about outdoor insects ruining the plants, or inclement weather destroying them. Gardens also release oxygen and help to keep indoor air cleaner.
- Subtropical Bonsai for Indoor Gardening: A PDF article about growing Bonsai trees indoors. This article covers issues such as the hardiness of the Bonsai plant and its suitability for planting in shallow soil.
- Indoor Vegetable Gardening: A West Virginia University web page devoted to growing food indoors. Offers advice on types of what plants to pick, placement issues, and how to feed them.
- Managing Pests of Indoor Plantscapes: A web page about maintaining indoor plants and protecting them from pests. This article talks about littering, plants that are most susceptible to pests, sanitation issues, and methods of biological control.
Native Gardening Planting only plants that are native or indigenous to an area is known as native gardening. There are a number of reasons why people find this a desirable method of gardening. One of these reasons is that it reintroduces plants that are originally from the area. This means that they are already adjusted to the area’s temperature, soil and weather conditions. As a result, they are more environmentally friendly and require less attention in terms of watering and fertilizing. Finally, native gardening helps to preserve the natural plant life and beauty associated with any given area.
- What is a Native Plant: This web page from the California Native Plant Society answers the question of what native plants are. It explains why they are important and how to identify them.
- Why Garden with Native Wildflowers: A U.S. Forest Service article that explains the benefits of gardening with wildflowers that are native.
- Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration, and Landscaping: An article from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. It is a detailed explanation of native gardening and explains the benefits of it.
Water Gardening Water gardening is a method of growing plants in containers or other areas filled with water. Areas such as outdoor ponds are frequently used for water gardening, and may share their space with pond fish. The plants provide shade for the fish and help to reduce algae in the water. Water gardens are extremely attractive when done properly and can enhance the appeal of an outdoor space.
- Water Gardening – Plants for water gardening: A website that lists the various types of submerged, marginal, and floating plants used for water gardening. The site shows pictures of the beauty of water gardening and tells how to plant or replant certain flowering plants.
- Water Gardens: Alive with Sound and Motion: An article from the American Society of Landscape Architects that shows pictures of two types of water gardens. The article discusses the growing popularity of water gardens and gives examples on how to create relaxing water gardens with waterfalls.
Container Gardening Creating gardens using pots or other types of containers is known as container gardening. This method of planting is suitable for creating both indoor and outdoor gardens. The use of pots also allows people with little to no space, such as people who live in apartments or who have very small patios, to create an attractive garden. Another benefit is that attractive pots can be used indoors to create indoor gardens as well.
- How to Plant a Container Garden: A HGTV article that gives the reader tips on how to create an attractive container garden. It also explains how to select plants for the container and how to water the garden.
- Vegetable Gardening in Containers: A PDF document from the Agrilife Extension of the Texas A&M System. The article explains how to grow vegetables in containers and explains important aspects such as the best types of vegetables, what medium to use, types of containers, and watering.
- Container Gardens: Colorado State University fact sheet on container gardens. The sheet also reviews important aspects such as choosing the right soil and container, plant choices and maintenance.
Community Gardening In a city or urban area, finding the right place to grow a garden is often difficult. Although people can choose to garden on their patios or balconies, some prefer the sense of community and social opportunities that come from gardening with others. A community garden is a garden located within an urban area on a space of land that is viable for gardening. In some community gardens, there is just one plot that a group or community of people works on together to grow vegetables, flowers, etc. Other community gardens are divided into individual plots that people can rent and work on specifically as their own garden.
- What is a Community Garden: A definition of community gardening supplied by the American Community Garden Association. The Association also lists the benefits of community gardening.
- Franklin Park Observatory – What is Community Gardening?: This page gives a brief background on the history of community gardens and also explains what they are and their purpose.
- Community Garden Checklist: A page from the Let’s Move website that covers how to start and design a community garden.
Landscape Architects and Architecture Landscape architecture is garden design on a public scale. It often involves public spaces, such as parks and commercial buildings. Professional gardeners are typically responsible for this type of gardening, and must be experts in a variety of disciplines. Landscape architects are highly creative not only in the fine arts and architecture, but are also experts in fields such as environmental sciences, aesthetics, geography, and botany.
- American Society of Landscape Architects: An organization of landscape architects. Their website features links to job opportunities, advocacy information, honors and awards, educational resources, and news.
- Landscape Architecture: An online website for landscape architects. Visitors can find information about job opportunities, competitions, products, and events. Also features videos and a variety of presentations.
- Landscape Architecture Foundation: A landscape architecture website devoted to protecting the environment. This organization focuses on sustainability and features news and events, scholarships, conferences, and charity events.
Garden Design Garden design is the design of enclosed spaces, such as the home garden or yard, to make it the most appealing. It allows a person to design his or her garden according to their personal choice. It can involve water, paving, and the type and manner of planting. Typically there is a focal point that is intended to catch the eye.
- Flower Garden Design Basics: A Cornell University web page about flower garden design. This page offers advice on proper soil conditions, sunlight issues, terracing, and color coordination.
- Rain Garden Design for Homeowners: A PDF document that focuses in rain gardens. This article talks about the benefits of rain gardens, where to plant them, and how to construct them.
- Origins of Garden Design: A University of Washington article about the history of gardening.
Garden Pests Pests are one of the few down sides to growing an outdoor garden. They can be insects or larger pests such as birds, squirrels or deer. Destructive pests can destroy the hard work and progress that one has put into building a garden. Unfortunately, dealing with them isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Care must be taken to make certain that the pest is not a beneficial one, and removal or management methods should be ones that are safe for the plant and the environment in general.
- Pests in Gardens and Landscapes – Vertebrate Pests: A list of pests that can affect a garden. Each pest listed includes a link to further information and management advice.
- Common Garden Pests and Problems: A Missouri Botanical Garden common garden pests and problems guide page. The page lists common types of pests and diseases that face gardens. Clicking on the pest or disease will take the reader to more information. The page is divided into sections such as fruit, lawns, vegetables, indoor plants, trees, etc.
- Insect Pests of Gardens: Pictures and explanations of various types of pests and the damage that they inflict on gardens.
Organic Gardening Organic gardening is defined as gardening without the use of chemicals or pesticides. The resulting fruits and vegetables are free from any type of chemical residue, which is highly desirable for many people. There are downsides associated with organic gardening however, including the risk of increased pest activity. Fortunately, there are natural methods that can combat pests to a certain degree.
- What is Organic Gardening?: A PDF from the University of Massachusetts that explains in detail what organic gardening is. It discusses both the positive and the negative aspects associated with this type of gardening.
- NC State University – What is Organic Gardening?: An article that discusses what organic gardening is. It also reviews challenges and explains different methods of controlling pests when growing an organic garden.
- Organic Gardening: A PDF document that is in question and answer format. The document answers the question how to start an organic garden and what methods to use.
Compost Composting is an environmentally friendly process that enriches the soil. It allows people to recycle left over food and organic items, instead of throwing them away. These items are allowed to break down and decay. The resulting material is a nutritious addition to soil that can improve the quality of produce and other items grown in gardens. Composting is simple and can be done in one’s kitchen or backyard.
- Compost – What is it?: A page on the CalRecycle website that answers specific questions regarding composting, such as what it is, why it is important, and how it helps improve the condition of the soil.
- Composting Process: An article that defines composting and explains what the composting process entails and how long it takes. The article appears on the Composting in the Home Garden website for the University of Illinois Extension.
- Frequently Asked Questions About Composting: The Environmental Protection Agency answers frequently asked questions about composting. Questions include why compost and what is it used for.
Garden Museums Garden Museums are an exciting way for people to discover new and exotic types of plants, flowers, and gardens, some of which come from across the world. It is also a way to introduce friends and even children to the beauty of gardening. There are a number of museums located in cit es around the United States. These museums often showcase and inform visitors about both exotic and native plants. When traveling, avid gardeners may even wish to locate and visit museums in other countries around the world. In some cases, garden museums may strictly be online and showcase online images of gardening.
- American Garden Museum: An online museum that is an archive of urban rural gardens.
- Heritage Museum & Gardens: One hundred acres of gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The museum also includes various art exhibits and galleries.
- The Chicago Botanic Garden: Opened in 1972. It includes approximately 2.5 million plants, four natural areas, a butterfly exhibit and 25 display gardens.
Garden Terminology When first starting out as a gardener, many beginners may find that some of the terms are difficult to understand. That’s because like most hobbies or trades, gardening has its own vocabulary. With time beginners will come to understand these words with little problem. Until then, it is important to have access to definitions of commonly used terms that will help beginners better understand their new craft.
- Terminology for Flowering Annuals: The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences reviews some of the common terms associated with annuals.
- PBS Glossary of Terms – Lawn and Garden: A long list of terms on the PBS website. The list is followed by the definitions for each. Clicking on the link for a specific word will take the reader directly to its definition on the same page.
Gardening Tips and Advice A green thumb is something that some people seem to be born with, while others don’t seem to have one at all. This doesn’t mean that only people who are naturally talented should grow a garden. The ability to plant and grow a beautiful or bountiful garden can come from experience and the advice of others. When it comes to gardening, a person with the willingness to learn and seek out helpful tips can be as successful as anyone with a naturally green thumb.
- Gardening Tips for Edibles: The website of certified arborist and horticulture specialist Melinda Myers. This page gives advice on garden, and covers gardening for edibles specifically in this section.
- Gardening Tips – Prune Early Shrubs: This article from the UK gives the readers tips on pruning early shrubs, supporting lilies, and removing old flowers from certain plants to make room for incoming new flowers.
- Gardening Health and Safety Tips: Tips about gardening from the Center for Disease Control. The advice is centered around protecting oneself while gardening.