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Gardening , as a hobby or business, is one of the most popular activities worldwide. There is something very rewarding about growing one’s own food, or planting a seed and watching it progress from a seedling into a flower in glorious full bloom. Of course, gardening is not easy, as it involves careful soil preparation, weed control and cultivation. But the rewards are well worth the effort. More and more people today are becoming interested in organic gardening, the growing of plants without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Organic gardening replenishes the soil and works in harmony with nature - gardening in as natural way as possible. Almost anyone can have a garden. Most flowers and many vegetables can be grown in pots on a patio, or a small plot of land with a few tomato plants or other vegetables is a garden. Even a sunny windowsill set with pots of herbs is an “indoor” garden. A good way to begin is with a little research. Find out what growing “zone” you live in, and see what plants will do well in your area. What you grow will also depend on how much sun or shade you have (although most vegetables will require at least 8 hours of direct sunshine per day.) If planting a flower garden, take the time to learn about annuals and perennials. Annuals are flowers that germinate, flower and die in one season. Perennials return year after year and therefore are often considered the “back bone” of the garden. Once you know where and what you want to grow, the next step will be soil preparation. Certain gardening tools will be needed, such as a shovel, hoe, rake and garden hose.

One of the most fun aspects of gardening is creating an “outdoor room” in which to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables or flowers) of your labor. Whether you have a patio, or just a shady space under a tree, garden furniture will enhance your space. A simple stone or cement garden bench looks lovely and makes a great focal point in a garden. Garden furniture is often made of wood, teak, wrought iron or wicker. Plastic garden furniture is another alternative and is convenient because it’s waterproof. Tables with umbrellas to provide shade, with matching chairs are a popular choice, as are patio or porch swings and chaise lounge chairs. Do keep in mind that if wood furniture is to be kept outdoors year round, it will need to be treated to prevent it from rotting. Other decorative items are attractive in the garden, such as bird baths, gazing balls, and statuary. Portable fire pits have become popular and make sitting outdoors on a cool evening very cozy and comfortable.


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