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Gardening in simple terms, is the activity of growing plants for business or pleasure. It can be done by a professional or amateur. Landscape architecture is a related activity, but is a specialized type of gardening done for public and corporate clients. Gardening is usually done outdoors, although some people do have indoor gardens of house plants. Plants grown in gardens include vegetables, flowers, herbs and fruits. A garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials and can include both annuals and perennials, vegetables and herbs. Gardening can include structural elements such as ponds, waterfalls, statuary, trellises, and fountains. Or, it can be as simple as a small plot of land with a few tomato plants.

Lots of people enjoy growing their own vegetables, not only for pleasure but for economic reasons, as well. With the troubled economic conditions in the world today, there is an increased interest in sustainable living, with many people having an interest in growing their own food. Interest in organic gardening is also on the rise. Vegetables grown in your own backyard uses little, if any, fuel for shipping and maintenance. Plus, the grower knows exactly what they are eating. Almost any type of vegetable is possible to grow in your own garden, depending on the space and time you have. Just a few of the common vegetables that you can easily grow in your own garden include tomatoes, squash, green beans, onions, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, kale, carrots and peas.

Flower gardens can contain annuals or perennials, or a combination of both. An annual is a plant that germinates, flowers, and dies in a year or season. True annuals will only live longer than a year if they are prevented from setting seed. The life-cycle for some annuals can be as little as a month, but most live for several months. Some examples of annuals include petunia, zinnia, impatience and marigold.

Perennials are often called the “backbone” of the flower garden because they flower over many seasons in their lifetime. Perennial plants grow and bloom over the spring and summer and die back each winter, growing back again the next year from their root stock (rather than reseeding themselves as annuals do.) However, depending on the severity of local winter weather, a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat may be treated as an annual in some areas and planted every year from seeds, cuttings or divisions. Perennial plants can be short-lived or long-lived. They also vary greatly in size, from small flowering groundcovers to large trees that over 3,000 years old. Perennial plants come in a wide assortment that includes ferns and grasses and exotic perennial flowers like Orchids. The perennial garden can save time and money for the gardener because plants last a long time. Once you decide on a design for your perennial garden and plant it - all you have to do is maintain it year to year. In warmer climates, many perennials grow continuously throughout the year, and some perennial evergreen species retain their foliage all year long. Perennials include flowers, shrubs, grasses, herbs and bulbs such as tulips and daffodils.


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