What is gardening?

Gardening is a part of horticulture. It is the practice of cultivating and growing plants for domestic purposes. More often than not, gardening is not used to grow food, but instead, it is used to make a garden look beautiful by the usage of ornamental plants, such as flowers, foliage, and herbs. All of these plants add to the serenity of the garden and if done in a certain artistic style, gardening can be quite soothing and relaxing.

 History of gardening

As mentioned earlier, gardening has been a part of human civilization for a long time. The first record of gardening comes from prehistoric times where forest gardening was a system through which humans cultivated their food. They originated in the river banks, alongside jungles and wet rainforests.

But the first real beginning of gardening came from the Ancient Egyptians. The cave paintings from the New Kingdom of Egypt, which was around 1500 BC, showed the evidence of one of the first horticulture in our human history. These paintings showcase lotus ponds, which were surrounded by rows of palms and acacias, all of which are ornamental plants and are even used in modern gardening. One of the most famous examples of earliest gardens would be the Babylonian hanging gardens, which were also one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Difference between gardening and agriculture

For the longest time in the history, there was no difference between agriculture for food and gardening for beauty. All gardens were both the places to grow your food and other important plants; while on the other hand, they were also the places where you could grow flowers in intricate patterns just for the sake of beauty. But what made the difference between these two things was the beginning of industrialized farming.

And, due to the rise in production because of the industrial revolution, many gardeners simply turned into all-time farmers who grew crops to feed themselves and sell food in the local market. The distinction took place afterward when people, who were not associated with farming in any way, started keeping their plants in their gardens. Soon, gardening and agriculture became completely different activities. One was an industrial way of optimizing the supplies and the other was a way for people to relax and grow their plants for beauty and Zen.

Different types of gardening

There are many different types of gardening. They differ from each other due to their separate sizes, usage of different types of plants, different purposes, and ways to grow. Let us take a look at all of these different ways of gardening and see how they differ from each other.

Indoor gardening

Indoor gardening, as the name suggests, is the gardening that takes place inside one’s home. It is a process of growing houseplants inside the restrictions of your residence or building of any kind. It can also take place inside a greenhouse or a conservatory. Indoor gardening can sometimes be better than outdoor gardening because it allows you to regulate the environment by regulating the temperature and the air current that falls on your plants. Indoor gardening can also allow your plants to grow much faster if you provide them essential UV radiation from artificial sources.

Native plant gardening

Inside the native plant gardening, one can use the native plants to that area with or without the intent of forming a wildlife habitat. The goal of this type of gardening is only to utilize the plants that would be naturally found in the area so that the garden can be in complete harmony with the ecosystem of that area. This is because growing foreign plants in a place can be quite damaging to the natural ecosystem of that area.

Some plants can wither if they are not provided with the apt environmental conditions, while others can harm the animals that try to eat them or find shelter on them. On the other hand, the native plant gardening also allows a gardener to reduce the water usage, fertilization cost, and maintenance time.

Water gardening

Water gardening is the method of gardening that uses the means of water bodies like pools and plants only to grow plants, which are adapted to live in such conditions. One of the examples of water garden would be a Bog garden. This is a special type of gardening and requires very strict methods and procedures for it to happen successfully. Even the simplest water garden that might only contain a tub and a few water plants like lotus require heavy dedication and long-term maintenance.

Container gardening

This is the type of gardening that consists of growing plants inside containers. Container gardening can take place both outside and inside. Potted plants, hanging baskets, and plastic planters are some examples of container gardening. This type of gardening is very efficient and easy to follow because one can be sure that all the water and nutrients that they pour into the container will only be used by the plant and will not be able to escape its grasp easily. Container gardening is commonly used in balconies, atriums, patios, and on rooftops of buildings and mansions.

Hugelkultur

This is a much different type of gardening as it asks the gardener to grow plants inside rotting piles of wood, which acts as compost that provides nutrients to the new plants. The word ‘hugelkultur’ is German, and it translates to ‘mound garden.’ It is a method of forest gardening and agro forestry. On the other hand, it is also a method of desert greening and dry-land farming. Hugelkultur is also a form of xeriscaping, and it can be used to dispose of large quantities of wood waste and other forms of wood debris.

Community gardening

Community gardening is a form of gardening, which is done by entire communities together. A group of people come together and creates huge community gardens that can provide them with food, medicine, labor, and ways to come closer together as a community. These gardens are generally owned by many local governments and non-profit organizations. Community gardening can help people form a better connection to the environment and improve the feeling of communal harmony.

Garden sharing

Garden sharing is a method through which the gardeners who do not have their space of land to do gardening come together with landowners to do gardening on their land. All the produce that comes out of the garden is divided between the landowner and the gardener and so is the money that comes from their sales.

Organic gardening

Organic gardening is a method of gardening that utilizes only the most natural methods of growing plants. The usage of unnatural chemicals, fertilizers, and genetically enhanced plants are banned in this form of gardening. It uses only natural and sustainable methods like nature manure to grow the plants.

Gardening accessories

Gardening has many different accessories and features that are easily available in the market for both the professionals and complete novices to use and grow their creativity. You can use them to add functionality and decoration to your garden. Some of these accessories include the usage of stone, copper, wood, stainless steel, stained glass, bamboo, iron, concrete, and clay to improve the beauty of the garden.

As the Ancient Romans used to do, statues and water fountains still go very well with the gardens of today. Things like arbors, trellis, benches, oil lamps, and candle lanterns also add serenity to the garden.

Gardening tools

Gardening is only possible if you use the right tools while doing it. These tools are specially crafted for gardening and other horticulture activities. These gardening tools can be hand-held tools or they can also be powered tools, that require the use of electricity. All of them are designed to help any gardener complete all the gardening tasks with ease. Here are a few tools that are used in gardening:

Axe

Axe has been one of the most important gardening tools of all times. It is a hand-held tool that is used in cutting and pruning of plants and trees. They can help you clear off the nearby area and in landscaping.  Wielding an axe, however, is not easy or free of danger, so make sure that you take proper care while using the axe.

Sickle

Sickle in gardening is used to remove weeds, nettles, and docks that can impair the growth of the gardening plants. It is one of the best handheld gardening tools and can be used to trim bushes as well.

Pitchfork

Pitchforks are hand-held tools that are used in raking the field and plowing through the soil to make it appropriate for sowing seeds. It can also be used in mixing fertilizers and manure in the soil, as well as digging and spading. They can help you break the toughest soils and even digging up the unwanted root crops from the garden.

Scythe

Scythes are some of the most important tools that a gardener should definitely have. They are used in the slicing extra growth of grass, or giving the right chop to the overgrown plants. They can help gardeners clear off the extra plants from the pathway, and most importantly, they help gardeners giving their garden a distinct shape.

Shovel

Shovels are the digging tools that are unparalleled in their usage. These tools are capable of assisting the gardener in properly digging the soil of the garden and mixing the different types of soil that might be present there. They can help the gardener create valuable trails in the garden so that all the plants can be irrigated properly. They can also help the gardeners spread the fertilizers properly in the garden.

Hoe

A hoe is the simplest tool in any gardener’s arsenal. It’s just a blade at the end of a handle that you can use to eliminate weed, tear up the soil, and create rows and much more. This tool is especially used for the precision cutting of plants inside the garden. Weeding in places where the main plant is too close to the weed is hard to cut with the help of a scythe and this is where a hoe comes into the picture.

Irrigation sprinklers

Irrigation sprinklers are automatic sprinklers that you fix all over your garden. Once you activate them, they will spread water all over your garden, hence easily irrigating the entire garden without much problem.

Tips for gardening

Gardening is one of the most soothing and serenity providing activities that one can do. But before you can begin doing it, you need to understand a few tips and tricks that will help you get started and eventually turn you into a pro. Here’s a list of a few tips that you can do to begin gardening and build up your skill level.

Begin gardening wherever you can

If you keep thinking about gardening, you will never do it. You might think that you do not have any space for gardening, but that is not true.  You can, in fact, garden anywhere, from your windows, your balconies, and your roof to inside your very home. Simply pick and choose any place that you will be comfortable gardening in and begin planting your greens as soon as possible. Slowly, as you will get comfortable, you will start expanding your gardening hobby and that is when you will learn to create an entire garden for yourself.

Choose the type that you admire

As mentioned before, there are different types of gardening available for you to choose. Most people go for traditional gardening of ornamental plants. But if you wish to grow your very own vegetables and fruits, then you can do so as well. On the other hand, if you are tired of the tyranny of the chemicals inside all your food, then you can choose organic gardening as well. But if you would like to do something more complex like water gardening, then you can do that as well.