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Aspects Of Gardening

Author : Mark Bartley

There must be very few people in this country who haven't turned their hand to a bit of gardening at some point. For some it is an occasional activity reserved for fine weather days, while for many others it is a pastime that they enjoy every day of the year, rain or shine, spring, summer, autumn and winter. So what is the history of this activity we now know as gardening? Well gardening in the widest sense must go back to the time when the human race first started to grow its own food, the time when the hunter/gatherer started to transition into the farmer/livestock keeper. Rather than relying on naturally occurring edible items, at some point humans realised they could cultivate fruit and vegetables themselves, producing sources of food close to home and in larger quantities than gathering previously provided. Eventually food production was not the only attraction of gardening but that would not happen in any large scale until the culture changes in the 1600s which saw gardens being regarded as ornamental features in many of Europe's finest palaces and stately homes. There were however examples of ornamental gardens that date back long before the Seventeenth Century, including the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon of course and various Roman-built gardens during the period of the Roman Empire.

Gardening today includes all kinds of aspects including food production, design, construction and horticulture but also encompasses activities to create attractive spaces around residential homes, a means of focusing the beauty of natural plant species into a single area for enjoyment purposes and also a way of creating practical spaces for sporting purposes, be that just for relaxing or for the pursuit of physical activities. There are also many public gardens, built to enhance community areas in residential areas.

The popularity of gardening remains very high, with whole areas of business supported by this hobby which attracts all age groups. In the newsagents you will find all kinds of gardening publications, libraries keep hundreds of gardening books, in towns and villages you are never far from a local garden centre and there are thousands of growers and suppliers of all sizes offering products and plants for gardeners everywhere. One of the most attractive features of gardening as a hobby is the manner in which people of all ages can enjoy it together. Older generations enjoy sharing their experience with their children, while parents can use gardening to teach and educate their young ones in the ways of growing plants. In fact many famous gardeners relate how their childhood gardening experiences shaped their lives, perhaps growing sunflowers, planting sweet peas or digging up potatoes.

As well as growing and caring for plants, shrubs and trees, gardening has also come to include various forms of hard landscaping, particularly where a significant transformation of a garden is required. That type of gardening may be something as simple as some fencing or footpaths, perhaps a small patio area for outdoor dining or a fun playhouse for the children. Some larger scale landscaping ambitions can resemble full scale construction projects rather than gardening tasks, with architect-designed plans and building firms involved.

Whatever form of open space you prefer, be that a structural statement, a practical play area, an attractive planting showcase or a productive vegetable patch, the joy of gardening comes from the satisfaction of creating something personal with a little help from nature itself. Some of the best looking gardens are often the most simple ones, because nature is often the most stylish and beautiful component of any garden. Gardening is a certainly a worthwhile and enjoyable hobby and is sure to be here to stay for many more thousands of years to come.

Author's Resource Box

Up and down the country many individuals spend time gardeningas a hobby. Mark is a gardening and growing specialist and writes for various magazines and websites.

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Tags:   gardening, lawns

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Submitted : 2011-04-26    Word Count : 712    Times Viewed: 535