Why We Garden

Topics: Gardening, Garden, Plant Pages: 7 (2426 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Why Do We Garden?
Garden is a plot of ground, usually near a house, where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits or herbs are cultivated. It can incorporate both natural and human materials. Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, while other gardens also produce food crops, sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. In addition, gardens may be designed by garden owners themselves, or by professionals. The most important consideration in any garden design is, how the garden will be used, followed closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other structures in the surrounding areas. And, gardening is the activity of growing and maintaining the garden. This work is done by an amateur or professional gardener. A gardener might also work in a non-garden setting, such as a park, a roadside embankment, or other public space. Some gardeners manage their gardens without using any water from outside the garden, and therefore do not deprive wetland habitats of the water they need to survive. In fact, gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people. We might ask a question: Why do many choose to garden and then some choose to stop gardening? People nowadays face a lot of stress factors including constant bombardment with information about environmental issues, economic concerns, health worries, and community strife. Gardening is a tool to abate life’s stress, improve our healthy life enhance the environment, and build community relationship. The popularity of gardening has waxed and waned over time, but given the fact that people have been gardening for the past 10,000 years, chances are we’ll never stop. Gardening has a rich history, and it is fascinating to see how people's reasons for gardening and styles of gardening have changed over the years. During the first half of the 20th century, much of the world was at war.  Because war is so “resource-intensive”, many countries asked their citizens to pitch in and contribute to gardening. According to Liza Barness, “in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson brought sheep to graze and fertilize the White House lawns in an effort to save manpower, fuel, and chemicals”, therefore they could instead be used for the war (1). And then, “in 1943, the Roosevelts planted a "victory garden" on the White House grounds”. In addition, a victory garden was a private or community vegetable garden, either in a backyard or public area, where people could grow food for their families and communities. This was done in order to reduce demands on the country’s resources (1). In fact, plants grow and continue to change over time and are directly affected by changes in the environment. These changes affect the management of the garden. According to Filoli, “formal gardens must be continually renewed to maintain the original design and keep the gardens dynamic and healthy” (2). Woodlands and vegetation can encroach and block important historic views. Tree canopies increase and shade compromises the health of plants and the integrity of aggregate features below. Sometimes catastrophic events appear causing trees to fall. Environments can change drastically requiring the construction of special temporary shade structures for long periods of time. Pests and diseases take their toll on historic plants and colonial replacements are often unavailable, unless their replacements have been planned and propagated in the greenhouse. In other words, according to Michael Pollan in ''Farmer in Chief'', “more than 20 million home gardens were supplying 40& of the produce consumed in America by the end of WWII”(1). Gardening has become increasingly popular in the last few years as more and more consumers want to have a hand in what they eat. Growing your own might sound like a simple solution to complex problems like high food prices, food recalls, unhealthy diets and sedentary habits, but it...
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