A garden is an orderly planned space, generally outside, intended for the show, cultivation, or viewing of certain types of flora and fauna, or for the enjoyment of scenery in general. The single characteristic distinguishing even the wildest wilderness garden from that of a civilized one is control over the growth of the plants. Man has not been content to let Nature work things out, and the edification, beauty, and harmony of his surroundings have always been dependent upon his being in control. The arts and craftsman have given us furniture and utensils, buildings and shelters, to show more clearly his appreciation of the effects of his works upon the living things around him. The architect, the artist, the gardener, and the engineer all exercise the same control over their subjects, to produce, as it were, a beautiful world fit for human touch and enjoyment.
In France the word garden means public place of recreation. The word came from the word “garden” in the Latin “gaventia”, which meant a public place used for games, sports, and exercises. The first part of the word today can be found almost in any English-speaking vocabulary, but “gardens” has become increasingly rare due to its growing popularity as a synonym for “flower garden”. “Garden” itself is also from the Latin “garden” and originally meant a field in the cleared land around a vine or other vine-bearing trees. A well-tended garden, with plants of every conceivable kind, could be called a “garden”, but in the narrower sense of a flower garden.
Flower gardens are the easiest type of garden to plan. All that is needed is some room with a few levels, and some carefully selected flowers and plants for the different seasons. Care must be taken to have plants of every season in bloom, since different kinds of flowers are best suited for different planting times. Certain shrubs are best planted in the winter, and in spring they should be pushed back into the shade to conserve energy for the blooming plants of the summer.
A flower garden of any kind is made up of the primary plants plus an assortment of perennials and annuals, which are best planted as arranging for a specific season. Some perennial herbs, such as basil and mint, are best planted in a single row, with the tallest plants at the front. Shrubs and bushes should be planted so that they are dense and well supported. Low ground cover such as grasses, long grasses, and forest trees will provide much needed greenery in a garden.
There are many advantages to gardening, both for the garden and for the people who maintain it. Gardening is one of the best ways to exercise our personal control over our environment, and many people find gardening a rewarding hobby. Gardening is also good for the environment. Planting flowers is not a resource that we should throw away. A simple gardener, who cares about the plant and the flowers he or she nurtures, will be able to make an environmentally friendly choice in gardening, and also enjoy the fruits of his or her labor.
In the old days, gardens often had a supply of annuals just waiting for use when the winter was at its coldest. The annuals that were in bloom would not freeze to death in the snow, but they would still be dormant and unavailable to the plants that depended on them for food and beauty. Many of these annuals are still available today, although they may be more expensive than the perennials of yore. It is no wonder that an increasing number of people are choosing gardens with annuals rather than perennials any longer.