A garden is basically a carefully planned area, usually in front of a house, intended for the cultivation, exhibit, and enjoyment of various types of flora and fauna. The single most distinguishing feature distinguishing even the wildest wilderness garden from any other kind is control. The garden may include both synthetic and natural materials. Synthetic material, such as gravel, must be used in moderation, to preserve the character of the garden, while natural materials, such as wood, lend themselves more readily to browsing and damage by animals and humans. The type and amount of gardening matter, including grass and shrubs, should be well proportioned to the size and general shape of the garden.
No garden, wild or cultivated, is complete without vegetables. These help in the development of the entire flora and fauna and, moreover, are an important part of a healthy diet. Choosing the proper vegetables is important because some are more nutritious than others. Carrots, beans, cabbage and lettuce, for example, contain relatively little protein but a great deal of dietary fiber.
Sunlight is absolutely essential for all plants, even vegetables. Because most vegetables grown in the open usually have relatively short growing periods, the amount of sunlight they receive is very limited during the day. However, well-planted gardens can still flourish even with poor sunlight conditions, provided they are located in an area that gets at least 6 hours of sunshine every day.
Healthy soil is absolutely necessary for the growth of plants. Most gardeners prefer rich soil, free from silt and clay, in which heavy gardening equipment cannot easily damage the plants. Organic fertilizers should be applied when the garden needs extra nitrogen, when weeds are getting tough, or when the soil is dry and hard to work in. Gardeners also feel comfortable using organic mulch, which helps retain the moisture in the soil and prevents it from drying out. Mulch should be used on lawns and gardens only, not on plants.
Gardening is a natural activity. Natural environmental conditions encourage plant growth to flourish. Man made environmental conditions often discourage plant growth. Artificial environments may be filled with chemicals and pesticides that can destroy the plants or deter them from growing altogether. In order to create a garden that is healthy and natural, the gardener must find ways of creating the right combination of nutrients, sun, water and mulch.
Gardening is a delightful activity. No matter what size of a garden you have, you will always be rewarded with the benefits of good garden ecology. Your efforts are sure to be rewarded. Start a garden today. You will reap the rewards of a bountiful harvest tomorrow. Your efforts are most certainly going to pay off.