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garden path Gardens are one of the delights of a home and are often designed to meet the needs of an individual or a family.  They offer a place to relax, entertain, or play.  They may also fulfill family members' desires to grow plants or to learn about plants.  Garden plants may include fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs, as well as trees and shrubs.

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A garden plot is a site that is set aside for growing and cultivating plants.  The size of the plot, soil type, sunlight, topography, and location all must be considered when planning a garden.  Climate, as indicated by this Plant Hardiness Zone Map, often constrains the character of a garden, and gardeners sometimes start seedlings indoors to broaden the selection of viable plants for their gardens.  Budget also plays a role in the overall garden design.

There are a number of basic garden types to choose from.  Cottage gardens and kitchen gardens supply fruits, vegetables, and flowers.  Some gardens are formal; others are designed for entertaining or family play activities.  Enclosed gardens offer privacy.  Wooded areas work well for woodland or wildlife gardens; water gardens have ponds, while coastal gardens require plants that can survive salty spray.  Front yard gardens and rooftop gardens are also appropriate in certain situations.

When planning your garden, select native plants or plants that suit your garden style.  Choose plants that you find attractive or that produce fruits and vegetables that you enjoy eating.  Some gardeners like to build structure into their garden plans.  Arbors, pergolas, and gazebos give places for plants to climb.  Patios and decks are enjoyable places to entertain and relax.  Walls and fences, as well as screens and trellises, provide privacy.  Decorative containers and plant pots are often used for annuals, while garden beds and borders provide places to plant a wonderful variety of flowers or shrubs.  Well-designed landscape lighting can complete the picture, welcoming visitors to the garden in the evening.

A botanical garden is a collection of living plants, often designed and maintained by its members, that exhibits ornamental plants and their taxonomies.  Many botanical gardens exhibit these plants in a manner that emphasizes their natural settings and relationships.  Botanical gardens are valuable reservoirs of plant varieties, and they offer training courses and seminars for gardeners.

red rose in a rose garden

The nonprofit National Gardening Association is a leader in plant-based education and strives to foster an appreciation for the benefits of gardening.  On this page, you will find selected gardening resources for the home gardener, as well as products designed for use in backyard gardens.

  • Bird Feeders
    Find bird feeders, bird houses, birdbaths and birding resources.
  • Garden Fountains
    Garden fountain selection and installation guide.
  • Garden Sheds
    Garden storage shed guide and supplier directory.
  • Lawn Sprinklers
    Lawn sprinkler systems and drip irrigation systems.
  • Lawn Tractors
    Compare lawn and garden tractors and riding mowers.
  • Plant Nurseries
    Retail and wholesale plant nurseries, and garden centers.
  • Pond Supplies
    Find a selection of garden pond supplies and accessories.
  • Seed Catalogs
    Vegetable, flower, and herb seeds for your garden.
  • Tree Nurseries
    Fruit trees, shade trees, evergreen trees and flowering shrubs.

Garden Resources

  • GardenWeb
    This Internet gardening community features convenient access to gardener forums, garden businesses, and a plant database, as well as plant and seed exchanges, gardening tips, and a searchable garden topics directory.
  • Gardening Video Portfolio
    An overview of gardens and gardening as well as several gardening-themed videos can be found on this page.

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