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Portal:Gardening

Introduction

A gardener maintaining topiary in Tulcán, Ecuador

Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use. Gardening is considered by many people to be a relaxing activity.

Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, to residential back gardens including lawns and foundation plantings, and to container gardens grown inside or outside. Gardening may be very specialized, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a variety of plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants, and tends to be labor-intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.

Selected article

Two saffron crocus flowers in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Saffron (/ˈsæfrən, -rɒn/) is a spice derived from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), a species of crocus in the family Iridaceae. The flower has three stigmas, which are the distal ends of the plant's carpels. Together with its style, the stalk connecting the stigmas to the rest of the plant, these components are often dried and used in cooking as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, which has for decades been the world's most expensive spice by weight,[1] is native to Southwest Asia.[2] It was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece.Saffron is characterised by a bitter taste and an iodoform- or hay-like fragrance; these are caused by the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a carotenoid dye, crocin, that gives food a rich golden-yellow hue. These traits make saffron a much-sought ingredient in many foods worldwide. Saffron also has medicinal applications.The saffron crocus thrives in climates similar to that of the Mediterranean maquis or the North American chaparral, where hot, dry summer breezes blow across arid and semi-arid lands. Nevertheless, the plant can tolerate cold winters, surviving frosts as cold as −10 °C (14 °F) and short periods of snow cover.

Selected image

Crops in Kansas
Credit: Howcheng, NASA

Satellite image of circular crop fields, characteristic of center pivot irrigation, in Haskell County, Kansas in late June 2001. Healthy, growing crops are green. Corn would be growing into leafy stalks by then. Sorghum, which resembles corn, grows more slowly and would be much smaller and therefore, possibly paler. Wheat is a brilliant gold as harvest occurs in June. Fields of brown have been recently harvested and plowed under or lie fallow for the year. U.S. Route 56 crosses the scene, passing the cities of Sublette (lower left) and Copeland (upper right).

Did you know...

Generally, seed packets labels includes:

  • Common plant name and the botanical name (in parentheses).
  • Space and deep: how deep to place the seeds in the soil, space between plants (from one row to the other one and from one plant to the other one in the same row).
  • Height: approximate height the plant will reach when mature.
  • Soil: type of soil the plant prefers.
  • Water: It can indicate "keep the soil lightly damp", "bottom water the plant", "drench the soil with water", "daily misting of water" and "almost dry out before re-watering".
  • Sun: full direct sunlight, partial sun, diffused sunlight, or grows well in the shade.
  • Door and temperature: if the plant is best suited for growing Indoor, Outdoor or Both.
  • Live: Perennial or annual.
  • Planting, germination and harvest period: a lot of plant are planted in March. This information can be indicated by months or quarters of the year.
  • Special requirements, if necessary.

This information can be represented graphically.

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  1. ^ Rau 1969, p. 53
  2. ^ Grigg 1974, p. 287