When I was a little girl, I recall an experience when a lady moved into a broken-down house right down the street from mine. I remember feeling bad for her because her house looked sad and broken down. She was obviously broke and couldn’t afford anything more then what she had.
Little did I know that this woman’s house would end up being the most beautiful house in town. Every year the area outside her house would blossom, not only that but she had blossoms popping up ALL YEAR LONG!
Gardening is what brought that little ladies’ house to life every single year. She was a gardening genius! Since I have been married and moved into my own little home I’ve thought a lot about that lady. Most gardening enthusiasts out there will agree with me when I say that it is one of the greatest forms of artistic expression out there. Besides the fact that it is beautiful, it offers so many benefits to you and your home.
Some of which include-Satisfaction: Through personal experience, I have found that it is extremely hard to be unhappy when you are surrounded by blossoms, greenery, and vegetables! Professors at the University of Texas can back me up when I say that it can cure depression.
After asking a wide range of 300 people how they would rate their happiness in life, they found that gardeners gave significantly higher scores than everyone else. With this information alone I would even dare to say that gardening can be as helpful as Prozac when it comes to depression.
Health: Another benefit of planting is that it can be incredible for your health. We already know that happiness is a side effect—which is a major health plus. Another plus is that you can experience optimal health while planting your own veggies and fruits. Homegrown veggies provide all of the nutrients and supplements that your body could ever want.
Cleanliness: One of the genius benefits that comes to planting is that if you plant the right things you can ward off all kinds of predators to your home. Grass alone will keep all kinds of bugs away from your house.
However, there are many other plants that will keep dangerous pests out of your home and yard! Here is a shortlist of things that you can plant to keep certain bugs away.
- Basil- to get rid of flies and mosquitoes.
- Chamomile – to fight off aphids. Marigold- to rid of tomato worms.
- Mint- white cabbage moths and aphids.
- Sage- for flea beetles and slugs.
- Tansy- flying insects, squash bugs, ants, and flies.
The list is endless and super easy to find if you do your research right. There are so many online websites that offer lists of plants that will ward off pesky insects from your home. That aspect alone offers a major benefit to me living out in the desert.
As you can see, gardening offers some major rewards and benefits to your life. Not only that but it is super easy to get started. Go online today and start researching your area and what plants will do well! Good Luck!
Example #2 – Zen Gardens
Zen Buddhism began to show up in Japan during the eighth century. It went through various periods of popularity and disregard but constituted one of the most important influences on Japanese culture. All Buddhist temples include gardens. The first temple gardens evolved from well-groomed landscaping around Shinto shrines. Later, the gates and grounds surrounding Buddhist temples began to use gardens to beautify the temple, similar to the Heian mansion gardens.
Jodo Buddhism (Pure Land) used temple gardens as a way to symbolize the “pure land” created by Amida Buddha to aid suffering souls in pursuit of enlightenment. These Zen gardens were meant to encompass the nature of the universe. The garden is Buddha’s realm. Gardens are tools, vehicles for meditation, and reflection. Therefore they tend to be far more metaphorical than other gardens. You can stroll through many Zen gardens, but more often, you are encouraged to simply look at it.
During the 10th to 12th centuries known as the Heian era, Japan was breaking away from the styles of the Chinese T’ang Dynasty. New ideas were developing as the Imperial court converted what it had learned. In the area of garden design, however, Chinese thought was still a powerful force. Most of the aesthetic principles we see as Japanese had not yet developed. The dominant architectural style, called Shinden, was essentially a modification of Chinese design. Buildings were arranged somewhat symmetrically and according to the laws of Chinese geomancy called Feng shui.
Within the mansions, a central building, the shinden (sleeping hall) would be linked to other outlying buildings by covered causeways. Beyond the tile roofs and verandas was the garden. A large empty area was set aside for open-air gatherings such as dance performances or games. The rest of the garden was intended for viewing and limited strolling. Fishing on small boats to catch fish in their ponds was one popular activity. Poetry reading and writing were also essential.
According to Feng shui, all structures have to be laid out carefully along compass lines and in certain configurations to allow ki (Chinese “chi”), the mystic energy of life to flow properly. A reduced ki flow in a home was thought to cause sickness and disharmony. For example, the builders, after consulting with a Yin-yang diviner, would usually create special arrangements to prevent bad ki from entering the home from the northwest.
In the first Japanese garden design manual, the Sakuteiki, it is explained how watercourses should flow from the northwest to the southeast so that any bad ki could be cleansed by the protective deity of the east Kamogawa (blue dragon), then proceed west again passing under a veranda of the house so as to draw away any evil spirits that might have somehow slipped into the house.
Heavy stones were thought to serve as gates or landing points for spirits and were thus placed very carefully. Other design rules applied as well. Influenced by esoteric Buddhism, the garden design was expected to include an island in a pond connected to the mainland by a bridge. This represented the world of enlightenment separated from the world of man. The bridges were frequently arched and coated with bright red lacquer (another Chinese influence).
The Heian nobles also filled their gardens with special aesthetic ideas that were unique to their time. Mujo is a sense of melancholy, which arose from a Buddhist awareness of the impermanence and transient nature of all things. Plants were sparse but flowering and deciduous trees were popular for their passing beauty. At the end of the Heian era, chaos ensued. Most of the Imperial court culture withered away as civil war shook Japan.
Most of the great hidden mansions of Heiankyo were destroyed. As a result, there are no extant examples of Heian mansion gardens. However, they have been found in archeological sites and are well represented in literature such as The Tale of Genji and paintings of the era. Yet this garden-style never really died and was to be reinvented over many centuries.
Abstract representations of natural elements had long been an aspect of Japanese design by this time. But in the late Kamakura to early Muromachi period (late 15th cent.), the true Zen gardens began to evolve. Designers began to create “the garden as a painting” under the influence of Chinese Zen ink painting. A sort of “short-hand” style developed called karesansui (dry-mountain-water).
Karesansui, or “dry landscape” style Japanese gardens have been in existence for centuries. They are to be used as an aid to create a deeper understanding of the Zen concepts and to heighten the poetic and metaphoric significance of stones. Not only is there viewing intended to aid in meditation but also the entire creation of the garden is intended to trigger contemplation.
A good example of a “dry landscape” garden is at Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, created around 1500. In an area measuring 30 m x 10 m. This small dry garden is composed of 15 rocks of different sizes set in outcroppings of two and three sets, with raked gravel in between which represents the sea. Created by Soami, painter, and poet. These dry-stone gardens so greatly favored by the Zen temples were an attempt to symbolically express the vastness of nature within a small space.
The rocks represent islands and the gravel is raked into geometric patterns resembling waves on water. Islands have particular importance for the Japanese. The islands represent a symbol of longevity and continuing health. Most Japanese gardens have both single rock islands and built up islands of earth and stone. Often, these islands are built up to resemble the shape of two prominent symbols of longevity the tortoise and the crane. The tortoise is believed to live for 10,000 years and the crane 1,000 years.
These rock islands are also said to symbolize a tiger and its cub swimming, or even a deer or rabbit. Yet the mind can also ascribe other symbolism to the scene. There is nothing in a Zen garden except what you bring to it yourself. Sitting in one of these gardens one is bound to enter into meditation and spiritual contemplation.
All stones are fundamental to the dry-stone garden; and after the Heian period the making of a garden was referred to as “standing the stones.” It is little wonder, therefore, why they were so important in the Japanese garden.
Other symbolic references were made with stones such as the shumisenseki and the kusenhakkaiseki, both stone-groupings identifiable with Buddhist ideology and teachings. The dry-stone garden was, in other words, an expression of nature taken to an extreme, generated by this kind of strong attachment for stones. These gardens created by the Zen priest are called “kansho-niwa” or (contemplation garden) and termed by many today as “Zen gardens “.
The two main elements of a Zen or a “dry style” garden are rocks to form mountains and islands and raked sand to form flowing water. The sand used in Japanese gardens is not often even sand but instead crushed granite. These dry-stone gardens symbolically expressing elements of nature in stone appeared during the latter part of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century as stated earlier.
Although toward the end of the 16th century, when the splendor of Momoyama culture was at its height, Rikyu, the renowned tea master, perfected the highly understated and yet elegant aesthetics of tea, and a very particular style of garden was developed as an approach to the tea house or room where the ceremonies would take place. It was these two garden styles, the abstracted “dry-style” garden and the restrained “tea garden”, which would greatly influence the Japanese garden in the ensuing years.
This new style of garden which came into being at the end of the 16th century as a result of the townspeople’s interest in tea was called a “tea garden”. People were actually required to walk through a tea garden and it provided a number of design pointers for the development of the “stroll garden”, which will become so popular during the Edo period.
Furthermore, because the culture of tea came to occupy such a prominent position in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people, such essential elements in a tea garden were an Oribe (stone lantern), a Chozubaci (stone basin for cleansing the hands and mouth), and stepping stone paths all became symbolic of the Japanese garden.
During the first half of the 17th century, garden design became far more uninhibited. Prominent in this new development was the work of Kobori Enshu, the most distinguished tea master of the era. Enshu was commissioned by his brother in law Shokado Shojo to build a teahouse at Ryoko-in. Shakado was then asked bye Enshu to paint its fusuma (paper walls) because he was one of the pioneers of simplified Zen calligraphy and was also a tea master. Enshu displayed considerable talent as both a garden designer and architect, while also occupying a position of some influence in the Shogunate and being responsible for instructing the Shogun’s family in the “way of tea”.
Enshu developed his own design concept of “contrasting natural and man-made elements,” and proceeded to introduce geometric design elements into the Japanese garden with all its passions for the natural. Using such things as straight pieces of dressed stone to edge water and paths composed of rectangular stone elements and naturally formed ones, he opened the doors on a new world of the original design. It was Enshu who employed a linear design for the lake at Sentogosho (part of the Imperial residence in Kyoto).
The Edo period spanning the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries was a period during which a number of garden styles were integrated. The dry-stone garden and tea garden that had come into being prior to this went through a number of diverse developments and were both incorporated into the stroll garden, which also paid homage to traditional lake gardens.
Seeing that stroll gardens were a comprehensive compilation of all the various styles of the Japanese gardens, they subsequently became used for grand receptions and entertaining by feudal lords. And, ultimately, they were heir to an individual style of garden that functioned as a banqueting facility.
The gardens of Katsura Rikyu that were laid out in the first half of the 17th century on the southwestern outskirts of Kyoto are representative of the early period of this stroll garden style. The gardens of Katsura represent the first completion of a stroll garden around which, as the name suggests, it was possible to walk.
It was during this period, that a method of drawing natural scenery into a garden became established as a recognized style of garden design. It was described as a “borrowing of the landscape” beyond the limits of a garden and such gardens were termed “shakkei” or (borrowed landscape) gardens.
Many of these gardens fell into decline with the coming of the Meiji restoration at the end of the 19th century. And although the leaders of this new age were bent on absorbing western culture, they also turned to traditional aspects of culture in Japan for inspiration. It is this intellectual climate that allows Japanese gardens to develop along a constantly evolving path with a strong sense of naturalism, which is essential to its overall design.
Example #3 – 10 Tricks to Care for Green Plants in the Garden
- In addition to transplanting them, take advantage of the good weather to cut the damaged leaves or the defoliated stems; some of the pruning remains can be saved for cuttings.
- It is also convenient to clean them thoroughly. For many of them it is best to put them under the shower. Although you can not generalize, because there are delicate plants or hairy leaves that should not get wet, so you should use a brush to remove dust. It is important that you clean the leaves of the plants, so you will eliminate the dust and let them breathe and oxygenate.
- Brighteners enhance the beauty of leaf plants but do not abuse them, and you have to apply them with clean, dry leaves.
- You can protect the pot by putting it inside a garbage bag, so there will be no problems with the land.
- Aphids and mealybugs suck the sap from the plants, weakening them. If your indoor pots are affected do not resort to aggressive methods such as contact insecticides used in the garden. There are very effective nails that are placed between the roots and kept safe for two months, but as a first step, you have to remove the insects by hand, washing the affected parts.
- Cuttings in water, the easiest method. Put a few stems in water and wait for them to take root before transplanting. This technique is easy and decorative since the cuttings are very beautiful if you choose transparent glass containers that also allow the roots to shine. Some plants are fast taking roots and others take longer, the important thing is to keep the water clean and ensure that the size of the cutting does not exceed 15 or 20 cm.
- Prepare the seedbeds. The soil for seedlings should be fine grain and mixed in equal parts with sand to drain well. So that the nurseries conserve the humidity and the heat, it is necessary to cover them with transparent plastic or with crystal, but they must be ventilated from time to time so that mold does not form.
- Depending on the size of the seeds, they can be sown one by one, or scattered over the entire surface. If they are very small can be mixed with fine sand or put in water to make it easier to plant.
- Pay is essential. – With pills. They have a long duration and are placed next to the roots. Use a pencil to make the deepest holes. – With nails. You have to sink them into the ground so they dissolve very slowly. Picha one or several, according to the size of the pot and the plant. – Foliar. This type of fertilizer is absorbed through the leaves, you just have to spray. Ideal for leafy plants. – With liquid products. They are added to irrigation water, and you have to use them often.
- Homemade tricks- To give more shine to the leaves of your plants, an infallible remedy is to pass them a wet cloth in milk diluted with water. Some people also use beer with very good results. Use a damp sponge for this. – The water you use to boil vegetables can be a good substitute for fertilizer, as it contains many beneficial mineral salts for plants.
Also, the crushed eggshell is a good fertilizer, since it contains a lot of calcium that helps the plants grow strong. – If you find the leaves of your decayed plants or the perforated stems, try this technique to eliminate any plague: stick some matches upside down in the earth, so that the phosphorus is buried. Sulfur will destroy the parasites without damaging the plant. – When you see that your plants have brown spots on the leaves, they may be full of fungi.
If you want to solve it, boil a package of black rolling tobacco in a liter of water. Then, strain it and use that water to pulverize the leaves. The plague will disappear right away. – When you break a stem or a twig of one of your plants, do not throw it away. Put one or two grains of wheat on the broken end. Make a hole in the earth and introduce it around a few more grains; cover it with dirt and wait a few days. It will have caught perfectly.
Example #4 – Japanese Gardens
The role of gardens plays a much more important role in Japan than here in the United States. This is due primarily to the fact the Japanese garden embodies native values, cultural beliefs, and religious principles. Perhaps this is why there is no one prototype for the Japanese garden, just as there is no one native philosophy or aesthetic.
In this way, similar to other forms of Japanese art, landscape design is constantly evolving due to exposure to outside influences, mainly Chinese, that affect not only changing aesthetic tastes but also the values of patrons. In observing a Japanese garden, it is important to remember that the line between the garden and the landscape that surrounds it is not separate. Instead, the two are forever merged, serving as the total embodiment of the one another.
Every aspect of the landscape is in itself a garden. Also when observing the garden, the visitor is not supposed to distinguish the garden from its architecture. Gardens in Japan incorporate both natural and artificial elements, therefor uniting nature and architecture into one entity. Japanese gardens also express the ultimate connection between humankind and nature, for these gardens are not only decorative but are a clear expression of Japanese culture.
Although this extremely close connection of the individual with nature, the basic principle of Japanese gardens, has remained the constant throughout its history, the ways in which this principle has come to be expressed has undergone many great changes. Perhaps the most notable occurred in the very distinct periods in Japanese history that popularized unique forms of garden-style — Heian (781-1185), and the Kamakura (1186-1393). Resulting from these two golden ages of Japanese history came the stroll garden from the former period and the Zen garden from the later.
As we shall see, the composition of these gardens where remarkably affected by the norms of architecture and the ideals of popular religion in these eras. Therefore, in understanding each garden style in its context, it essential to also take into account the social, historical, and theological elements as well as the main stylist differences.
Japanese aristocrats from at least the mid-eighth century customarily had gardens near their homes. During the Heian period a somewhat standard type of garden evolved in accordance with the Shinden type of courtier mansion (Bring and Wayembergh, p. 28-29).
Characteristic of the Heian period was its extremely rigid class stratification; life for the farmers, merchants, and artisans consisted of very simplified dwellings in comparison to those of members of the aristocracy.
The architecture “norm” for aristocratic homes was in the Shinden-zurkuri style, “which was clearly based on the principle that the individual parts of the building should be merged as much as possible into the garden” (Yoshida, p.12). The main building, named the Shinden, represented the area reserved for the master himself, and always opened up to the south side of the garden. There were corridors, or tai-no-ya, connecting the Shinden to the rest of the buildings in the complex. Their corridors created an enclosure which is where a lake would be placed and where the stroll garden was erected.
Kinkakuji, also known as the Golden Pavilion (1394), serves as an example of this Shinden type. The site in northern Kyoto was developed as a large retirement estate by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1409) beginning in 1394. The pavilion itself has sited the edge of a sprawling palace complex that no longer exists today. This was intended as proof that the warrior shogunate could contribute to the cultural and aesthetic life of the land to an extent equal to that of the imperial aristocracy.
It has been recorded that the actual emperor of Japan visited Kinkakuji in 1408, the first time an emperor had ever stayed with a person that was not a member of the imperial court. The shogun died the year after. After his death, the palace was turned over to the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and it has remained under its control ever since.
The Golden Pavilion is a three-story viewing and pleasure pavilion constructed on the edge of a pons as the focal point to a much larger garden on the grounds of the Rokuoni Temple. The pavilion itself is based on the Chinese Sung style, though each floor has a somewhat different aesthetic. The first floor was used as a reception room for the guests and as a boarding site for pleasure boating around the small pond.
The second story was for more private parties with an outstanding view of the garden. The third floor was an intimate space for meeting with confidantes and holding tea ceremony. Originally, only the ceiling of the pavilion’s third floor was a guild in gold (hence its name), but in 1950 it was burned down by a student monk (Hayakawa, p. 18). A replica was quickly rebuilt in its place and is the example that contemporary visitors see.
Equally important to the Shinden as its architecture was the garden itself. Another complex that contained a stroll garden is referred to as the temple garden. The grounds surrounding the pavilion lie on four and a half acres, but the use of landscape elements makes its apparent size much bigger. The foreground is filled with small scale rocks and plantings.
The more distant elements blend into the background, visually extending the garden. Mt. Kinugasa rises in the background. Meanwhile, the shoreline of the lake rolls back and forth, hiding the true size of the small pond and making it appear as much larger than it truly is (Ito, p.93-98).
“The introduction of a new form of Buddhism, and the symbolism of watercolor painting from southern China, had a direct influence on garden design” (Yoshida, p.14). This new religion, Pure Land Buddhism, was having an increasingly influential effect during the Heian period. “The garden was seen as a place where beautiful pavilions stood among large ponds full of lotus flowers.
The idea of paradise was central to the whole sect…[also] the emphasis was on immortality in this paradise and the longevity of life” (Davidson, p.21). The garden of Kinkakuji is an example of this new fusion. The stroll garden is a re-creation of a Western paradise with rock gardens created under the Zen spirit.
There is nothing random about the layout of the garden of the Golden Pavilion. Every aspect has been preconceived and purposely manipulated. Kinkakuji is park-like in size, maintaining traditional elements such as islands, bridges, and paths.
All of these elements, though decorative, hold symbolic meanings. The islands “represent a symbol of longevity and continuing health…and the focal points for a pond” (Davidson, p.36). The bridges have practical functions such as connecting islands together, though the also have a special function of creating “alternative viewpoints that may not otherwise exist” (Davidson, p.37). In addition there were paths laid-out leading the viewer to numerous points of worship.
This element clearly demonstrates how the garden of Kinkakuji is a combination of both a Heian stroll garden and the Zen aesthetic. The paths and the miniature rocks representing mountains in China fond along these paths were placed strategically to guide the viewer along a predetermined stroll, allowing the individual to experience orchestrated vistas.
The Kamakura period experienced an increase in the popularization of Zen Buddhism, this was the religion of choice for the shogun or Samurai class. The shogun appreciated the strict precision of Zen culture in addition to its simplicity and refinement. These ideals led to the Zen garden. These gardens served a completely different purpose than their earlier counterparts. “There was a shift back to an emphasis on looking rather than using.
These gardens were used specifically as aids to a deeper understanding of Zen concepts…these gardens were not an end in themselves…but a trigger to contemplation and meditation” (Davidson, p.22). Unlike the Golden Pavilion, the Zen gardens were not meant for viewers to physically interact with, but instead as a visual stimulus in the meditative process—a spiritual aid.
Ryoanji, at the Daiju-in Temple in Kyoto (1488-1499) is one of the most famous and celebrated gardens in Japan and is an example of the Zen aesthetic. Simply composed of stone and sand, it serves as a subtle and yet effective example of the dry garden type, or karesansui. The garden consists of a flat, rectangular surface measuring thirty by seventy-eight feet. It is located on the south side of the temple. On its north side is located the long verandah where the visitors appreciate the garden.
To its east, the garden is bounded by a thin low wall. One the southern and western side, a low wall with thatched roof tile surrounds the rock garden. The wall, originally white in color has turned into a rusty earthy color, blending well with the rest of the garden. The garden itself is composed of fifteen stones in five groups, lying on white raked sand (Kincaid, p. 66-73).
As illustrated above, the arrangement of the rocks leads the viewer’s eye from left to right. The biggest rock makes the group of three on the left. As the big rock slopes to the right, it leads the viewer’s eye in the same direction. The group of five in the back lies low to elongate the horizon of the viewer and incorporate the wall as the dominating horizon in the garden view. In addition, this group of five serves as the counter-balance to the sweeping rightward movement, as it leans to the left.
The viewer’s eyes then meet a second group of five on the right, which continues the composition leading it to the right. Finally, the group of two in front copies the movement of the group of five, finishing the complete movement in this garden (Ito, 19).
The result is an asymmetric composition that achieves a certain balance. Rhythm is achieved in the composition of the garden by arranging the stones in different alternating heights, creating a sense of movement for the eye. One can realize the importance of harmony and design of the garden as each stone is carefully placed in their own positions. Each factor—position, height, and color—is taken into account to create an environment of harmony.
The use of the dry garden has had a long history in Japan. During the medieval ages, the Japanese began to experiment in unique and abstract ways with the use of rocks, while still keeping such traditional features such as the pond, stream, and artificial island. From this point on, rocks of various shapes and sizes were increasingly used to represent both natural formations and man-made ones, including mountains, cliffs, waterfalls, and bridges.
Also, sand and white pebbles were used as “water” and therefore, in some of these old gardens, the pond was eliminated, which had been the central focus of Japanese gardens for centuries (Kincaid, p.22-23).
In contrast to Kinkakuji, the garden of Ryoanji’s function is purely meditative. Unlike the Golden Pavilion, there is a designated area for viewers to sit and contemplate the scene before them. In understanding this garden’s function one must realize that it “relies on understatement, simplicity, suggestion, and implication…leaving room for the imagination by providing a starting point” (Davidson, p.23).
The design of this dry-rock garden stands in stark contrast to the elaborate gardens of the Heian period; no longer do we see a complex landscape complete with a lake, winding paths, bridges, islands, trees, and plants. This idea of rigid simplicity, not focusing on elements of elaborately constructed vistas, but on elements meant to symbolize these landscapes.
The elements used to create this Zen garden are “simple abstractions of nature” (Kincaid, p.65). The rocks play an essential role in the design of this garden, while maintaining two functions. “They have an intrinsic beauty of their own, and one the other hand can represent something altogether larger and more universal” (Davidson, p.38).
These rocks are used to symbolize religious meanings, and also to portray larger structures such as mountains. These rock formations can also represent islands, while the bed of gravel is seen as a body of water. Yet one must also note that this is merely just one interpretation of the garden’s meaning and perhaps the most widely accepted.
Another element of this rock garden is the wall that lines one side. It is very old and weathered over time. The use of this wall to finish this Zen garden compliments it by bringing in one of the three key Zen aesthetics—wabi. Wabi refers to poverty or rusticness; a preference for the old and worn.
According to wabi, value is determined in what is weathered by time as opposed to the new and untouched. The use of this wall in completion of the garden was perhaps a conscious attempt by its creatures to instill one of the most important aspects of Zen thought.
Both the Heian stroll garden of Kinkakuji and the Zen garden of Ryoanji express very different fundamentals in the art of garden design. Whereas the former relies on synthesized naturalism for religious significance, the latter uses abstraction and representation to achieve spirituality. In addition, the viewer’s actual physical relationship between the two gardens is fundamentally different.
While the Shinden stroll garden invites the viewer to take an active physical role in the garden, walking along its winding paths and boating along the shores of its lake, the viewer of the Zen garden is physically removed from the actual garden; restricted to observing it from a specific verandah. Likewise, the architectural structures of the Heian stroll garden are completely integrated into the actual garden itself.
The Zen garden, on the other hand, the architecture (single temple) serves as a mere background for the garden and not part of the whole composition. Despite these differences in presentation, design, and the relationships between the garden, viewer, and the architecture, the general goal of both garden types is inherently the same.
In the Japanese tradition, these gardens are meant to function as aids in understanding in one form or another. In addition, both demonstrate the emphasis on the relationship between humankind and nature—perhaps one of the most important elements of Japanese art and architecture.
The term “Gardening” is used for the practice of growing plants in an area especially assigned only for such activities. The area where gardening is done is called the “Garden”. Many houses today, have their own gardens; though, big or small, depending on the available area. These gardens are used mainly for growing decorative plants and flowers to augment the overall beauty of the house.
Though, sometimes people also grow leaf vegetables (spinach, cabbage, lettuce, etc), root vegetables (carrot, potato, onion etc), and sometimes herbs (basil, mint coriander, etc). Apart from making the house look more refreshing and beautiful, a garden also supplements its kitchen supplies. Today gardening has become a favorite activity, a kind of hobby for many city dwellers as well as villagers. In the succeeding long and short essays on gardening, we will know much more about this useful hobby of many.
Plants are absolutely essential to life. None of our basic functions from breathing to eating to drinking would be possible without plants. Plants not only act as food sources but also release oxygen and help maintain the water table. The simple fact of the matter is that without plants we would not survive.
Importance of Gardening
While there are many plants growing in the wild, people also cultivate and grow certain plants, bushes, and shrubs in their homes or yards. This activity is known as gardening. While it may appear as a hobby to some, the fact is that gardening is actually quite beneficial and, therefore, important to us.
Gardening is a fairly physical activity. It involves weeding, watering of plants, mulching, trellising, and harvesting – all of which require physical labour from the gardener. Hence, it becomes an excellent addition to your exercise routine.
Gardening is also a very practical activity. It allows you to grow your own vegetables and fruits thus ensuring that you have healthy food on the table. When you harvest vegetables from your garden, you do so knowing that you’re getting the freshest produce possible.
Gardening for aesthetics appeals to the human need for beauty. Ornamental gardening caters to the side of us that is delighted by beauty. In addition, flowers are a part and parcel of most occasions such as births, anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, and funerals.
Gardening also helps sharpen problem-solving skills. Researching the best methods to make your garden grow, experimenting with different techniques, and designing irrigation systems that work for you all help in improving your skills at creativity, problem-solving, and planning.
Most people dismiss gardening as a mere hobby. They ignore or downplay the benefits you can get from gardening regularly. The fact is that it is much more than a recreational activity. Imagine what the world would look like without any gardens.
Example #6 – Pleasure of Gardening
Although gardening is a fairly physical activity, it can also be a very relaxing one. It is also remarkably versatile; a garden can range from a single potted plant to an entire greenhouse or yard. In addition, watching something come alive, grow and thrive because of your efforts can be a very satisfying experience. Gardening is often called pleasurable for which there are several reasons.
Pleasure of Gardening
The modern world is a fast paced world. Everyone is in a hurry or extremely busy. Even when people have spare time, they prefer to fill it up with chores of some kind. However, gardening by its very nature is a slow activity. It encourages you to slow down, reconnect with nature and learn to find joy in doing something rather than doing it because it is necessary.
Gardening can offer you many pleasures if you just take the time to stop and enjoy them. Finding the right type of plants for your garden can make you feel a sense of accomplishment. If you have enough space, you can plan a small pond or a recreation spot into your garden, creating a haven for yourself to simply relax and enjoy nature’s beauty. If there are particular flowers you like, you can incorporate them into specific places in your garden. Each time you step out you will see these flowers blooming giving you a feeling of well-being.
To many, it may seem that gardening doesn’t fit into the 21st century which is all about moving fast and getting quick results. However, the opposite is true; gardening provides you with a safe haven from the rigors of the world and your life allowing you to slow your frenetic space and simply be.