My friends and I visited the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. It is a home to about sixty five thousands plants (United States Botanic Garden, n.d). The institution keeps organized records for each plant species in their database. During the tour we noticed they kept records for each plant which include details such as common and Latin names, physical description, its origin and exact location in the garden. The botanic garden was well organized and had a beautiful scenery and we found the view to be enjoyable. They preserve different fruits and vegetables put on display for agricultural learning purposes (United States Botanic Garden, n.d). They personnel working in botanic garden explained to us how the edible plants, that were available in the garden, could be grown. I believe that this initiative promotes organic gardening because it provides its visitors with knowledge of small scale farming.
The US botanic garden has taken the liberty to protect endangered species from all over world (United States Botanic Garden, n.d). They keep a collection of plants that are at the brink of extinction for educational purposes. The establishment hosts student tour programs which are very beneficial for learners. We were joined by high school students during the tour. Their science teacher organized the visit to help her students expand their knowledge of plant science. The worker who was showing us around pointed out that they offer plant samples to universities hence facilitating scientific research studies. He showed us a number of medicinal plants which may have been used in the ancient eras to treat diseases or those that are known through scientific discovery to contain medicinal components. We gained knowledge on how to grow different herbs which are known to have therapeutic properties.
Public gardens maintain plant life for educational, environmental conservation and ornamental purposes. I visited the Golden Gate Park in California which is one of the largest metropolitan parks in the United States. Five acres of its lands has been preserved for the Japanese tea garden. It consists of collection of plants cultivated and organized to mimic the Japanese culture. The garden has a tea house that offers a variety of tea flavours and Japanese refreshments such as the ‘kuzumochi’ to visitors which I found to be very delicious. While walking in the park, I ran into the conservatory of flowers. The galleries host plants originating from the Amazon region, South and Central America as well as potted plants from other parts of the world.
I noticed that the park is visited by locals and tourists from other regions. Gardening in the park has made the place beautiful and attractive to children. The Japanese tea garden provided me with the opportunity to interact with Japanese traditions which I believe promotes cultural acceptance. Moreover, mental therapist have proven garden visits contribute to mental wellbeing. A study conducted in Norway where farm based horticulture was used as intervention technique to treat patients suffering from depression (Paul, Joe, & Jane, 2013 ). The approach yielded positive results showing significant decrease in depression symptoms in the patients. Therefore, I am convinced that more people should practice gardening for social, environmental, economic and health benefits.
Gardening is the art of cultivating and nurturing vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits.The history of gardening dates back to early Egyptian civilization era. Archaeology research studies have revealed valuable findings that prove the existence of gardening practices in ancient Egypt. For instance the Rekhmire’s private tomb has inscriptions on its walls suggest that they used to grow a variety of plants (Alix, 2012). Evidence from other sources such as painting on temple wall and pottery artefact indicate that Egyptians used to grow vineyards, date and fig trees and flowers such as the blue water lily.
Gardening is still practised up in many regions across the globe. However, present-day gardens have been classified into group depending on location and type of plants grown.Gardening may be carried out in residential areas, public parks, zoos, museums and learning institutions. A residential garden is a private piece of land that is preserved for the cultivation of plants. Most families establish their garden in the front yard with the intention of making the place aesthetically appealing to the eyes. It is a trick used by many real estate businesses to attract potential home owners.
My sisterStacy has established a residential garden in her backyard and she has rippedmany benefits from it. She explained to me about several initiative programs run byprivate organizations which strive to encourage residents in different communities to engage in gardening (Jo, 2019). Membership to Food Not Lawns organization has earned her significant privileges; the institution provides her with quality seeds, educative training workshops and comprehensive reading materials. This approach has empowered many American families to convert their private space into organic food and flower garden. However, homes especially in the urban cities are very cramped with very confined space discouraging them from participating in outdoor gardening. Majority of them have been compelled to grow plants in pots and containers.
There are many reasons why Stacy made the decision to embrace residential gardening. Organic food gardening has facilitate healthy eating lifestyle in her home. It has encouraged her children to abandon unhealthy diets which helps to reduce the chances of her family suffering from obesity in the future. This form of gardening has enabledher to access fresh vegetables and fruits thus, improving food security to some extent.She does not need to drive for miles every day in such of fresh cooking ingredients which saves her time and money. Residential gardening has helped to instil desirable qualities in her children; they have grown up to become socially responsible individuals by helping out during the weekends and holidays. Residential gardening has motivated her as well as members in her organic support group to be team players, charitable and creative.
A botanical garden is an institution that is concerned with cultivating, gathering and conservingdiverse plant species. These institutions are normally run by private organization or universities that offer plant taxonomy course programs.They are usually highly maintained by expertise in the field of botany. They may include special structures such as shade houses for species that thrive well in shade conditions. Greenhouses may be erected to provide suitable climatic conditions to plants that are alien to the environment.
References Alix, W. (2012). Gardens in ancient Egypt: Their locations and symbolism. Journal of Garden History, 199-208. Jo, F. H. (2019, January 29). Food Not Lawns! Bringing the farm to your front yard. Retrieved from Permaculturewomen: https://medium.com/permaculturewomen/food-not-lawns-bringing-the-farm-to-your-front-yard-ca350a77b714 Paul, C., Joe, H., & Jane, C. (2013 ). Gardening as a mental health intervention: A review. Mental health review journal, 214-224. United States Botanic Garden. (n.d). Plant collection. Retrieved from usbg.gov: https://www.usbg.gov/plant-collections