A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of

plants and other forms of nature. The garden can incorporate both natural and man­made materials.

The most common form today is known as a residential garden, but the term garden has traditionally

been a more general one. Zoos, which display wild animals in simulated natural habitats, were

formerly called zoological gardens. Western gardens are almost universally based on plants, with

garden often signifying a shortened form of botanical garden.

Some traditional types of eastern gardens, such as Zen gardens, use plants sparsely or not at all.

Xeriscape gardens use local native plants that do not require irrigation or extensive use of other

resources while still providing the benefits of a garden environment. Gardens may exhibit structural

enhancements, sometimes called follies, including water features such as fountains, ponds (with or

without fish), waterfalls or creeks, dry creek beds, statuary, arbors, trellises and more.

Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, while some gardens also produce food crops,

sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. Food­producing

gardens are distinguished from farms by their smaller scale, more labor­intensive methods, and their

purpose (enjoyment of a hobby rather than produce for sale). Flower gardens combine plants of

different heights, colors, textures, and fragrances to create interest and delight the senses.

Gardening is the activity of growing and maintaining the garden. This work is done by an amateur or

professional gardener. A gardener might also work in a non­garden setting, such as a park, a roadside

embankment, or other public space. Landscape architecture is a related professional activity with

landscape architects tending to specialise in design for public and corporate clients.


Nicosia municipal gardens, Cyprus

The etymology of the word gardening refers to enclosure: it is from Middle English gardin, from Anglo- French gardin, jardin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gard, gart, an enclosure or

compound, as in Stuttgart. See Grad (Slavic settlement) for more complete etymology.The words yard,

court, and Latin hortus (meaning "garden," hence horticulture and orchard), are cognates—all referring

to an enclosed space.

The term "garden" in British English refers to a small enclosed area of land, usually adjoining a

building. This would be referred to as a yard in American English.

Garden design

Main article: Garden design

Garden design is the creation of plans for the layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Gardens

may be designed by garden owners themselves, or by professionals. Professional garden designers

tend to be trained in principles of design and horticulture, and have a knowledge and experience of

using plants. Some professional garden designers are also landscape architects, a more formal level

of training that usually requires an advanced degree and often a state license.

Elements of garden design include the layout of hard landscape, such as paths, rockeries, walls, water

features, sitting areas and decking, as well as the plants themselves, with consideration for their

horticultural requirements, their season­to­season appearance, lifespan, growth habit, size, speed of

growth, and combinations with other plants and landscape features. Consideration is also given to the

maintenance needs of the garden, including the time or funds available for regular maintenance, which

can affect the choices of plants regarding speed of growth, spreading or self­seeding of the plants,

whether annual or perennial, and bloom­time, and many other characteristics. Garden design can be

roughly divided into two groups, formal and naturalistic gardens.

The most important consideration in any garden design is, how the garden will be used, followed

closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other

structures in the surrounding areas. All of these considerations are subject to the limitations of the

budget. Budget limitations can be addressed by a simpler garden style with fewer plants and less

costly hardscape materials, seeds rather than sod for lawns, and plants that grow quickly; alternatively,

garden owners may choose to create their garden over time, area by area.

Example of a garden attached to a place of worship: the cloister of the Abbey of Monreale, Sicily, Italy

The Sunken Garden of Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

Gardens of Versailles (France)

The back garden of the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India

Tropical garden in the Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore in Singapore

Flower­bed with the date in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy

Gardens at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, feature many heirloom varieties of plants.

Elements of a garden

Garden at the centre of intersection in Shanghai.

Naturalistic design of a Chinese garden incorporated into the landscape, including a pavilion

Garden with Fountains, Villa d'Este, Italy.

Most gardens consist of a mix of natural and constructed elements, although even very 'natural'

gardens are always an inherently artificial creation. Natural elements present in a garden principally

comprise flora (such as trees and weeds), fauna (such as arthropods and birds), soil, water, air and

light. Constructed elements include paths, patios, decking, sculptures, drainage systems, lights and

buildings (such as sheds, gazebos, pergolas and follies), but also living constructions such as flower

beds, ponds and lawns.

Uses for the garden space

Partial view from the Botanical Garden of Curitiba (Southern Brazil): parterres, flowers, fountains,

sculptures, greenhouses and tracks composes the place used for recreation and to study and protect

the flora.

A garden can have aesthetic, functional, and recreational uses:

Cooperation with nature

Plant cultivation

Observation of nature

Bird­ and insect­watching

Reflection on the changing seasons


Family dinners on the terrace

Children playing in the garden

Reading and relaxing in the hammock

Maintaining the flowerbeds

Pottering in the shed

Basking in warm sunshine

Escaping oppressive sunlight and heat

Growing useful produce

Flowers to cut and bring inside for indoor beauty

Fresh herbs and vegetables for cooking

Types of gardens

A typical Italian garden at Villa Garzoni, near Pistoia

Checkered garden in Tours, France

Zen garden, Ryōan­ji

French formal garden in the Loire Valley

Bristol Zoo, England

Castelo Branco, Portugal

Hualien, Taiwan

The Italian gardens of El Escorial, Spain

An ornamental garden in the Auburn Botanical Gardens, Sydney, Australia

Gardens may feature a particular plant or plant type(s);

Back garden

Bog Garden

Cactus garden


Flower garden

Front garden

Herb garden

Mary garden




Rose garden

Shade garden

Vegetable garden


White garden

Wildflower garden

Winter garden

Gardens may feature a particular style or aesthetic:

Alpine or rock garden

Bonsai or miniature garden

Children's Garden

Chinese garden

Dutch garden

English landscape garden

Gardens of the French Renaissance

French formal garden

French landscape garden

Italian garden

Japanese garden

Knot garden

Korean garden

Mughal garden

Native garden

Persian garden

Roman gardens

Spanish garden


Trial garden

Tropical garden

Water garden

Wild garden


Zen garden

Types of garden:

Botanical garden

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly zoo


Cold Frame Garden

Community garden

Container garden

Cottage garden

Cutting garden

Forest garden

Garden conservatory

Green wall


Hanging garden

Hydroponic garden

Market garden

Rain garden

Raised bed gardening

Residential garden

Roof garden

Sacred garden

Sensory garden

Square foot garden

Vertical garden

Walled garden


Zoological garden

Environmental impacts of gardens

Gardeners may cause environmental damage by the way they garden, or they may enhance their local

environment. Damage by gardeners can include direct destruction of natural habitats when houses

and gardens are created; indirect habitat destruction and damage to provide garden materials such as

peat, rock for rock gardens, and by the use of tapwater to irrigate gardens; the death of living beings in

the garden itself, such as the killing not only of slugs and snails but also their predators such as

hedgehogs and song thrushes by metaldehyde slug killer; the death of living beings outside the

garden, such as local species extinction by indiscriminate plant collectors; and climate change caused

by greenhouse gases produced by gardening.

Watering gardens

Some gardeners manage their gardens without using any water from outside the garden, and

therefore do not deprive wetland habitats of the water they need to survive. Examples in Britain include

Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight, and parts of Beth Chatto's garden in Essex, Sticky Sticky

Wicket in Dorset, and the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Harlow Carr and Hyde Hall. Rain

gardens absorb rainfall falling onto nearby hard surfaces, rather than sending it into stormwater drains.

For irrigation, see rainwater, sprinkler system, drip irrigation, tap water, greywater, hand pump and

watering can.

Wildlife in gardens

Chris Baines's classic book 'How to make a wildlife garden' was first published in 1985, and is still a

good source of advice on how to create and manage a wildlife garden.

Climate change and gardens

Climate change will have many impacts on gardens, most of them negative, and these are detailed in

'Gardening in the Global Greenhouse' by Richard Bisgrove and Paul Hadley. Gardens also contribute

to climate change. Greenhouse gases can be produced by gardeners in many ways. The three main

greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Gardeners produce carbon dioxide

directly by overcultivating soil and destroying soil carbon, by burning garden 'waste' on bonfires, by

using power tools which burn fossil fuel or use electricity generated by fossil fuels, and by using peat.

Gardeners produce methane by compacting the soil and making it anaerobic, and by allowing their

compost heaps to become compacted and anaerobic. Gardeners produce nitrous oxide by applying

excess nitrogen fertiliser when plants are not actively growing so that the nitrogen in the fertiliser is

converted by soil bacteria to nitrous oxide. Gardeners can help to prevent climate change in many

ways, including the use of trees, shrubs, ground cover plants and other perennial plants in their

gardens, turning garden 'waste' into soil organic matter instead of burning it, keeping soil and compost

heaps aerated, avoiding peat, switching from power tools to hand tools or changing their garden

design so that power tools are not needed, and using nitrogen­fixing plants instead of nitrogen


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