Fun facts about gardening

  • There are many different types of gardens. Some people create flower gardens, others plant gardens that yield food. Other people create gardens that attract butterflies, and others create gardens that display plants and artwork from a specific part of the world such as in a Japanese garden.
  • Insects are very important to a garden. They help to transfer the pollen from plant to plant.
  • Sometimes, however, insects can be harmful to gardens because they eat the leaves, fruit, flowers or roots. Farmers spend a lot of money on insecticides to kill these harmful insects.
  • Bees are helpful to a garden. They love flowers that close at night. This is the reason why bees are only buzzing around during the daytime. Bees are also attracted to the flowers that are bright in color and have a strong fragrance. Because bees help pollinate flowers and plants, they are responsible for the existence of many flowers. Without bees, over 100,000 plant species would cease to exist.
  • Some insects even tell us something about the weather. When bees feel the rise in humidity, they will return to their hives to avoid the coming rain.
  • Earthworms are very important to any garden. They work hard at keeping our soil clean by pulling down organic material and recycling it into fresh nutrient filled soil.
  • Many classrooms around the world are growing gardens. This kind of activity teaches children about the plants and animals in a garden. It also helps children learn about the weather and how to care for their gardens.
  • Sunlight is very important to any garden. Sunlight helps the plants grow. Some flowers cannot survive in direct sunlight because the heat is too intense and actually burns them.
  • Water is also a very important part of any garden. Most gardens need to be watered frequently in order for the vegetables and flowers to grow. A desert garden, however, can die if it’s given too much water.
  • Long ago, gardens were essential to life. Early people were able to create towns and villages once they learned to plant their food, rather than moving from area to area gathering what they could find to eat. Gardening gave early people more control over their lives and allowed them to begin to specialize in different trades. Some farmed, some hunted, others made pottery, others made weapons and some made clothes etc.

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30 Fun Facts About Plants

There’s a lot more to our greener counterparts than we realize; secrets are lurking everywhere in our gardens. Here are 30 super interesting facts that you didn’t know about plants—until today, of course.

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1. Torenia, a shade-loving annual, is called the wishbone flower. Look for tiny wishbone-shape stamens inside the purple, blue or burgundy petals.

2. The world’s tallest-growing tree is the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which grows along the Pacific Coast of the United States, mainly in California. Interestingly enough, it’s not the world’s oldest-growing tree; that award goes to a bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata).

3. Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world; it can grow 35 inches in a single day.

4. Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio, honoring the part A. W. Livingston of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, played in popularizing the tomato in the late 1800s.

5. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that grapes were grown to make wine about 8,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq), although the ancient Egyptians were the first to record the process of making wine about 5,000 years ago.

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6. During the 1600s, tulips were so valuable in Holland that their bulbs were worth more than gold. The craze was called tulip mania, or tulipomania, and caused the crash of the Dutch economy. Tulips can continue to grow as much as an inch per day after being cut.

7. Vanilla flavoring comes from the pod of an orchid, Vanilla planifolia. Though the pods are called vanilla beans, they’re more closely related to corn than green beans.

8. The word pineapple comes from European explorers who thought the fruit combined the look of a pinecone with flesh like that of an apple. Pineapples are the only edible members of the bromeliad family.

9. From a botanical standpoint, avocados and pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables, because they bear the plants’ seeds. Rhubarb, on the other hand, is a vegetable.

10. Saffron, used as a flavoring in Mediterranean cooking, is harvested from the stigmas of a type of fall-blooming crocus, Crocus sativus.

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11. Poinsettias, natives of Mexico, were brought to the United States in 1825 by the first U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, for whom the plant is named.

12. Small pockets of air inside cranberries cause them to bounce and float in water.

13. The flower of the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium) is the largest unbranched flower in the world and can reach up to 15 feet tall. The bloom produces a smell like that of rotting meat, giving it the common name of corpse flower. A similar smell comes from Rafflesia, another plant that hails from the rainforests of Sumatra. Both plants developed their scent so they could be pollinated by flies; they don’t compete with other blooms for butterflies and hummingbirds.

14. All parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful Mediterranean-native flowering shrub, are poisonous. Ingesting oleander leaves can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous system problems and possible death.

15. Iris means “rainbow” in Greek, and Iris was goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology. Wormwood (Artemisia) was named after the goddess Artemis, milkweed (Asclepias) after the god Asclepius, and Hebe after the Greek goddess Hebe.

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16. In France, May 1 is La Fete du Muguet, the festival of the lily-of-the-valley. The celebration includes giving bouquets of lily-of-the-valley to loved ones, wishing them health and happiness.

17. Angiosperm is the scientific name for flowering plants and refers to the seeds being borne in capsules or fruits. Nonflowering plants— pines, spruces, firs, junipers, larches, cycads, and ginkgoes—are called gymnosperms.

18. Snapdragon flowers resemble a dragon, and if you squeeze the sides, the dragon’s mouth will appear to open and close.

19. A sunflower looks like one large flower, but each head is composed of hundreds of tiny flowers called florets, which ripen to become the seeds. This is the case for all plants in the sunflower family, including daisies, yarrow, goldenrod, asters, coreopsis, and bachelor’s buttons.

20. The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago

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21. Peaches, pears, apricots, quinces, strawberries, and apples are members of the rose family. So are ornamental species such as spirea, mountain ash, goatsbeard, and ninebark.

22. Cranberries, Concord grapes, and blueberries are three popular fruits native to North America.

23. The difference between nectarines and peaches is that nectarines don’t have fuzzy skins. You can graft peach branches onto a nectarine tree or nectarine branches onto a peach tree so you have both types of fruits.

24. The average strawberry has 200 seeds. It’s the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside.

25. Sulfuric compounds are to blame for cut onions bringing tears to your eyes. According to the National Onion Association, chilling the onion and cutting the root end last reduces the problem.

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26. Garlic mustard is a member of the mustard family, not garlic. This invasive herb outcompetes native plants in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, posing a threat to other native plants and the species that depend on them.

27. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is one of the oldest living tree species; it dates back to about 250 million years ago. Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is another ancient species; it dates back about 150 million years. Both were known in the fossil record before they were found alive.

28. Trees are the longest-living organisms on earth.

29. Peanuts are not nuts, but legumes related to beans and lentils. They have more protein, niacin, folate, and phytosterols than any nut, according to the National Peanut Board.

30. The title for the world’s hottest chili pepper remains contested. Bhut jolokia, 401.5 times hotter than bottled hot pepper sauce, earned the Guinness World Records title in 2007, but several hotter chilis have claimed the title since then.

  • By Deb Wiley

Your garden is full of secrets. When you know those secrets, it will help you to grow a beautiful and healthy garden. Although gardening still requires dedication and skill, there are many fun facts about your garden that could make maintaining it a little easier.

Curious to learn more about gardening? We have five interesting gardening facts you likely didn’t know about your garden.

Plants Do Respond to Sound

Have you heard (or seen) people talking to their plants? Maybe you’ve heard the old tale that is talking to your plants will actually promote growth. It may sound silly, but plants actually do respond to sound.

The vibration from sound can affect their growth. Studies have shown that sounds like music and your voice can contribute to the growth and health of your garden.

There Are Good Pests

We always think that a pest in the garden is causing more harm than good. While for many bugs and insects that is true, there are pests out there that are actually beneficial for your garden. The hard part is determining which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.

Many good pests (including ladybugs, aphid midges, spiders, and ground beetles) feed off of other bugs and pests that can cause damage to your garden. So, if you spot some of these bugs, don’t fret. They’re doing an important job that will make life easier for you to maintain your garden.

Butterflies May Like Weeds More

Butterflies are beautiful insects that flap around a healthy garden, typically. We often think it is the color in the garden that attracts butterflies. Although that may be true, it comes down to the scent and nectar of a plant that attracts a butterfly.

Due to human’s breeding plants on their own to create brighter and bigger plants, they often lose their fragrance. However, it is the weeds that tend to maintain their scent, which will attract scent-driven bugs like butterflies.

Different Kind of Composting

We know that gardens love compost. That is because they get to absorb all of the leftover nutrients from compost. However, you don’t need to be a dedicated composter for your garden to have similar benefits.

Although having a compost bin will reduce the amount of garbage you have, you don’t need to do this for your garden necessarily. Instead, directly applying to the soil items like used coffee grounds, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter will give the plants the nutrients they look for as the items decompose.

Gardening Can Equal Happiness

Many studies have found that gardening will help boost your mood. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of gardening, spending some time tending to your plants can help the brain produce serotonin, which is the happy chemical that can combat depression. Certain bacteria strains in garden soil will contribute to serotonin production.

If you’re looking for another reason to start a garden, the five listed above may help. These secrets will not only help boost the health of your garden, but they may also help contribute to your overall health and happiness too.

See Also: How to Create an Indoor Garden

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Garden Trivia & Facts

  1. A sunflower is not just one flower. Both the fuzzy brown center and the classic yellow petals are actually 1,000 – 2,000 individual flowers, held together on a single stalk.
  2. There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth. It’s aliiiiive! Mwahhhahah, ok in all seriousness, that fact might make you uncomfortable, but microbes are important for keeping your soil full of nutrients.
  3. Plants really do respond to sound. Talking to plants to help them grow is a well-known old gardeners tale, but studies have shown vibration (like music, or perhaps even the sweet sound of your voice) can affect plant growth. Plus, the Myth Busters (in an admittedly not-so-scientific study), compared a silent greenhouse to one where they piped in a voice soundtrack, and found that plants in the latter grew more.
  4. Butterflies might be more attracted to your weeds than your flowers. Colorful blooms aren’t the chief reason these insects love your garden – it’s more about the fragrance and nectar. According to the Smithsonian Institute, new cultivars of popular flowers have been bred for enhanced color and size, but have often lost their fragrance in the process. So everyday weeds, like dandelions and clovers, might actually be the most appealing things in your yard to butterflies (they hate pesticides, too). Taking care to choose heirloom flower seeds can get them to also fly your way.
  5. Some of your favorite fruits are actually in the rose family. Apples, peaches, and pears -oh my! Plus cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and more are rosaceae, making them realtives to the long-stemmed Valentine’s Day variety.
  6. The right orchid combination can smell like your favorite dessert. Delicious, so did you know that the vanilla bean comes from a orchid varietal? And it’s not the only sweet-smelling kind: “An oncidum hyrbrid called Sharry Baby smells like chocolate,” says George Hatfield, president of the Santa Barbara Orchid Show. “It’s ‘baking cookie’ aroma has made it a winner.” And that’s not all: The cymbidium Golden Elf smells lemony, and the phalaenopsis violacea has a cinnamon scent. “Just like you’d combine Jelly Belly beans to create new flavors, you can combine orchids to create a garden that smells like a dessert buffet,” says Hatfield.
  7. Wishbone flower is real. Torenia, a shade-loving annual, is called the wishbone flower. Look for tiny wishbone-shape stamens inside the purple, blue or burgundy petals.
  8. The world’s tallest-growing tree is the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens),which grows along the Pacific Coast of the United States, mainly in California. Interestingly enough, it’s not the world’s oldest-growing tree; that award goes to a bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata).
  9. What is the fastest growing woody plant in the world? Bamboo! It can grow 35 inches in a single day.
  10. Where did making wine originate? Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that grapes were grown to make wine about 8,000 years ago in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq), although the ancient Egyptians were the first to record the process of making wine about 5,000 years ago.
  11. What flower was once more valuable than gold? During the 1600s, tulips were so valuable in Holland that their bulbs were worth more than gold. The craze was called tulip mania, or tulipomania, and caused the crash of the Dutch economy. Tulips can continue to grow as much as an inch per day after being cut. Does this mean money really does grow on trees/bulbs?
  12. What do Vanilla and Corn have in common? Vanilla flavoring comes from the pod of an orchid, Vanilla planifolia. Though the pods are called vanilla beans, they’re more closely related to corn than green beans.
  13. What fruit is from the bromeliad family? The word pineapple comes from European explorers who thought the fruit combined the look of a pinecone with flesh like that of an apple. Pineapples are the only edible members of the bromeliad family.
  14. Did you know… From a botanical standpoint, avocados and pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables, because they bear the plants’ seeds. Rhubarb, on the other hand, is a vegetable.
  15. Where did Poinsettias originate from? Well they were natives of Mexico, were brought to the United States in 1825 by the first U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, for whom the plant is named.
  16. Why to cranberries float? Small pockets of air inside cranberries cause them to bounce and float in water.
  17. What is the largest flower in the world (and the stinkiest)?. The flower of the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium) is the largest unbranched flower in the world and can reach up to 15 feet tall. The bloom produces a smell like that of rotting meat, giving it the common name of corpse flower. A similar smell comes from Rafflesia, another plant that hails from the rainforests of Sumatra. Both plants developed their scent so they could be pollinated by flies; they don’t compete with other blooms for butterflies and hummingbirds.
  18. Did you know… All parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful Mediterranean-native flowering shrub, are poisonous. Ingesting oleander leaves can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous system problems and possible death.
  19. Random fact -Angiosperm is the scientific name for flowering plants and refers to the seeds being borne in capsules or fruits. Nonflowering plants— pines, spruces, firs, junipers, larches, cycads, and ginkgoes—are called gymnosperms.
  20. What flower resembles a Dragon? It’s the beloved snapdragon flower, it resemble a dragon, and if you squeeze the sides, the dragon’s mouth will appear to open and close.
  21. What is the difference between nectarines and peaches? The difference between nectarines and peaches is that nectarines don’t have fuzzy skins. You can graft peach branches onto a nectarine tree or nectarine branches onto a peach tree so you have both types of fruits.
  22. What fruit has seeds on the outside? The average strawberry has 200 seeds. It’s the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside.
  23. Why do we cry when cutting onions? Sulfuric compounds are to blame for cut onions bringing tears to your eyes. According to the National Onion Association, chilling the onion and cutting the root end last reduces the problem.
  24. What is one of the oldest living tree species? It is the Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba); it dates back to about 250 million years ago. Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is another ancient species; it dates back about 150 million years. Both were known in the fossil record before they were found alive.
  25. The longest living organisms on earth are…. Trees are the longest-living organisms that exist on earth!
  26. A nut is not a nut. Peanuts are not nuts, but legumes related to beans and lentils. They have more protein, niacin, folate, and phytosterols than any nut, according to the National Peanut Board, (and yep there really is a National Peanut Board).

Here are 16 Interesting Gardening facts.

1-5 Gardening Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

1. While ancient Romans and Assyrians were renowned for their beautiful gardens, the value of gardens as an aesthetic place declined during the Middle Ages. Monasteries, however, served to continue the tradition of garden design and the improvement of gardening techniques. – Source

2. May 2nd is World Naked Gardening Day, where amateur and expert gardeners are encouraged to garden naked to promote body-acceptance. – Source

3. Astronauts aboard the ISS are growing lettuce to study outer space gardening techniques. – Source

4. Guerrilla Gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize. Ranging from gardeners who spill over their legal boundaries, to those with political motives who seek to provoke change using guerrilla gardening as a protest. – Source

5. Coconut extracts are good for growing plants. – Source

6-10 Gardening Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

6. After WWII plants were bombarded with radiation to produce useful mutations known as Atomic Gardening which resulted in today’s peppermint and red grapefruit. – Source

7. Several studies have been done with respect to the effects of music on plant growth. Many of these experiments show the plants actually growing away from rock and roll music, almost as if they are trying to escape the sound. – Source

8. The concept of “Victory Gardens” campaign was started during World War II to encourage people to grow food for consumption, recreation and to improve morale. In the 1970s, the remaining gardens gave rise to the rebirth of community gardening. – Source

9. The earthworms we have in the northern part of North America are a non-native, invasive species, and they are a major contributing factor in the deterioration of our forests. – Source

10. Dacha gardening accounts for about 3% of the arable land used in agriculture but grows an astounding 50% by value of the food eaten by Russians. – Source

11-16 Gardening Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

11. The earliest gardens were used to grow food and medicinal herbs. Around 1500 B.C. in Egypt, the first decorative gardens appeared. – Source

12. According to a study, as little as 30 minutes of gardening can improve a man’s sex life. Weeding, digging, or mowing the lawn for 30 minutes almost halved a man’s risk of impotence. – Source

13. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis on their plantations. Jefferson even invented a device for producing hemp in 1815. – Source

14. Famous literary works that center their plots on gardens include The Secret Garden, the Dark Materials trilogy, Tom’s Midnight Garden, “The Selfish Giant,” Romeo and Juliet, “The Merchant’s Tale” in Canterbury Tales, La Roman de la Rose, Rebecca, The Door in the Wall, and the book of Genesis in the Bible. – Source

15. Gardens and philosophy are often seen as related. Philosophers note the contribution of gardening to the “good life.” – Source

16. Scientists connected a paralyzed woman’s brain to the basic tablet so she could google about gardening. – Source

by High Country Gardens

1. Feed the soil

Chilopsis with ornamental Muhly grass

The most important thing we can do for the health of our landscapes, lawns and vegetable gardens is to keep the soil healthy and well fed. I’m dedicated to following organic gardening principles as best I can, so when gardening organically, I feed the soil to feed my plants. And I use a blend of 1/2 Yum Yum Mix (or Yum Yum Mix Winterizer) and 1/2 high quality compost. Spread 1/4 to 1/2″ across the top of the soil, either scratched or watered into the surface of the soil and covered with mulch. (Spread the fertilizer mix first, then mulch.)

The soil has a vibrant and complex underground ecology of flora and fauna that will digest this organic food and release it into the soil for plant roots to absorb when they need it. And most importantly, swear off the use of chemical fertilizers and herbicide laden “Weed-n-Feed” fertilizers, as they are harmful to the soil, damaging to the environment and detrimental to the long term health of your plants!

2. Mulch

Mulching is an essential practice in arid climates. In parts of the country where natural precipitation is more than 25 inches annually, mulching is not as important. Long-term use of mulch in moist climates may actually create problems by providing moist habitat for slugs, earwigs and root diseases.

But in dry regions, mulching will:

  • Protect the soil’s moisture from being evaporated by the sun and wind.
  • Provide a more favorable root growing environment by insulating them from extreme temperatures.
  • Act as a passive rain harvesting mechanism to help hard, fast rains be absorbed by the soil (especially true when using gravel mulch).

I favor pine needles, small diameter crushed gravel, coarse composted bark, crushed nut shells (if locally available) and clean wheat or barley straw in my vegetable garden. Mulch should be replenished in the fall and again at the start of summer. And don’t forget to put down some compost and Yum Yum Mix before you mulch.

3. Plant spring flowering bulbs

A drift of daffodils at the Denver Botanic Garden

To enjoy a beautiful display of tulips, daffodils and other spring blooming bulbs, you need to plant these bulbs now. I like to wait until the leaves are starting to come off the trees and there has been a frost or two to plant my bulbs. So now is an excellent time over much of the country. Keep a bucket of soil mixed with Yum Yum Mix Winterizer (or regular Yum Yum Mix) and high quality compost by your side to put a handful of nutrients into the planting hole for each bulb. Water in thoroughly and apply a one-inch thick layer of mulch to tuck them in for the winter.

And don’t forget to take some photos of your bulbs in the spring to create a photographic map to help you remember where to plant more bulbs the following fall.

4. Wait to do clean up until spring

I know many tidy gardeners grit their teeth when I say “wait until spring to cut back your perennials and ornamental grasses.” But neatness aside, it’s important for your garden’s ecology to leave the stems and leaves standing until mid-spring.

Sedum with frost on seedheads

  • Beneficial insects, butterflies and moths have laid their eggs on the stems and grass blades of your plants and need to be undisturbed until they hatch in spring.
  • Many perennials and ornamental grasses provide beautiful winter color and texture with their seed heads, leaves and faded flowers.
  • Leaving the stems on improves the cold hardiness of perennials and improves their ability to overwinter without damage.
  • In windy climates, standing stems help to capture blowing snow and improve the soil’s moisture levels for next year’s growing season.

5. Plant perennials

Fall is an ideal time to plant and get a big head start on next year’s growing season. – For regions of the country that have mild winters (USDA zone 7 or warmer) and hot summers, this is especially true. In fact, for the Southwestern US, TX. the Southeast, the West Coast and the Pacific NW, now is THE BEST time to plant. And it saves water too.

  • In colder climates (USDA zone 6 and colder) fall is also excellent for planting.
  • Perennials with good cold hardiness usually prefer cooler weather to transplant successfully (Oriental Poppies, Columbine, Thyme, Speedwell, Garden Phlox, Catmint, Yarrow and many others).
  • For zones 3-6, a general rule of thumb is to finish your fall planting 6 to 8 weeks before the soil begins to freeze. In USDA zone 5, the soil begins to harden with frost around the end of November/mid-December, so fall planting needs to be done this week! But in zones 6 and warmer, you can keep going later in the fall.
  • But not all perennials like fall planting. Those that need a long stretch of hot summer weather to mature their crown and grow deep roots (such as Lavender, Agastache, Salvia greggii (and greggii hybrids) and Desert Willow) should ideally wait until spring.
  • Read Tips 6-10

  1. Phlox Jeana is a new garden phlox introduction notable for its multi-month bloom time and colorful lavender-pink clusters of sweet fragrant flowers. It is also exceptionally cold har…

    Learn More Jeana Garden Phlox Jeana Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata Jeana As low as $11.99 Sale $10.79 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Phlox Jeana is a new garden phlox introduction notable for its multi-month bloom time and colorful lavender-pink clusters of sweet fragrant flowers. It is also exceptionally cold hardy and highly attractive to butterflies. Learn More

  2. Phlox David blooms in mid-summer with round heads of large, pure white, delightfully fragrant flowers. The foliage is mildew resistant and this perennial grows easily in compost-enri…

    Learn More David Garden Phlox David Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata David As low as $10.49 Sale $9.44 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Phlox David blooms in mid-summer with round heads of large, pure white, delightfully fragrant flowers. The foliage is mildew resistant and this perennial grows easily in compost-enriched garden soil. The 2002 Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year. Learn More

  3. Exclusive. Perfect Pink Phlox (Santa Fe Phlox) is a one of the very best Western wildflowers. Blooming in late spring with hundreds of large deep pink, white eyed flowers, it continu…

    Learn More Perfect Pink Santa Fe Phlox Perfect Pink Santa Fe Phlox Phlox nana Perfect Pink As low as $9.99 Sale $8.99 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Exclusive. Perfect Pink Phlox (Santa Fe Phlox) is a one of the very best Western wildflowers. Blooming in late spring with hundreds of large deep pink, white eyed flowers, it continues to bloom off and on throughout the summer. Grows in any soil including heavy clay. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric). 2013 Plant of the Year. Learn More

  4. Gros Bleu is a hybrid French Lavender that is considered to be the very best of all the French hybrids. More compact than ‘Grosso’ but with equally darkly colored flowers, the scent …

    Learn More Gros Bleu French Lavender Gros Bleu French hybrid Lavender Lavandula intermedia Gros Bleu As low as $12.99 Sale $11.69 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Gros Bleu is a hybrid French Lavender that is considered to be the very best of all the French hybrids. More compact than ‘Grosso’ but with equally darkly colored flowers, the scent is sweeter and with less camphor. Twice blooming. Learn More

  5. Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage….

    Learn More Sharon Roberts English Lavender Sharon Roberts English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts As low as $10.99 Sale $9.89 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Lavandula angustifolia Sharon Roberts is an outstanding twice blooming English Lavender with spikes of bicolored lavender-blue and gray-green foliage. Learn More

  6. Pastor’s Pride is a twice blooming English lavender that has thrived in the Mid-West with excellent cold hardiness and moisture tolerance. This variety has nice chubby mid-blue flowe…

    Learn More Pastor’s Pride English Lavender Pastor’s Pride English Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Pastor’s Pride As low as $11.99 Sale $10.79 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Pastor’s Pride is a twice blooming English lavender that has thrived in the Mid-West with excellent cold hardiness and moisture tolerance. This variety has nice chubby mid-blue flower spikes in late spring and September. Learn More

  7. Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost (Orchid Frost Deadnettle) is showy, repeat blooming groundcover for shady areas with large orchid-pink flowers and frosty variegated foliage….

    Learn More Orchid Frost Lamium Orchid Frost Dead Nettle Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost As low as $7.99 Sale $7.19 Per Plant – 2.5″ Pot Lamium maculatum Orchid Frost (Orchid Frost Deadnettle) is showy, repeat blooming groundcover for shady areas with large orchid-pink flowers and frosty variegated foliage. Learn More

  8. Rosita was selected for its smaller size and dense spikes of raspberry-red flowers (50% more flowers than the typical Agastache cana). It blooms for several months beginning in early…

    Learn More Rosita Agastache Rosita Hummingbird Mint (Hyssop) Agastache cana Rosita As low as $11.99 Sale $10.79 Per Plant – 5″ Deep Pot Rosita was selected for its smaller size and dense spikes of raspberry-red flowers (50% more flowers than the typical Agastache cana). It blooms for several months beginning in early to mid-summer. A High Country Gardens introduction. Learn More

Text and Photos By David Salman

All articles are copyrighted by High Country Gardens. Republication is prohibited without permission.

Gardening is hardly a straightforward practice — goodness knows it takes skills, dedication, and more than a little luck to grow flowers and veggies. But while certain facts about gardens are perplexing (like the delicate nature of herb garden growing), some are just plain fun, silly, or even mind-boggling. And because we love all things gardening, we couldn’t help but share this random assortment:

1. A sunflower is not just one flower.
Both the fuzzy brown center and the classic yellow petals are actually 1,000 – 2,000 individual flowers, held together on a single stalk.

2. There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.
It’s aliiiiive! OK, in all seriousness, that fact might make you itchy, but microbes are important for keeping your soil full of nutrients.

3. Plants really do respond to sound.
Talking to plants to help them grow is a well-known old wives’ tale, but studies have shown vibration (like music, or perhaps even the sweet sound of your voice) can affect plant growth. Plus, the Myth Busters (in an admittedly not-so-scientific study), compared a silent greenhouse to one where they piped in a voice soundtrack, and found that plants in the latter grew more.

Getty Images

4. Butterflies might be more attracted to your weeds than your flowers.
Colorful blooms aren’t the chief reason these insects love your garden – it’s more about the fragrance and nectar. According to the Smithsonian Institute, new cultivars of popular flowers have been bred for enhanced color and size, but have often lost their fragrance in the process. So everyday weeds, like dandelions and clovers, might actually be the most appealing things in your yard to butterflies (they hate pesticides, too). Taking care to choose heirloom flower seeds can get them to also fly your way.

5. A little baking soda can help you grow sweeter tomatoes.
A regular sprinkling of this kitchen staple into your plant’s soil can help reduce acidity, which sweetens up your crop.

6. Some of your favorite fruits are actually in the rose family.
Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and more are rosaceae, making them cousins to the long-stemmed Valentine’s Day variety.

7. The right orchid combination can smell like your favorite dessert.
Did you know that the vanilla bean comes from a orchid varietal? And it’s not the only sweet-smelling kind: “An oncidum hyrbrid called Sharry Baby smells like chocolate,” says George Hatfield, president of the Santa Barbara Orchid Show. “It’s ‘baking cookie’ aroma has made it a winner.” And that’s not all: The cymbidium Golden Elf smells lemony, and the phalaenopsis violacea has a cinnamon scent. “Just like you’d combine Jelly Belly beans to create new flavors, you can combine orchids to create a garden that smells like a dessert buffet,” says Hatfield.

Getty Images

8. You can change a hydrangea’s color by altering the pH level of the soil.
A more alkaline soil will result in pinker blooms, while more acidity will produce blue blooms. To coax your plant to the blue side, add more organic matter to your soil, like egg shells and coffee grounds (though the acidity in used coffee grounds can vary greatly, so you might try a high-acid fertilizer, too). The change won’t happen overnight, but eventually you should succeed in manipulating your soil’s pH level.

9. Deer can jump eight feet high.
They might require a running start to reach such heights, but a tiny fence often isn’t enough to keep these garden nibblers away. Try a taller one, plant thorny or pungent plants as a natural barrier, or scare them off with lights or wind chimes.

10. You don’t need to be a dedicated composter to reap similar benefits.
Call it cheating, but applying used coffee grounds, eggshells, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter directly to your soil (no composting required) can offer plants nutrients as they decompose. For already-growing beds, scatter and bury the items within the first few inches of soil.

TELL US: What’s your secret to a bountiful garden?

More Gardening Smarts:
• Build a Wall of Flowers For Your Backyard
• 9 Houseplants You Can Totally Neglect
• The Clever Way to Grow an Herb Garden

Garden

Garden in San Francisco

A Garden is usually a piece of land that is used for growing flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants. The act of caring for a garden by watering the flowers and plants and removing the weeds is called gardening.

Types of gardens

There are many types of gardens. People have small private gardens in the backyard outside their house. Some gardens are built indoors in malls, public buildings, or greenhouses. Greenhouses are special buildings where plants are grown. A greenhouse has a transparent glass or plastic roof and walls that let sunlight in.

Water gardens are plants that are grown in ornamental (decorative) pools and ponds. People doing water gardening plant water lilies and other aquatic (water) plants.

Gardening can be done outside of the home, as well. There are in city gardens, botanical gardens (places where plants are grown), zoos which have gardens, and theme parks which have gardens. These types of gardens are cared for by people called gardeners or groundskeepers.

Gardens compared with farms

Gardens are related to farms (agriculture); both gardens and farms are used for growing plants. But farms are much larger than gardens. A farm may have hundreds of square kilometers of plants and crops. A garden in a person’s backyard is usually only measures a few square meters.

Farms are businesses which sell the crops, fruit, and vegetables that are produced. Some gardens are businesses, which charge a fee to enter the garden. However, private gardens in people’s backyards are used as a hobby or as a recreation, not as a business.

Features of gardens

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.

In addition to plants, many gardens also have landscaping features such as pathways, seats, rock gardens, ponds, fountains, a small stream with or without a waterfall. Some incorporate gazebos and structural designs to accommodate for places to sit or to place a hammock for a siesta. Roman gardens will have its own columns, fountains and statures placed at strategic places depending on its sizes and uses. Japanese gardens have their own unique designs and features.

Role of gardens

Some gardens are created in people’s backyards, outside their home (note that in Britain the whole area is called a “garden”, not a “yard”). People with gardens in their backyards use gardens as a place to do gardening. Gardening is a type of physical activity which can use enough energy and increase your heart rate that it can be rated as a form of exercise for to relax and exercise certain muscles depending on whether on the activity you do that day such as planting, pruning, weeding, or simply just walk around your garden continuously for 15 minutes or more.

Many people find gardens relaxing especially if the garden is full flowers with strong scents. Some flowers like roses, bougainvilleas, orchids and many others are just beautiful to look at. Many people think that gardens are very beautiful and a place to relax and /or entertain. A garden can have a place to barbecue, to sit and to read.

In many countries and cultures, designing pretty gardens is considered to be an art. In Japan, for instance, Zen monks build decorative gardens with stone and waterfall features using natural materials such as bamboo, rock and BONSAI trees like spruce, pine, and other trees with they trained into miniature forms. In Europe in the 1700s, kings and queens had formal gardens built (for example, the gardens at Versailles, France). In China they also feature Chinese forms of gardens. Now some enterprising people start to have herbal gardens to feature useful herbs used in alternative, traditional, and homeopathic medicine

Other pages

  • List of garden plants

How Gardening Benefits Kids: 7 Reasons Why Your Child Should Garden

“What are you planting Mama?” asked my youngest, as he pushed a stool up to the counter and clambered up. “I’m planting tomato and pepper seeds” I replied, smiling. I’ve becoming firmly convinced that children can detect the presence of dirt from a mile away. “You’re planting seeds!” my daughter exclaimed excitedly, joining us. “I’ll get the heat mats!” chimed in my eldest as he dashed off to find them. It’s mid-March and the excitement for spring and gardening is palpable. For the last five years, starting seeds indoors has been an important tradition for our family. Every year my children keep careful watch over the seeds we plant. They treasure each new sprout and carefully water the small seedlings until they grow large enough to be planted outside.

Growing plants is a wondrous and magical thing and should be part of every child’s upbringing, regardless of where they live. These days gardens are sprouting up everywhere: rooftops, balconies, community plots, urban settings, schools, tiny apartment and sub-urban neighbourhood. If you’ve ever wondered whether gardening was worth the time and effort for you and your child then look no further! Below I share the top sevens reasons why kids should garden.

7 Reasons Why Your Child Should Garden

1. Gardening Gets Kids Dirty.

Planting seeds, digging in soil and pulling out weeds gets little hands covered in dirt, and dirt is good for kids! Dirt is full of wonderful microbes that build up children’s immune systems and reduce chronic conditions like asthma, allergies, diabetes and obesity.

For more about the benefits of letting your kids get dirty read: Let Your Kids Get Dirty!

2. Gardening Gets Kids Outside.

Does your child balk at the idea of going outside because there “nothing to do”? Planting a garden is a great way to entice your child outdoors every day. Children are naturally curious and like to check on the progress of plants and there’s nothing more satisfying than plucking off the first tender sweet snap pea. Getting kids outside also helps children stay active, reduce stress and get smarter!

3. Gardening Encourages Healthy Eating.

Even the pickiest of children are willing to try eating the fruits and vegetables they grow (I have one such child). Gardening with kids is a wonderful opportunity to talk about healthy eating and what that looks like. In fact, what you’ll find is that kids will help themselves to all sorts of things right from the garden like peas, carrots, strawberries and tomatoes. For an extra “WOW!” factor, try growing vegetables that are less easily found in a grocery store like purple carrots, orange tomatoes, stripped beets and yellow water melons.

4. Gardening Develops Muscles and Coordination.

Gardening is good for building muscles, fine motor skills and coordination. Digging dirt is hard work, so is pushing a wheelbarrow, pulling weeds and mounding potatoes. Kids learn fine more skills when plantings seeds, plucking off slugs from lettuce or picking fruits and veggies.

5. Gardening Teaches Kids Important Life Lessons.

Gardening teaches children lots of important things. First, there’s the important lesson of how to grow food, a skill that every person on our planet should know. Then there’s the science behind gardening (How do seeds sprout? What do plants need to grow?). Finally, there are many important life lessons learned along the way: responsibility of caring for plants, patience while watching plants grow and the self-confidence that comes with growing something on your own.

6. Gardening Builds Community.

Whether it’s a school garden, community garden, or family garden, gardening helps children learn how to work with others. It also provides the time and space for children to bond and connect with their parents, teachers and peers.

7. Gardening Connects Kids to Nature.

Spending time growing a garden helps children develop an upstanding about nature, how beautiful it is and how they have an important role in taking care of it. It’s an wonderful way to teach children that they are never too young to make a difference in the world.

Books About Gardening for Kids

  • A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
  • Berries, Nuts, And Seeds by Diane Burns
  • Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals and Ashley Wolff
  • Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden by Renata Fossen Brown
  • Gardening Projects for Kids by Jenny Hendy
  • I Can Grow a Flower by DK
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants by Bonnie Worth and Aristides Ruiz
  • Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • Square Foot Gardening with Kids by Mel Bartholomew
  • The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher
  • The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
  • The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
  • The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi
  • The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes
  • The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds (Explore!) by Ruth Heller
  • Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal
  • Yucky Worms by Vivian French

More Resources

Fact Sheet Summarizes Benefits of Gardening for Children

Benefits of Gardening for Childen (Facts Sheet)

Disclaimer: This page contains Amazon Affiliates links and I may earn a small commission from your purchases made through them.

Facts about Flowers for Kids

To most humans, flowers are seen as objects to decorate homes, gardens, bodies, and more. However, flowers have a much more important purpose than decorating. Flowers are the part of plants that make seeds which in turn make new plants. In order to make a seed, pollen from one flower has to combine with the eggs from another flower; this is called pollination. Flowers are highly adapted to attract their specific pollinators such as bees, flies, moths, hummingbirds, and bats just to name a few. This is why flowers are brightly colored and highly scented making them the beautiful creations that they are. The facts about flowers are that without them, we would not have food, medicines, dyes, textiles, and other necessities of daily living. There are so many interesting facts about flowers!

How Flowers Eat and Grow–Photosynthesis

  • Some facts about flowers are that flowers get their food from sunlight, water, and minerals in the soil; flowers are the reproductive parts of a plant, and plants make their own food by photosynthesis.

  • Plants can photosynthesize due to cells called chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll; this is what makes plants green. Sun strikes the chloroplasts and combines with carbon dioxide that plants get from their leaves, and water that plants get through their roots, to produce sugar, or glucose. This is the plant’s food, and this gives the plant energy to grow and produce flowers.

  • Plants take in carbon dioxide, or CO 2 ,through little holes in their leaves, which are called stomata. They then produce and release oxygen through the stomata. Plants and animals were meant to live together! Animals need the oxygen that plants put out, and plants need the carbon dioxide that animals put out.

  • Sometimes people add fertilizer, or plant food, to give plants extra minerals and nutrients so that they can grow better. Fertilizer does not take the place of sunlight and water.

  • Without sunlight and water, plants will die.

Parts of a Flower

  • The outside of a flower that can be seen easily consists of petals, the colored part of the flower, and the sepals, the small green structures that look like little petals at the base of the flower.

  • Inside a flower is the pistil, or the female parts of the flower. The pistil looks like a vase with a long neck. The top of this “vase” is called the stigma. The long neck is called the style. The bottom, fatter part of the vase is the ovary and contains the ovules, or eggs.

  • Also inside the flower are the male parts of the flower, called the stamens. The stamen consists of the anther and the filament. The filament looks like a stiff, standing piece of string. On top of the filament is a rounded ball of pollen called the anther. The pollen is usually a bright yellow or orange color.

  • Pollinators like bees, animals, and birds come and gather pollen from the flowers. The pollen sticks to their bodies. When they go to visit another flower to gather more pollen, the pollen from the previous flower drops into the pistil of the new flower, fertilizes the eggs inside the ovary, and seeds are made.

Interesting Facts about Flowers

  • Flowers did not always exist; they first appeared 140 million years ago. Before that, ferns and cone bearing trees dominated the earth.

  • Several centuries ago in Holland, tulips were more valuable than gold.

  • Broccoli is actually a flower.

  • Some plants such as orchids do not need soil to grow-they get all of their nutrients from the air.

  • Some plants produce toxic substances that kill other plants around them-the sunflower is an example.

  • Carnivorous plants are flowering plants that eat bugs and small animals! For example, the Venus fly trap has leaves covered by little hairs. When a bug lands on the hairs, the trap snaps shut and digestive juices digest the bug. Other carnivorous plants such as pitcher plants have leaves that form pitchers that are full of digestive fluids. Insects, frogs, and other small creatures are attracted to the nectar and bright colors on the pitchers and flowers. Some unfortunate critters fall in, drown, and are digested.

Fun Facts about Flowers: Weird Flowers

  • Not all flowers smell good. One of the world’s rarest, largest, smelliest, and strangest looking flower is the titan arum, or the corpse flower. It is called the corpse flower because it smells like a rotting dead body. The bloom is over 8 foot tall and 12 feet in circumference. They smell like rotting flesh in order to attract flies, their preferred pollinator. People have been known to pass out from the smell!

  • The largest Flower in the world is the flower of the Puya raimondii, which has a flower stalk 35,000 feet tall and bears over 8,000 white flowers.

  • Mimosa punica, or sensitive plant, will actually fold up its leaves when it is touched. It has whitish pink fuzzy flowers that look like little pom poms.

  • The Bird of Paradise is a beautiful, oddly shaped plant that resembles a colorful tropical bird.

  • Corkscrew vine flower, Vigna Caracalla, has a flower shaped like nautilus shells.

Flowers for Kids-Fun Activities to Do with Flowers

  • Snap Dragon flowers look like little mouths. If you squeeze the sides of the flower, the mouth will open and it can “eat” things. When you release the sides of the flower, it will close again.

  • Lunaria, or money plant, has purple flowers that turn into silver papery quarter shaped seedpods that can be used like play money or jewelry.

  • False dragonhead or obedient plant has a spike full of flowers that can be bent into position.

  • Hollyhocks are fun flowers for kids. They have large beautiful flowers that can be made into dolls. Cut off a flower, bud and all for the body and skirt and then choose a bud for the head. Attach it with a toothpick. Draw a face with markers.

  • Press and dry flowers and make crafts. Pick flowers that can be flattened, like violets and put them between the pages of very heavy books. The pressed flowers can be made into placemats, jewelry, and other crafts.

  • One of the fun facts about flowers is that some flowers can be eaten! Flowers of the squash flowers, such as pumpkin blossoms, can be fried in a batter and eaten. Violas, nasturtiums, pansies, and violets can be candied or frozen into ice cubes. Dandelion flowers can be made into jellies, added to salads, or made into tea. Before you eat any flower, make sure an adult has said it is safe. Some plants are poisonous or have been sprayed with poisonous pesticides.

  • Make a daisy chain of flowers by picking flowers with long stems, making a slit in the stem, and pulling the stem of the second stem through until the flower head can’t be pulled through. Continue this to make a chain which can be made into jewelry or garlands.

Flower Facts

Explore Flowers

Flower Research Database

Gardening/Outdoors Links

The Great Plant Escape-games for kids

The Parts of a Flower

Good Guys in the Garden

Stinking Flowers

A “Starter Kit” of Edible Flowers for the Garden and Table (pdf)

Edible Flowers

Weird Plants

Corkscrew Vine

Bird of Paradise

A Garden of Discovery

Take a Child Outside!

Pressed Flower Placemats

How Do Plants Make Food

How Do Primary Producers Make Their Own Food? (pdf)

Common Misconceptions about Plants

Plant Facts

Flower Facts for Kids

Written By Ava Rose.