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 Sit down and prepare a prospectus that outlines  what you intend to research/ write about.  Your prospectus should  introduce your basic working thesis, the research you intend to pursue,  and the basic outline of how you plan to present it.  You should already  be coming to some conclusions about “what a garden is” & “why we  garden” so that you will have something specific to explore.

  • You are not bound to your prospectus.  You are allowed to change  your mind. However, if you do change your mind / direction  significantly, please submit a new prospectus for my approval. 
  • Your prospectus must be more specific than, “I plan to do research and find out why people garden and what a garden is.”

I am looking for the specific direction and an outline of at least several things you wish to research.

Running head: GARDEN VISITS 1

GARDEN VISITS 2

Garden Visits

Student name

Institution

Course

Instructor

Date

Garden Visits

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

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Running Head: GARDENING INTERVIEWS 1

GARDENING INTERVIEWS 3

Gardening Interviews

Institutional Affiliation

Student Name

While visiting the Sloat Garden Center at Sloat Boulevard-San Francisco, I interacted with different people who own gardens, and from our brief interactions, I acquired vast information on what is a garden and why people garden. I was especially drawn to two people, one an older woman, Sue, in her fifties and another a young couple, Mark and Ella, in their late twenties, and following a brief interview with them, I acquired immense information surrounding gardens and the practice of gardening. On my way home, I interviewed my neighbor, Milley, who has a beautiful garden in her front yard and is always tending to her garden quite often. Therefore, this account follows a compilation of the information acquired from the three interviews on all details about the practice of gardening.

All three people that I interviewed maintained that a garden is a small piece of land often adjoining a house on which flowers, plants, grass, or shrubs are grown. Sue added that a garden is a piece of land allocated for the display of various plants, flowers, or grass often for aesthetics or commercial purposes. On the other hand, Milley noted that unlike a farm that occupies a vast amount of land, a garden only takes up a small space and can even be done indoors as long as it meets its intended purpose. Lastly, Mark and Ella noted that unlike a farm that is cultivated for commercial or food purposes, a garden is frequently maintained so that it does not lose its aesthetic value. Therefore, generally, from the responses acquired, it is evident that a garden is a piece of land that is allocated either for the cultivation or display of various plants of nature, and it incorporates both natural and human-made plants.

In the broader sense, gardening is thus the practice of maintaining a garden. Ideally, gardening is termed as a very significant practice because it contributes to a healthier environment through the production of oxygen and the production of more greenery. Upon asking my participants why they gardened, they offered varied reasons as to why they practice gardening. Sue started by noting that she has been gardening for as long as she can remember. As a child, she grew up in a homestead that loved flowers, and hence her mother started a small garden where she planted all her favorite flowers. Thus, Sue quickly picked up the practice of gardening from a young age, and when she moved into her place, she was already accustomed to having a garden that she could not stand not having her own small piece of garden. For her, therefore, gardening started as a family custom that she carried on; however, with time, she realized that she found peace and calm through the practice that she could not stop. Hence, gardening for her serves as a means for her to commune with nature as she finds delight in plants and flowers. Also, Sue maintained that it is very satisfying to see something grow, and she loves watching how her flowers and plants blossom. Three, her garden serves as her downright meditative, terming it as “Gardening is food for the soul.” Four, her garden serves as her escape where whenever something is bugging, she resorts to pruning. Lastly, gardening makes her world beautiful, whereby just looking at her garden every day, she loves how beautiful everything has turned out.

Upon asking Mark and Ella why they garden, they noted that the main reason that the garden is that it guarantees them of healthy food right at their backdoor. The young couple indicated that they are 100% vegetarian, and hence as a means to keep track of their health, they prefer having all their food supplies from their garden. Ella was especially concerned about the growing concerns of chemicals in food supply chains and their effects and hence preferred having her small garden so that she can keep track of their food. Also, she added that she loves fresh vegetables as they are higher in nutrients. Therefore, their small garden assures them that they not only get fresh foods but also that the food is thoroughly safe and nutrient-dense. Additionally, Ella added her garden serves as her mark of achievement, where by tracking the growth of her plants, she gets a great sense of self-satisfaction and personal growth.

Lastly, upon asking Milley why she gardened, she provided two answers for aesthetics and second to expand her horizon. Concerning aesthetics, Milley maintained that a house that flows with foliage of flowers and vegetables is picture perfect and beautiful to view. According to Milley, she loves the richness that comes with growing plants, flowers, and vegetables, and the sight is also soothing and appealing. She has especially received endless compliments on how beautiful her garden is, and hence she loves the view and aesthetics that her garden attracts. Second, her garden has dramatically expanded her horizon, where she keeps trying out new vegetables to see their full potential. On the same note, also, her garden has made it possible for her to actively interact with other gardeners in garden clubs, supply stores, and plant organizations, and this has increased her knowledge of the overall cat of gardening.

In conclusion, the interview on the practice of gardening was overall very successful, and the responses acquired increased my mind-scope and will go a long way in helping me to start and tend to my small garden in the future.

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Running Head: GARDEN STORE VISIT 1

GARDEN STORE VISIT 4

Garden Supply Store Visit: Sloat Garden Center

Institutional Affiliation

Student Name

For the assignment, I visited the Sloat Garden Center, which is a nursery chain located in Sloat Boulevard-San Francisco. I was attracted to the store because of its wide selection of fresh indoor and outdoor plants, its high-quality garden tools, soils, pottery, custom planters and also because of its expert garden advice. As soon as I got to the store, I was welcomed by a team of hospitable staff who were willing to talk me through the store, responding to all my questions and helping me to select the right plants that I wanted from their garden. I was impressed by how knowledgeable and friendly the staff at the store was as well as its wide selection of gardening products. Overall, the store maintained a very welcoming environment that gave me the feeling of walking into my backyard. Its pottery was magnificent while its vast layout of plants was breathtaking, making it a perfect store to not only buy different garden products but also to learn more about gardening in general.

Following my successful visit to the store, I was able to acquire comprehensive answers on what is a garden and why we garden. From my observation as well as interaction with the staff, I learned that a garden is a space set aside either indoors or outdoors for the display, cultivation or enjoyment of a variety of plants or flowers. Gardens tend to showcase a wide range of plants to create interest and delight. Sloat Garden Center serves as an example of a garden hence its wide assortment of plants and flowers both indoor and outdoor. Its vast selection of fresh plants, soils, and other high-quality garden tools are essential in offering knowledge to the public on varied gardening needs. Additionally, the staff at the center noted that a garden goes hand in hand with the act of gardening, which involves growing plants in a garden or maintaining a garden in general. Also, gardening pertains to the laying out and caring for a plot of ground that is either partially or wholly devoted to the growing of plants like flowers, vegetables or herbs. Therefore, unlike a farm whose ultimate goal is to harvest the target of a garden is to showcase different plants and flowers and continually maintaining them either for aesthetics or educational purposes.

In addition to getting answers on what is a garden, the staff at the Sloat Garden Center was also keen on providing answers on why we garden. According to the staff at the store, the reasons why people garden is varied. One of the reasons is to relax, where some people perceive gardening to be a relaxing exercise. The acts of digging out the dirt, pulling the weeds and dividing the irises are found to be very fulfilling and relaxing for these people. Another reason why people garden is because of their love for certain types of plants like orchids, lilies or roses. Such people would thus rather cultivate these plants as a means of fueling their passion for these plants. The third reason why people garden is to beautify the land around their homes or community plots. Most people today love beautifying their compounds with gardens majorly for aesthetics purposes. Furthermore, other gardeners garden as a hobby and the act gives them an incredible feeling of satisfaction mainly because of the beauty that is created. Lastly, some people garden simply because a garden offers them a sense of peace and relaxation, making them forget the worries of the world. At the Sloat Garden Store, gardening is mainly done to showcase the different variety of plants and flowers and also for commercial purposes to people who want to either start or spice up their gardens.

Overall, by visiting the Sloat Garden Center, I was able to expand my knowledge on garden supply stores, gardens and the act of gardening. My primary carry away lesson from the visit was on what makes a garden as well as the significance of the act of gardening. The store was a perfect location to broaden my knowledge of gardening because of its team of garden experts, the wide selection of plants, flowers, and soils as well as the overall environment which was breathtaking and instantly made me fall in love with the act of gardening.

As a person that immensely loves roses, I was extremely impressed by the visit as I will translate the knowledge acquired into my rose garden at my backyard. I was especially excited to learn that a garden does not necessarily have to take up a large amount of space, but rather that one can work with the small space they have, whether indoors or outdoors. However, gardens require great care and watch because different plants tend to have different demands. All in all, the visit was successful, and I cannot wait to start my garden with the knowledge acquired from the store.