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Gardens provide many benefits to those who nurture the garden and for those who are lucky enough to enjoy the garden.  Flower and vegetable gardens provide beauty and nutrition. They also are a great form of exercise while tending to the chores of preparing and maintaining a garden.  Working in the garden is a great stress reliever and brings a sense of pride when the compliments start rolling in.

Foundation Planting Beds

flower bedThe most popular flower beds are foundation plantings.  It is a great way to hide the foundation and mechanics of a house or building.  Usually includes a couple of small ornamental trees, a bush or two, and flowers of any color, size, or shape.  They can be quite elaborate or rather plain and simple.

I grew up in a mobile home on a half acre in the middle of farm land.  We had  a couple of tall skinny bushes on either side of the trailer tongue in the front.  Along the side we had a cement patio with a flower bed on either side of the patio.  As a child I remember helping my mom with planting.  I loved going to the nursery to buy the flowers.  I wanted at least one of everything.  As I got older, I eventually became involved with the design and planning of those flower beds.

Planning can be rather difficult when you are an amateur.  You have to find flowers that will survive in your area and then plan for height, color and bloom time.  What I learned back then was through trial and error.  I bought what I liked and put it where I wanted.  When the flowers bloomed, then I decided if it would stay there or if I had to find it a new home.  Some people are not as patient with my trial and error method. Landscaping help can be found all over the internet.

Vegetable Gardens

vegetable-gardenNothing tastes better than a juicy, freshly-picked tomato from your very own garden.  Or anything else from your garden.  Freshly picked vegetables are better than those that are purchased at your local grocery store.  Add to that the fact that you grew it yourself,  the deliciousness factor goes through the roof.  

My parents never had a vegetable garden but…our neighbors did.  I would help them with weeding and harvesting.  I think they spent all winter planning their garden and never seemed to relax until the garden had been properly tilled and planted.  Their garden was huge!  We had clay soil.  It was sticky when wet and hard as a rock when it was dry.  Alot of supplements needed to be added in order to have workable soil for flower and vegetable gardens.

Vegetable gardens, I believe, much more planning than flower gardens.  Again there are hundreds of websites with info on how, where and what to plan.  Sample plans can even be found – no planning involved.

Container Gardens

container gardenGardening is not just for those who live in a house.  Apartment dwellers can enjoy the benefits of having flower and vegetable gardens.  Container gardens are the perfect solution.  Many people have flowers in pots around the porch and to decorate seating areas.  Some vegetables will do very well in containers.  The folage can add greenery and soften the hard edges of a patio.  The resulting vegetables is a delicious and nutritious bonus.

I have done this on many occasions when the thought of a full fledged vegetable garden seemed overwhelming.  My favorites are tomatoes and peppers for container gardening. When these are nestled in between the flower pots, they are virtually unnoticeable until the vegetables become visible.  Even then, they add interest and color to the landscape.
For more information on container gardening, visit HGTV.com for information and ideas.

Flower and vegetable gardens are perfect for adding beauty and nutrition to your life.  Do you have either a flower or vegetable garden.  What are your favorite flowers?  What are your favorite vegetables to grow?