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An exceptionally large garden in Canada.
Keukenhof tulip garden in Lisse, Netherlands.
Part of a garden in Bristol, England.
A flower bed in the gardens of Bristol Zoo, England.
Checkered flower bed in Tours, France.
Zen garden at Ryōan-ji.
The garden of a Japanese Buddhist temple.
Villa di Castello, one of the finest and oldest examples of Italian garden, in Florence, Italy.


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 man-made materials. The most common form is known as a residential garden. Western gardens are almost universally based around plants. Zoos, which display wild animals in simulated natural habitats, were formerly called zoological gardens. Some traditional types of eastern gardens, such as Zen gardens, use plants sparsely or not at all. Food-producing gardens are distinguished from farms by their smaller scale, more labor-intensive methods, and their purpose (enjoyment of a hobby rather than produce for sale). The gardening article discusses the differences and similarities between gardens and farms in greater detail.

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 non-garden 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.


Garden planning and design

Garden planning and garden design may be undertaken by a professional. A landscape architect is a professional who can plan and realise outdoor spaces. A garden designer is usually trained to plan and realise residential gardens.

The planner must give consideration to many factors:

  • Purpose
  • Existing conditions
  • Financial constraints
  • Maintenance implications

Elements of a garden

The elements of a garden consist of natural conditions and materials, as well as man-made elements:

Natural conditions and materials:

Man-made elements:

Uses for the garden space

A garden can have many purposes— aesthetic, functional, and recreational. Uses for the garden space are:

  • Cooperation with nature
  • Observance of nature
  • Relaxation
    • Family dinners on the terrace
    • Children playing in the yard
    • Reading and relaxing in the hammock
    • Maintaining the flowerbeds
    • Pottering in the shed
    • Basking in wa

rm 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

Gardens may feature a particular plant or plant type:

Gardens may feature a particular style or aesthetic:

Gardens may function in a particular manner:

Watering gardens

See rainwater, hand pump, tap water and drip irrigation.


History of gardening

See history of gardening.

Gardens in literature

Other similar spaces

Other outdoor spaces that are similar to gardens include:

  • A landscape is an outdoor space of a larger scale, natural or designed, usually unenclosed and considered from a distance.
  • A park is a planned outdoor space, usually enclosed ('imparked') and of a larger size. Public parks are for public use.
  • An arboretum is a planned outdoor space, usually large, for the display and study of trees.
  • A farm or orchard is for the production of food stuff.
  • A botanical garden is a type of garden where plants are grown both for scientific purposes and for the enjoyment and education of visitors.
  • A zoological garden, or zoo for short, is a place where wild animals are cared for and exhibited to the public.

See also


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