Gardening has been a popular leisure or pastime throughout the ages and in ancient times was often done for profit. Gardeners would tend their crops, harvest their produce, and prepare food by means of what was essentially a simple system of gardening. In modern times, gardening has become a more common leisure or pastime because of the various benefits it provides: providing a venue for exercise and recreation, providing a place to relax and commune with nature, and even offering a means for some people to earn some money through selling their garden produce.
Gardening is the art of growing and cultivation of plants as a part of horticulture, which is the art of agriculture. In early societies, like those of Ancient Egypt, gardening was a vital part of a farmer’s lifestyle; in fact, it was an indispensable part of his or her livelihood. Ornamental gardens were cultivated for the beauty they afforded, for the flowers they produced, and for the nuts and berries they contained. Useful plants, like cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes, were cultivated for their fruits and seeds, and in combination with other plants for their foliage or flowers. A well-planned garden varied in size and shape depending on the size of the family it served and the amount of land it had access to. Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Romans both regarded gardening as a necessary part of their lives, and they made good use of the tools and equipment available to create a productive and attractive garden.
Gardening is today viewed by many people as an activity that promotes relaxation and meditation, and many experts agree with this view, seeing it as a great hobby or recreational activity. Gardening also provides a venue for people to commune with nature and with one another. In arid climates, where most people would not have access to all the water and sunlight required to grow certain types of plants, gardening provides a natural source of food, water, and shelter. Many people have been successful at gardening and have become enthusiasts, creating beautiful gardens on their own or growing plants in large quantities on their properties, using their skills and resources to help improve the environment.