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The NGA is a non-profit organization that provides a wealth of resources for gardeners everywhere – detailed guides on every aspect of gardening, an extensive plant database, gardening articles, videos, a podcast, and forums where NGA members can interact – for free. Check out their website and go through their learning library, download tools and apps for gardening, and see what other programs and resources they have available.
Established in 1983 and based in Vermont, the Gardener’s Supply Company is… well, a gardener’s supply company. If it’s in any type of garden, you’ll likely find what you need here, in addition to getting advice on garden matters such as pest and disease control, growing advice, a variety of how-tos, guides, and more. The Gardener’s Supply Company is 100% employee-owned, and they donate 8% of their profits to organizations that help improve the lives of people and support and protect the environment.
Guerilla Gardening is the home of Richard Reynolds, named as one of Britain’s Most Influential Gardeners by the Telegraph. Starting with a personal mission to improve the concrete landscape of his home area, today Reynolds’ Guerilla Gardening website is a place for anyone looking to get started on taking back neglected urban spaces to find advice, tips, guides, and community conversations to help them get greener thumbs and make their respective marks on the grays of the concrete jungle.
Gardening Gone Wild is Fran Sorin’s gardening blog where contributors from a variety of fields who also happen to be deeply passionate about gardening write and present features on garden design, photography, succulents, and even a bit of philosophical musing (related to gardens and gardening, of course!), just to name some of what you can find on the website.
The Gardening hub in Better Homes and Gardens’ website is filled with useful information on just about every aspect of gardening, from planning and designing a garden, growing vegetables, caring for your yard, understanding the different varieties and types of plants, to dealing with pests and weeds, just to name a few of the useful tips, guides, and articles of general interest for anyone with a garden of some description – check it out.
The Daily Progress’ Lee Reich gets into the meaty details of composting and what it can do for you and your garden.
What do you need to know and do to make your vegetable garden thrive? Brian Jervis gives you the answers.
In an article for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Tom Karwin talks about urban gardening and what it brings to the table in today’s urban communities.
Gardening is as old as the earliest progressive communities and civilizations in history – to sustain progress, you need to support your population as it grows. Before grocery stores and supermarkets became the go-to option for just about everyone’s day-to-day needs, many grew much of what they consumed in one way or another. Today, there are still good reasons to consider gardening, though these may not always be immediately apparent to many of us.
Here are three good reasons why you should give it a look:
Growing your own food has frequently been touted as a good way to save – and maybe even make – money. In fact, a study by Oregon State University’s Gail Ann Langellotto shows that home vegetable gardens, on the average, produce $677 worth of fruits and vegetables from $238 worth of materials and supplies. Your mileage may vary depending on your situation, location, and other factors unique to you that you have to work with. That being said, the benefits of gardening – both for growing food and for aesthetic reasons – are real, and they include boosting the value of your property and attracting businesses and tourists in commercial areas.
Gardening is a great way to get exercise, boost your mood, and improve your health, with some even stating that gardening may be as good for you as jogging or swimming: one study shows that regular gardening can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by 30%; another shows a risk reduction of almost 50% for Alzheimer’s Disease; and yet more provide support for the positive effects horticultural therapy can have on those suffering from depression and other forms of mental illness. These are some of just the many health benefits that gardening has been shown to provide, and as time goes by and research continues, it’s safe to bet that these can and will continue to be reinforced.
Okay, not really. But should you ever find yourself in a giving mood in terms of your time, your energy, and some personal social and civic investment, you can actually help reduce crime by getting involved in some form of urban – or in some cases, suburban – gardening. We’re talking about helping improve the areas in and around your community by pitching in and greening up otherwise unused or neglected plots of land, which has been shown to reduce aggression and violent crime in inner cities – besides the benefits already mentioned above.
Some towns, cities, and municipalities have programs that you can look up and contribute to, though admittedly there aren’t as many of these as there are those without. In the latter case, some have resorted to guerilla gardening, which means doing some gardening that is technically against the local government’s wishes, state of the land and resulting improvements notwithstanding. Of course, that hasn’t stopped urban/guerilla gardeners such as L.A.’s Ron Finley, London’s Richard Reynolds, and many others all over the world, to the tune of communities being overwhelmingly positive and local authorities mostly turning a rather supportive blind eye.
Whatever your background is, there’s always bound to be something gardening can give you. Give it a try, start small, and see if you can’t grow something good that’s more than just the greenery in your planters.
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