Growing and propagating plants connects you to yourself, the environment, and the Earth. It can relieve stress, fight disease, improve memory, and so much more. We can provide ourselves with food, enjoy a walk in a forest, or catch a glimpse of a beautifully sculpted bonsai tree. There are endless benefits of growing plants but one thing that has always thrown me off is what to call a growing space in various situations. Here we review a few of the big names out there and a little about their connotations.
People probably most often call their growing space a garden. Gardening is popular for people with a small amount of outdoor space that they want to use for growing. Many elderly folk and families use gardening as a hobby along with a way to provide food on site. Garden is the most accepted term for this type of land use and can be used in a wide array of situations. But still, you wouldn’t call a growing area on a large property a garden, would you? Also, many macho men out there might be embarrassed to tell their buddies they are avid gardeners. So a garden does not describe all growing spaces.
Farms are where most of the food we eat comes from. They are typically a larger area of land used for growing. Personally, I would call a growing area larger than a half of an acre a farm. These days, farms get a lot of bad rap because of unsustainable practices and old habits. You wouldn’t call your farmer a gardener, or vice versa. Farms also have a bad connotation of being “stupid” or “hick” or “redneck”. This is not true. There is a wave of new farmers that are using the environment like we have never seen before. We are creating new ways to finally re-integrate humans into the natural environment. New age farmers are going to university to study how to best manage our land with the future in mind.
Plots may be the golden term for growing spaces. A plot of land can be any size or shape. It is a section of land dedicated to a particular land use. You can call your garden a plot, or even a farm a plot of land. The only way that plots won’t work is if you are growing indoors. I have never heard anyone call their balcony garden a plot.
Nursery or Greenhouse
Nurseries propagate thousands of plants and starts for whatever uses they may have. Usually in a large glass building, both nurseries and greenhouses are growing spaces that are half indoors, half outdoors. They capture sunlight as well as create a greenhouse effect for a boost in plant growth. They are one of the best areas to grow but do require a lot of initial investment in time and materials.
Indoor gardens can be anything from a few pots on a windowsill to a balcony to a large indoor growing warehouse. This is a great type of growing area for people with limited space, live in apartments, or want to grow where outdoor conditions are not conductive to plant growth. Indoor gardeners are often seen as hobby gardeners or inexperienced. This is not necessarily true. Indoor gardeners have to use all of the functions of the natural environment and bring them indoors, without bringing any of the mess in. They have to design their space for maximum efficiency and use new technology to get better results. Indoor gardeners may be the most high tech of all the growers.
Putting a name to your growing space can be a little confusing but hopefully this overview will guide you in the right direction. These aren’t the only options either, you can call your growing area whatever you feel like… It’s yours!
You could even name the area “Earl” or “My Garden” or “I’mSoHappyToBeGrowingPlantsAndEnjoyingNatureToItsFullest.”
Creative names can even give your area an added boost of quirkiness that brings you closer to your land. So be creative, be confident, and go grow!
Jake Frazier is an outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Residential Ecology, a sustainable ecological resource management company. He uses existing natural systems to improve the quality of life for both humans and the Earth. Jake is interested in permaculture, living systems and exploring. Connect with him on LinkedIn.