what is horticulture

What is Horticulture?

Horticulture: “The art or practice of garden cultivation and management.”

The meaning of this term is often asked. The word also associates to the study of plant conservation, soil management, landscape design, construction and maintenance, and even the science of trees. It is best to consult a horticulturist when planning a new landscape on your property.

History and Definition

The origins of the plant science lie in the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer communities to those which started settling. Horticulture dates back to ancient Persia. It started with studying better ways of growing vegetation in small quantities around dwellings that were often visited during migrations from one area to the next. The first landscape designs!

It is different from agriculture in a couple ways. First, it primarily focuses on cultivation in a smaller scale. Meaning, there is more attention to small amounts of many crops or plants where agriculture conversely focuses on one or few crops on a large scale. Second, the general practice includes every growing greenery, not just ones grow for sustenance.

Horticulturists & Landscape Designers

A horticulturist is someone that has the knowledge behind thous plant, flower, shrub, tree, and grass type. Most are employed at nurseries, but it is always a good idea to ask your local landscape professional if they have one on staff who is also a landscape designer or who they recommend. Landscape design requires horticultural expertise, as well as an artistic eye to see the project through from start to finish. Also, the best ones will hand draw a mock up for you—takes the time to give you a perfect visual. Most companies today will pull your property up on Google Maps and paste pictures. A true designer will come and meet with you, take measurements, come up with a scale drawing, and present it to you with an acceptable estimate for cost.

Be smart. Too many company owners will give you something pretty for the sole purpose of getting your business. If you find someone with an actual horticulture degree with a background in landscape design, it is worth checking out. They will devote time to your project and their crew will too. Quality over quantity. Don’t pay less, because chances are, you get what you pay for.