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If you are really into gardening or anything that involves plants, and their well being, then you’re probably a horticulturist.  A horticulturist is one who is involved in the science and art of gardening and of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants.  In other words, a gardener, right?

The only difference between a horticulturist and a gardener is the fancy title, (and of course the money!).  Horticulturists get paid with money, you get paid in blooms. So if you like, you can tell your friends that you’re deep into the study of horticulture!


What is horticulture?

Horticulture generally refers to small-scale gardening, and agriculture to the growing of field crops, usually on a large scale, although the distinction is not always precise (for example, market gardening could be classed either way).  A horticultural variety of a plant is one produced under cultivation, as distinguished from the botanical species or varieties, which occur in nature.

Believe it or not,  horticulture by its very definition is the cultivation of a garden, or in other words, the science (or art) of the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, plants, and flowers.  A horticultural plant is defined as one that has been produced by cultivation, as opposed to one that has grown on it's own, without assistance.

Born from the union of two Latin words, hortus, meaning ‘garden plant’, and cultura, meaning ‘culture’, horticulture in its truest form spans across many fields and involves many different types of careers, ranging from industry, to government; from wholesale and retail businesses, to propagators, plant breeders, and even educational institutions.


Horticulture covers 5 Areas

Currently, horticulture involves five areas of study.

  1. Floriculture, which primarily deals with the marketing and production of floral crops.
  2. Landscape Horticulture, which includes the production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants.
  3. Olericulture, deals with the production and marketing of vegetables.
  4. Pomology is based on the cultivation, production, and marketing of fruits.
  5. Postharvest physiology channels its energies into the promotion of crop quality and the reduction of spoilage for all crops.

Now that you have a general view of horticulture, and everything associated with it, perhaps you would like to dig into further study of one or more areas.  If you are interested, there are likely classes on horticulture that are offered in your area or not  too far from you.

By enrolling in one, you could share hours of gardening pleasure with like-minded souls. You might even find a night class that you could sign up for at your local community college.  Even if it's been decades since you've been in school, don't let that bother you.  I recently read an article about a man in Africa who was 98 years old and he wanted to learn to read and never went to school so he enrolled in grade school.  He was considered to be the oldest grade-schooler in the world.

You can't accomplish something if you don't try.

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