Horticulture is the science and art of growing and caring for plants, especially flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Whereas agronomy (a branch of agriculture) refers to the growing of field crops, horticulture refers to small-scale gardening. The word horticulture comes from Latin and means "garden cultivation."

Within the field of horticulture, seed growers, plant growers, and nurseries are the major suppliers of plant products. Among the important specialists who work in the field of horticulture are plant physiologists, who work on the nutritional needs of plants, and plant entomologists, who work to protect plants from insect damage.

Horticulturists are often involved in the landscaping and maintenance of public gardens, parks, golf courses, and ball fields. For the amateur home gardener, the rewards

A garden of perennials. (Reproduced by permission of Photo Researchers, Inc.)
A garden of perennials. (Reproduced by permission of
Photo Researchers, Inc.

are both recreational and emotional. Gardening is one of the most popular pastimes for people—not only for those living in suburbs, but for city dwellers who plant window boxes, grow house plants, or develop a garden in an empty city lot.

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