Gardening is one of the most rewarding activities there are. Anyone with a back or front yard should consider spending more time outside and giving back to nature. Whether you decide to start gardening for the sake of your family or to make some money on the side, these gardening facts and stats will help set you on the right track. Thanks to the information available in this article, you’ll be better equipped to handle and maintain your new garden. Getting to know how nature responds to your touch can be hard in the beginning, but with some research and hands-on practice, you’ll have a lush garden in no time.
The Top 8 Gardening Facts & Stats:
- Almost half of all assessed plant species are threatened with extinction.
- Roughly 35% of US households grow food.
- Tulips led to the first known economic bubble three centuries ago.
- Gardening sales grew by 10% in 2018.
- Americans spent $3.5 billion on gardening food in 2013.
- The first greenhouses were built in Rome (so the emperor could eat cucumbers).
- Gardening can significantly boost your brain.
- One of the most interesting facts about gardening—you can now garden in space (sort of).
Flowers and Gardens
1. Colombia has the largest number of orchid species.
Orchids are a special type of flower—so special, in fact, that there are over 4,000 of their own species all across the world. However, another of the many interesting facts about these flowers is that 1,500 of them can be found in Colombia, exclusively.
2. The most expensive rose in the world cost $3 million to create.
Also known as the Juliet Rose, this is the most expensive flower that has ever been developed. In fact, it cost David Austin, the man who created it, over $3 million and 15 years to produce. What makes it so distinctive is its special apricot, pale-pink color and its very large-headed blooms.
There is also the Queen of the Night flower, which is literally priceless. One of the most interesting facts about gardening and this flower: it’s impossible to pick since it dies once touched. Or there’s the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid, which sold for over £160,000 at auction.
Of course, you don’t have to spend so much money on your plants since there are a number of ways to create a garden on a budget.
Fun Facts and Gardening History
3. Tulips led to the first known economic bubble three centuries ago.
For all you flower lovers out there, one of the more fascinating, fun gardening facts surrounds the history of tulips. During the Dutch Golden Age, these flowers were everywhere, popular in paintings and festivals. However, in the 17th century, tulips were brought up to such a degree that they were worth more than gold and were even used as currency until the actual tulip market crashed, hard.
4. The gladiolus flower has an interesting story behind its name.
(Names of Flowers)
Another of the many interesting gardening fun facts on our list, we get to tell the story of how the gladiolus got its name. “Gladius” was what the ancient Romans called their swords. Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman author, gave the flower its name thanks to its leaves and how well they resembled ancient Roman swords.
5. One of the original wonders of the world was a garden.
These gardening trivia fun facts aren’t just useful for quizzes—they can also teach you some history. One of the ancient wonders of old were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. These gardens were said to have been built by King Nebuchadnezzar II, found in the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Sadly, there’s no definitive proof that they ever existed.
6 You can protest urban neglect by gardening.
(How Stuff Works)
One of our slightly weird gardening facts is that people have been using gardening as a form of protest. Starting in New York in the eighties, this became a way to revitalize parks nobody cared for and to educate people through workshops and consultations. It serves as a protest against communities and municipalities that simply don’t care about public spaces.
7. You can now garden in space (sort of).
One of the more sci-fi fun facts about gardening, know that it’s now possible to garden in space. If you want to grow lettuce, that is. Between 2014 and 2016, lettuce was grown in batches on the ISS space station. It took 33 to 56 days for the lettuce to grow aboard the station. It’s reported that the lettuce was actually richer in sodium, sulfur, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus when compared to Earth lettuce.
8. The first greenhouses were built in Rome (so the emperor could eat cucumbers).
Gardening is an old, hallowed tradition that predates modern times by a significant degree. This isn’t news. However, one of the more surprising gardening facts is the origin of greenhouses. The very first recorded greenhouse in history came about in 30 CE in Rome. Emperor Tiberius insisted on having one cucumber a day, to preserve his health, and so Roman scientists didn’t have much choice except to figure things out.
9. Japanese Gardens were originally inspired by the Chinese.
Of the many different kinds of gardens, rarely do you see those with such a specific and rich history as Japanese gardens. Between 630 and 838 CE, the Japanese court sent scholars, diplomats, students, and monks to China. There, they were inspired to build the beautiful types of gardens that have since become so intrinsic to Japanese culture. Of course, they’ve evolved and changed over the centuries. Further Japanese garden facts show that there are many styles. However, traditionally, water features or ponds are a core feature in them (with the exception of Zen gardens).
Gardening and the Economy
10. Landscape architects are needed more and more.
If you want to put your green thumb to some other use, working as a landscaper might just be what you need. Landscaping facts and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that there’s a notable growth rate for this profession. On average, landscape architects make $68,230 per year, with a projected growth and job outlook of 4% until the year 2028. Note that this is a creative job in a supervisory role and not hands-on landscaping where you’re in the trenches.
11. Gardening sales grew by 10% in 2018.
The gardening industry statistics are pretty positive. In fact, overall gardening sales rose by about 10% in 2018. Cactus and succulent sales increased by 25% when compared to the previous year, and lawn and garden spending exceeded $52 billion in 2018.
12. Americans spent $3.5 billion on gardening food in 2013.
(Farm and Dairy)
According to a report published by the National Gardening Association, more and more people are growing their own food. As a testament to this trend, even back in 2013, Americans spent $3.5 billion growing their own food. The home gardening statistics provided by the report are believed to have been caused, at the time, by stronger national leadership, the Let’s Move Initiative, and an improving economy.
13. Urban farming produces 20% of our food.
People in the city have begun farming food (and quite well, mind you). The urban gardening statistics gathered by the United Nations show that over 800 million people grow their food and raise animals in cities. In other words, one-fifth of the world’s food is produced in this manner.
Gardening and America
14. Half of US homeowners use their gardens.
A study from 2012 shows that of the 164 million American homeowners, 49% put work into their gardens. Furthermore, the DIY gardening stats show that these people are more likely to be baby boomers, they have a 33% chance of having a college degree, 47% of them have full-time employment, and 22% of them are retired.
They’re also 26% more likely to buy food that’s locally grown and 25% more likely to support environmental efforts, such as recycling and composting.
15. Roughly 35% of US households grow food.
It seems American gardening is on the rise. The data gathered by the National Gardening Association (NGA) is pretty positive for those of us who care about gardening. Fruit and vegetable gardening statistics show 35% of all US households grow these foods. According to the NGA’s report, people either do this in their home gardens, or they join community gardens. The report also claims that there are a lot of young people who are now taking part in growing their own food.
16. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers are the most popular homegrown vegetables.
According to the National Gardening Association, statistics show that people love growing tomatoes the most, with 86% of households who grow their own food making room for them. Cucumbers are a distant second, at 47%, and sweet peppers are close by, at 46%. Beans and carrots are also pretty popular, at 39% and 34% respectively. Tied at 32% are summer squash and onions, while hot peppers are grown by 28%.
17. The leading reason people garden is to have fresh veggies.
(Mother Earth News)
There are many reasons why people take up gardening. However, for 30% of people, it’s because they want fresh food. The second main reason, claimed by 25% of people, is that they want food of a higher quality. Further gardening statistics show that people also do it for fun (22%) and finally, to save up on money (15%).
18. Gardening can significantly boost your brain.
Gardening can really improve your life. Being outdoors and getting some physical activity does wonders for your health, and gardening gives you exactly that. However, scientific facts about gardening show that those who regularly garden have a 36% lower risk of dementia.
Plants and the Environment
19. Almost half of all assessed plant species are threatened with extinction.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has only assessed 10% (28,265) of the known species of plants. Of this number, 13,000 (45%) ended up on its Red List as being threatened with extinction in the wild.
One of the sad facts about these plants is that we simply don’t know the status of the remaining 90% and whether they’re safe, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.
20. Roughly 80% of original forests have been lost.
A major portion of the original forests that covered our world have been lost. They’ve been cleared, damaged, fragmented, or harnessed, thus removing habitats for an uncountable number of species.
Why is gardening relaxing?
It’s because gardening lowers your levels of cortisol and increases your creativity. Regardless of how artistic you are, developing a garden tailored to your own wishes is one of the most creative things you can do. Gardening also deals with stress by improving your mental focus and mindfulness. The physical activity you do while gardening also breaks down stress and negative energy. Finally, even just looking at nature can have relaxing and calming effects on your mind.
What are the benefits of vegetable gardening?
Vegetable gardening can significantly improve your health, as you’ll primarily be consuming the organic produce from your garden. The vitamin content is highest in home-grown vegetables because there are no chemicals in them. Saving on groceries is also one of the benefits, as well as getting exercise outside. All of this improves your overall health and quality of life.
Regardless of how much time you spend outside, these gardening facts and stats will help you see the beauty in this hobby. Understanding the science and biology behind gardening is very important for anyone who wants to try their hand at it. By doing the necessary research beforehand, you’ll have much more success in creating and maintaining this new ecosystem in your backyard.
- Botanic Gardens Conservation International
- CGTN America
- Country living
- European Commission
- Farmer Foodshare
- Greenhouse Management
- How Stuff Works
- Mother Earth News
- Names of Flowers
- National Gardening Association
- The American Institute of Stress
- The Guardian
- U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics