Gardening is the practice of growing plants for their attractive flowers or foliage, and vegetables or fruits for consumption. Gardening is a human activity used to produce edible foods and use plants to beautify their local environmental conditions. Its scale ranges: from fruit orchards, to long boulevards plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to large or small containers grown inside or outside. Gardening may often be very specific, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants and tends to be labor intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.
A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials. The most common form is known as a residential garden. Western gardens are almost universally based around plants. Zoos, which display wild animals in simulated natural habitats, were formerly called zoological gardens. Some traditional types of eastern gardens, such as Zen gardens, use plants sparsely or not at all. Xeriscape gardens use local native plants that do not require irrigation or extensive use of other resources while still providing the benefits of a garden environment.
The history of saffron in human cultivation and use reaches back more than 3,000 years and spans many cultures, continents, and civilizations. Saffron, a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), has remained among the world's costliest substances throughout history. With its bitter taste, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes, saffron has been used as a seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine. Saffron is native to Southwest Asia, but was first cultivated in Greece.The wild precursor of domesticated saffron crocus is Crocus cartwrightianus. Human cultivators bredC. cartwrightianus specimens by selecting for plants with abnormally long stigmas. Thus, sometime in late Bronze AgeCrete, a mutant form of C. cartwrightianus, C. sativus, emerged. Saffron was first documented in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical reference compiled under Ashurbanipal. Since then, documentation of saffron's use over a span of 4,000 years in the treatment of some ninety illnesses has been uncovered. Saffron slowly spread throughout much of Eurasia, later reaching parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.