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    The Practice of Growing and Cultivating Plants

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    Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are often grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants, such as root vegetables, leaf vegetables, fruits, and herbs, are grown for consumption, for use as dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use. Gardening is considered to be a relaxing activity for many people.

    Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to plants in large or small containers grown inside or outside. Gardening may be very specialized, 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.

     

    Wealthy ancient Egyptians used gardens for providing shade. Egyptians associated trees and gardens with gods as they believed that their deities were pleased by gardens. Gardens in ancient Egypt were often surrounded by walls with trees planted in rows. Among the most popular species planted were date palms, sycamores, fir trees, nut trees, and willows. These gardens were a sign of higher socioeconomic status. In addition, wealthy ancient Egyptians grew vineyards, as wine was a sign of the higher social classes. Roses, poppies, daisies and irises could all also be found in the gardens of the Egyptians.

    The Assyrians were also renowned for their beautiful gardens. These tended to be wide and large, some of them used for hunting game—rather like a game reserve today—and others as leisure gardens. Cypresses and palms were some of the most frequently planted types of trees.

    Ancient Roman gardens were laid out with hedges and vines and contained a wide variety of flowers—acanthus, cornflowers, crocus, cyclamen, hyacinth, iris, ivy, lavender, lilies, myrtle, narcissus, poppy, rosemary and violets—as well as statues and sculptures. Flower beds were popular in the courtyards of rich Romans.

    The Middle Age represented a period of decline in gardens for aesthetic purposes, in what concerns gardening. After the fall of Rome, gardening was done for the purpose of growing medicinal herbs and/or decorating church altars. Monasteries carried on a tradition of garden design and intense horticultural techniques during the medieval period in Europe. Generally, monastic garden types consisted of kitchen gardens, infirmary gardens, cemetery orchards, cloister garths and vineyards. Individual monasteries might also have had a “green court”, a plot of grass and trees where horses could graze, as well as a cellarer’s garden or private gardens for obedientiaries, monks who held specific posts within the monastery.

    Islamic gardens were built after the model of Persian gardens and they were usually enclosed by walls and divided in 4 by watercourses. Commonly, the center of the garden would have a pool or pavilion. Specific to the Islamic gardens are the mosaics and glazed tiles used to decorate the rills and fountains that were built in these gardens.

    By the late 13th century, rich Europeans began to grow gardens for leisure and for medicinal herbs and vegetables. They surrounded the gardens by walls to protect them from animals and to provide seclusion. During the next two centuries, Europeans started planting lawns and raising flowerbeds and trellises of roses. Fruit trees were common in these gardens and also in some, there were turf seats. At the same time, the gardens in the monasteries were a place to grow flowers and medicinal herbs but they were also a space where the monks could enjoy nature and relax.

    The gardens in the 16th and 17th century were symmetric, proportioned and balanced with a more classical appearance. Most of these gardens were built around a central axis and they were divided into different parts by hedges. Commonly, gardens had flowerbeds laid out in squares and separated by gravel paths.

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    Say goodbye to boring meals, with AI-powered recipe recommendations, meal plans creation and more… 100,000+ dinners saved so far.

    Say goodbye to boring meals, with AI-powered recipe recommendations, meal plans creation and more… 100,000+ dinners saved so far.

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    Recipe

    How to Make Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast Casserole

    How to Make Creamy Spinach and Potato Breakfast Casserole

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    Breakfast Casserole with sausage, eggs, potatoes, spinach, and cheese! Super easy recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes and high in protein.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
    • 8 ounces raw 99% lean ground turkey
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 3 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup fat free milk
    • 2/3 cup grated raw potatoes, without skin
    • 1/2 cup shredded low moisture Mozzarella cheese
    • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Step 1

    Prepare: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a small 3-cup casserole dish or ovenproof skillet with nonstick spray.

    Step 2

    Turkey: Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the turkey, chili powder, and onion powder. Brown the meat until fully cooked and crumbled. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

    Step 3

    Spinach: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the garlic and sage. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside

    Step 4

    Eggs: In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add the cooked turkey, spinach, potatoes, and Mozzarella cheese. Stir until combined. Transfer to the casserole dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese.

    Step 5

    Bake: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the casserole springs back when touched. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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    Recipe

    Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast

    Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast

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    This Simple Poached Egg and Avocado Toast recipe is so simple and so delicious! Real, healthy food never tasted so good. YUM!

    INGREDIENTS

    2 eggs2 slices whole grain bread1/3 avocado (usually I cut it in half but don’t use all of it. okay fine maybe I do.)2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheesesalt and pepper for toppingfresh herbs (parsley, thyme, or basil) for toppingquartered heirloom tomatoes for serving

    Step 1

    Bring a pot of water to boil (use enough water to cover the eggs when they lay in the bottom). Drop the metal rims (outer rim only) of two mason jar lids into the pot so they are laying flat on the bottom. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat and carefully crack the eggs directly into each rim. Cover the pot and poach for 5 minutes (4 for super soft, 4:30 for soft, 5 or more for semi-soft yolks).

    Step 2

    While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread and smash the avocado on each piece of toast. When the eggs are done, use a spatula to lift the eggs out of the water. Gently pull the rim off of the eggs (I do this right on the spatula, over the water) and place the poached eggs on top of the toast. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs; serve with the fresh quartered heirloom tomatoes.

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