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An introductory perspective to horticulture: plants for people and places

Dixon, G. R. and Aldous, D. E. (2014) An introductory perspective to horticulture: plants for people and places. In: Dixon, G. R. and Aldous, D. E. (eds.) Horticulture: plants for people and places. Springer Science + Business Media, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 1-25. ISBN 9789401785778

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-8578-5


Horticulture is “the first of all the arts and sciences”. This definition indicates both the breadth and depth of the discipline and its early inception as mankind changed from being hunter-gatherers to cultivators. Intensive crop production which is a form of horticulture preceded more extensive agricultural practices. From that time onwards the intricate involvement of horticulture in man’s life has become very apparent by its multitude of applications and the interests of those involved. These extend from the provision of foodstuffs and nutritional benefits through pharmaceuticals to aspects of rest and relaxation onto encouraging physical and mental well-being. Horticulture is therefore, a discipline with many components and as such that it can mean different things in the varying context of its use. This chapter introduces the meanings of horticulture as expressed by the authors who have contributed to this Trilogy of Books. They have analysed in considerable depth “Horticulture” as expressed in its facets of production, environment and society. Horticulture has impact and expression in each of these fields of human activity. This chapter also sets Horticulture into the wider context of the world of plants and their intensive cultivation both in their use by mankind and in the natural world. The aim is to demonstrate the depth and breadth of human activity associated with this discipline for it stretches from crop production, through landscape design and maintenance and into aspects of society and its expression in the arts and humanities. Horticulture touches almost every aspect of human activity. Increasingly Horticulture has significant importance in contributing towards the mitigation of the major problems which now face life on Earth such as:- climate change, food security, the loss of natural biodiversity, pollution, resource erosion and over-population. Indeed despite or perhaps because of its antiquity and therefore its strong connection between science, technology and practice horticulture can offer solutions that might allude other disciplines.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:56763
Publisher:Springer Science + Business Media

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