Why should you plant a garden? People give many different reasons for wanting to plant a garden: it's relaxing, it makes them feel a part of the land, it reminds them of their grandmother, it saves money, and so on. One of the best reasons to plant a garden is that it's exciting. That's right, it's exciting! But the waiting weeks for something to happen part is a little boring, although some might find it exciting when a plant first pokes it head out of the ground.
Gardening is also exciting, because it lets you experience new things. It lets you see, smell, and taste things (in case of vegetables and herbs) that you might never find anywhere else. Consider a few examples.
We'll start with something that you may think you know about, tomatoes. How many kinds of tomatoes can you buy in your grocery store? In addition to red tomatoes, can you find yellow, white, pink, purple, orange, or striped tomatoes? Can you find green tomatoes? Not unripe tomatoes, but tomatoes that are still green when they are ripe? All of these can be grown from seed in your garden. How are they different in taste? You'll have to grow some to find out.
Seed companies typically have dozens of different kinds of tomatoes to choose from. For example, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has seeds for 141 different types of tomatoes.
The same principle applies to other vegetables. Baker Creek has 24 varieties of summer squash, and 80 kinds of winter squash. They have 53 varieties of watermelon, and over 79 types of other melons. These are seeds that they have collected from all over the world, so you can sample some of the foods of other lands, without ever leaving your own garden.
More exotic seeds are also available. Perhaps you'd like to try growing narajilla, a sweet and sour fruit from the Andes mountains, the juice of which has been described as the nectar of the gods. Or Thai mung beans, which have a nutty taste, and are used in Thailand for making deserts.
Believe it or not, it is even possible to get seeds for some rare tropical fruits. Of course, whether you can make them grow depends on the climate where you live. However, even if you're not up to the challenge, Trade Winds Fruit is an enjoyable site to browse though. You'll be amazed by what you're missing. The site has beautiful pictures and reasonable prices. In addition to seeds for fruits from all over the world, it has seeds for things like coffee, tee, even cinnamon and allspice. If you like tropical ornamentals or palms, Trade Winds Fruit has seeds for these too.
Seedman is another nice site for seeds from all over the world. They too have seeds for tropical fruit and nut trees, as well as seeds for exotic vegetables, herbs, flowers, cacti, etc. Something that is especially interesting on their site is the section for cold hardy palms, banana, yucca, and cycad seeds. Here you'll find palms that can survive temperatures well below freezing, and bananas that can be grown at least as far north as zone 6. They also have a variety of garden supplies, including plant food and starter kits.
So why should you plant a garden? Because it's exciting! It allows you to travel the world without ever leaving your backyard.