Definitions

nursery

nursery

[nur-suh-ree]
nursery, in horticulture, an establishment or area for the propagation, breeding, and early cultivation of plants. In North America the term nursery originally specified a place where hardy woody plants, especially fruit trees, were started; but as the market for and interest in new varieties of garden plants increased, nurseries broadened their province to include the cultivation and development of all types of plants, including tropical varieties and annuals, and their sale either as seedlings ready for planting or as seeds. Until the advent of artificial irrigation and the use of vast greenhouses to control temperature, nurseries depended on natural conditions for success—as did the bulb nurseries of Holland, which were long famous for flowers and ornamental plants.

The modern nursery, staffed by horticulture experts and equipped with facilities for both experimental and mass production, supplies home gardeners, flower and fruit growers, farmers, and foresters with seeds and seedlings of specified qualities. Under nursery conditions varieties of plants have been bred that have greater yields and are hardier, longer blooming, and more disease resistant than those grown in the ordinary farm or garden, where controlled selection and hybridization is usually impractical (see plant breeding). Grafting and budding are also commonly used by nurseries to produce superior plants, and some plants are now propagated from cells grown in a sterile medium.

Verse customarily told or sung to small children. Though the oral tradition of nursery rhymes is ancient, the largest number date from the 16th, 17th, and (most frequently) 18th centuries. Apparently most rhymes were originally composed for adults, many as popular ballads and songs. The earliest known published collection is Tommy Thumb's (Pretty) Song Book (1744), including “Little Tom Tucker,” “Sing a Song of Sixpence,” and “Who Killed Cock Robin?” The most influential collection was Mother Goose's Melody (1781), including “Jack and Jill,” “Ding Dong Bell,” and “Hush-a-bye Baby on the Tree Top.”

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Nursery can refer to:

Childcare

  • Nursery (room), a room within the house designed for the care of a young child or children
  • Nursery school, a daycare facility for preschool-age children
  • Prison nursery, for imprisoned mothers with their young children

Places

Music

Science

Other

  • Farm team, where sportspeople can gain experience before playing for a major team

See also

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