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: