Everybody loves fresh food! And it’s wonderful when you can grow this food in your own garden. However, many of us have limited space, and we can’t do a lot of gardening in our yards. But a popular new idea can help… vertical gardening! Vertical gardens grow on walls or in tall planters with different spaces for many plants. Growing food vertically is a slick way to tend to your own edible plants.
Just like a normal garden, a vertical garden needs soil, nutrients, and water. However, you might put the soil into pots that hang on a wall. Or you might put the soil into a special planter that stands up tall instead of laying out wide. These simple changes make it possible for almost anyone to have a garden.
Andy is sad because his new apartment isn’t big. But Marni has the perfect idea for him in today’s English lesson.
Andy_H: Man, Marni! I just moved downtown. I have a slick new apartment, and I’m a little bit upset that I decided on this location because I was really hoping to get some gardening done. And now, it just looks like it’s not going to happen.
Marni: Well, what about vertical gardening?
Andy_H: Vertical what?
Marni: Vertical gardening… It’s like a whole new way of thinking about gardening and growing food.
Andy_H: Like, vertically, I take it…
Marni: Well, yeah! Because you have such a limited space, you can create whatever space you have, whatever size you have. You can do it in pots. You can create your own planters.
Andy_H: OK. But am I going to get some really, you know, unripe food that’s just going to spoil really easily?
Marni: Well, I think it’s all about how you tend to it, right? Thinking about nutrients, what kind of soil it needs, what kind of water it needs, all that kind of stuff. I think you can do it! You should research vertical gardening because I think it’s inspiring.
Andy_H: I’ll absolutely have to check this out. I’m looking to garden something that’s edible, so let’s hope that vertical gardening is the answer.
Marni: Well, yes! Let’s hope.
Andy just moved to a new apartment, but it’s downtown and has limited space. He tells Marni that he’s sad because he doesn’t have room for a garden. He had wanted to grow his own food. Marni doesn’t think this is a problem. She suggests that Andy build a vertical garden. Andy has never heard about gardening vertically.
Marni tells Andy that there are many options with vertical gardens. Some people use pots, and other people build their own planters. The basic idea is to make a garden that grows up on a wall or other surface. Andy asks if he can grow edible plants well this way, and Marni tells him that it should be similar to other types of gardening. If he tends to his garden well, then the plants should be healthy.
Do you have a vertical garden? What is your favorite plant to grow?
Gerunds vs. Infinitives
Marni suggests that Andy try a different type of garden. She says, “Well, what about vertical gardening?” She uses a gerund.
Gerunds and infinitives are both verbal forms that act as nouns. Gerunds end in -ing, such as swimming, walking, or laughing. Infinitives are the basic verb form with the particle to, as in to swim, to walk, or to laugh.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether it’s best to use a gerund or an infinitive in a sentence. Here are a few rules:
Both gerunds and infinitives can follow a verb, as in, “I don’t like losing,” or, “I don’t like to lose.” They can also both be the subject of a sentence, as in, “Catching a chicken is difficult,” or, “To catch a chicken is difficult.”
But only gerunds follow prepositions. This is one reason why Marni uses the word gardening after the preposition about: “Well, what about vertical gardening?”
However, Marni is also talking about a specific idea. Vertical gardening is a specific noun phrase that refers to a specific type of gardening. We don’t say, “vertical to garden,” but vertical gardening is often used.
Which is correct, “What about fishing,” or, “What about to fish”?
❶ Why is Andy sad about his slick new apartment?
❷ Which of these is NOT something plants need?
❸ If you are able to eat something, that thing is __.
❹ I have an idea. What about __ peppers and carrots?