I'm an amateur gardener in my fourth season of in-ground gardening. I will talk a lot about it in this blog, as well as other things.
Before having an in-ground garden, I grew herbs and hot peppers in containers on my porch, as well as house plants.
Here are some clarifications of terms that I use:
Container gardening: a convenient way to grow plants when space is lacking or no in-ground garden is available, such as in an apartment building. Some varieties of plants grow best in containers; many others grow equally well in the ground or in containers. A dwarf version of a plant may be available and is often best-suited to containers.
-Container gardening tends to be low-maintenance: few, if any, weeds; less watering; less mulching; pests problems are smaller-scale.
-Containers are mobile. You can rearrange them for visual variety and/or to suit the plants' sunlight needs throughout the growing season.
In-ground gardening: growing plants in the earth.
--more volume and size can be grown than in containers.
--if you spill dirt or water, so what?
--walking through in-ground plantings has a different feel and visual appeal
Season: a "year" of gardening. In the mid-Atlantic, where I live, it goes from about March until September or October.
Raised bed gardening: a method that improves drainage and resolves other problems by raising the soil level in the planted area by at least 3-4 inches. I learned about this and other useful techniques from a book by Ed Smith called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. It's available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
Companion planting: cultivating two or more types of plants next to each other, ex, some herbs are reputed to have pest-repellent properties and can be beneficial when interplanted with vegetables.
For the most part I grow vegetables and herbs. I enjoy good food, and vegetables picked fresh from my garden are the best-tasting. The last four seasons, I gardened in a plot next to a building owned by the same people who own the apartment I rent.
This year, I rented a 20' X 30' plot in a community garden. It's twice the size of my previous area, so I'm growing more variety. Flowers and herbs are mixed in with the vegetable plants. This is my first year doing a lot of companion planting.