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
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
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?
Because there isn’t space for a typical garden. ✓
Because there are too many gardens there.
Because no plants can grow in his apartment building.
Because his rent is very expensive.
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?
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