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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 breedingplant breeding,
science of altering the genetic pattern of plants in order to increase their value. Increased crop yield is the primary aim of most plant-breeding programs; advantages of the hybrids and new varieties developed include adaptation to new agricultural areas,
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). Graftinggrafting,
horticultural practice of uniting parts of two plants so that they grow as one. The scion, or cion, the part grafted onto the stock or rooted part, may be a single bud, as in budding, or a cutting that has several buds.
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 and buddingbudding,
type of grafting in which a plant bud is inserted under the bark of the stock (usually not more than a year old). It is best done when the bark will peel easily and the buds are mature, as in spring, late summer, or early autumn.
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 are also commonly used by nurseries to produce superior plants, and some plants are now propagated from cells grown in a sterile medium.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


1. A room or place set apart for small children.
2. A place where plants, shrubs, and small trees are grown, usually for transplanting elsewhere.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a place where plants, young trees, etc., are grown commercially
2. an establishment providing residential or day care for babies and very young children; cr?che
3. short for nursery school
4. Billiards
a. a series of cannons with the three balls adjacent to a cushion, esp near a corner pocket
b. a cannon in such a series
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
David Booth, relationship manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB), said: "I am delighted to assist Springfield Day Nurseries with their plans to enhance their nurseries and structure a funding package much more tailored to their growth strategy.
The current level of nursery nurses at the day nurseries will now be cut from 132 to 48 and eight of the 13 community day nurseries are "surplus to requirement" and will be merged with nearby children's centres.
David and Suzanne Edwards own and run Springfield Day Nurseries Ltd.
TOP MARKS: Nursery manager Nancy Bewley with children at the Durham branch of Kids 1st Day Nurseries.
Mark McArdle, managing director, Kids 1st Day Nurseries, said: "I am delighted with the work Bowey has carried out for us.
Now, Banana Moon Day Nurseries employ more than 300 staff and are soon to open in Scotland and the north of England.
Les Enfants Private Day Nurseries Ltd operate four nurseries in the local area, the first of which was opened in March 1995.
Investment in the third property will take the cost of improvements and refurbishment of the three day nurseries to more than pounds 400,000.
Staff from one of Newcastle's most popular children's day nurseries have successfully completed a series of high-profile, specialist training courses to become professionally-qualified NVQ childcare assessors.
The first half of Taking on a Mother's Job focuses on "Establishing Day Care"; Philadelphia had fifty day nurseries by 1920.
The group runs a chain of day nurseries, nursery schools and out-of-school clubs.
Coun Lisa Stone, Lead Member for Children's Services at Salford City Council, said: "We have very reluctantly put forward a proposal to review the future of our five excellent local authority run day nurseries, after facing a potential hole in the budget of PS1.75m.