The subtropics are geographic and climate zones located roughly between the tropics at latitude 23.5° (the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn) and temperate zones (normally referring to latitudes 35–66.5°) north and south of the Equator.
Subtropical climates are often characterized by hot summers and mild winters with infrequent frost. Most subtropical climates fall into two basic types: humid subtropical, where rainfall is often concentrated in the warmer months (for example Brisbane, Queensland or Jacksonville, Florida), and Mediterranean or dry-summer, where rainfall is concentrated in the cooler months (for example Naples, Italy or Los Angeles, California).
Subtropical climates can occur at high elevations within the tropics, such as in the southern end of the Mexican Plateau and in Vietnam and Taiwan. Six climate classifications use the term to help define the various temperature and precipitation regimes for the planet Earth.
A great portion of the world's deserts are located within the subtropics, due to the development of the subtropical ridge. Areas bordering warm oceans (typically on the southeast sides of continents) are prone to locally heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones, which can contribute a significant percentage of the annual rainfall. Areas bordering cool oceans (typically on the southwest sides of continents) are prone to fog, aridity, and dry summers. Plants such as palms, citrus, mango, pistachio, lychee, and avocado are grown in the subtropics.
A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, or enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The garden can incorporate both natural and man-made materials. The most common form today is a residential garden, but the term garden has traditionally been a more general one. Zoos, which display wild animals in simulated natural habitats, were formerly called zoological gardens. Western gardens are almost universally based on plants, with garden often signifying a shortened form of botanical garden. Some traditional types of eastern gardens, such as Zen gardens, use plants sparsely or not at all.
Gardens may exhibit structural enhancements including statuary, follies, pergolas, trellises, stumperies, dry creek beds and water features such as fountains, ponds (with or without fish), waterfalls or creeks. Some gardens are for ornamental purposes only, while some gardens also produce food crops, sometimes in separate areas, or sometimes intermixed with the ornamental plants. Food-producing gardens are distinguished from farms by their smaller scale, more labor-intensive methods, and their purpose (enjoyment of a hobby or self-sustenance rather than producing for sale). Flower gardens combine plants of different heights, colors, textures, and fragrances to create interest and delight the senses.
Gardening is the activity of growing and maintaining the garden. This work is done by an amateur or professional gardener. A gardener might also work in a non-garden setting, such as a park, a roadside embankment, or other public space.
Landscape architecture is a related professional activity with landscape architects tending to specialise in design for public and corporate clients.