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Survey shows gardening is top outdoor activity in US

Eight out of 10, or 83 percent, of American households were involved in at least one form of indoor or outdoor gardening in 1984. Gardening ranked as the No. 1 outdoor leisure activity of US households again last year, more popular than golf, jogging, biking, tennis, and swimming.

The most popular gardening activities were:

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Flower gardening, with 40 million (47 percent) of all households involved; vegetable gardening, with 34 million (40 percent) participating; indoor houseplants, with 39 million households (46 percent) participating; and lawns, with 54 million (63 percent) of households involved.

These data are based on results of a nationwide poll sponsored by Gardens for All, the National Association for Gardening, a 250,000-member-supported nonprofit organization based in Burlington, Vt. The national survey is conducted annually by the Gallup Organization of Princeton, N.J.

According to the 1984-85 Gardens for All/Gallup National Gardening Survey, vegetable gardening in America's backyards and community gardens saw a slight decline in 1984 -- down from 35 million households in 1983 to 34 million, or 40 percent of households.

The incidence of households growing a small amount of vegetables and fruits in containers, border plantings, on rooftops, and on patios increased to 10 million households in 1984.

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