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Gardens are one of the main uses of a yard in The Sims series. They usually contain harvestable plants or decorative plants, like trees, flowers or bushes, which are occasionally framed by fences. Other types of decoration that can be used are ponds, rocks and certain types of decoration from the buy mode, like the scarecrow[TS:U][TS2:S] or the wishing well[TS2:S][TS3SE][TS4RGS].
Decorative plants can be bought from the build mode.
In The Sims and The Sims 2, some of them have to be taken care of. Flowers need to be watered, otherwise they will die. In The Sims 2, bushes occasionally need to be trimmed and weeds may need to be pulled. A Servo, Butler or Gardener can be hired to take care of them. Dead flowers, untrimmed bushes, and weeds lower the lot's Environment score.
Harvestable plants were first introduced in The Sims: Unleashed, in form of crops, and returned in The Sims 2: Seasons, with the addition of orchard trees, The Sims 3 and then in The Sims 4 . When harvested, they will give produce, which can be sold in Old Town[TS:U], in the Supermarket[TS3], on the spot[TS2:S] or be consumed.
Several obstacles to this type of gardening are Gophers and rabbits[TS:U], cold weather[TS2:S], and zombies[TS3:SN]. Gophers and rabbits can be chased by a cat and cold weather can be avoided by growing plants in a greenhouse. The plants have to be watered and weeds need to be pulled.
There are several utensils used for gardening:
- Ladybug Lofts[TS2:S]
- Natural fertilizers [TS3]