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'Gård' (lantgård) is either more lika a 'farm' with animals or/and fields with commercial crops, or it is a plain 'courtyard' (without treas and plants) where the ground is asphalt/stones/sand etc. Trädgård = a garden with bushes, trees, e.g. apples, pears, cherries, berries, flowers, grass to play on.
I got the lesson where I 'type what I hear' and I typed "tragård" and it was accepted. I think considering how far off from the correct spelling it is, it should not have been accepted. When I use Duolingo I keep a tab open for Google Translate for situations just like this; to check my spelling. That's when I learned how incorrect I was.
They are two different vowel-sounds, you have to listen and learn to hear the different. Å sounds almost like the A before L in English 'All', it is a vowel in the back of the mouth. Ä is more in the middle of the mouth, sometimes not far behind the front-teath, you can compare it with the first E in English "There"