COMPUTER-SAVVY GARDENERS DON'T let a bit
of nasty winter weather ruin their horticultural fun. When it
is raining they can log on to the internet for entertainment and
education. The November newsletter of the Humboldt Botanical Garden
Foundation, The Botanical Guardian, lists a few web sites
for gardeners to peruse. Let's take a look at some of the national
and local sites it suggested.
garden.com - This site is like a garden catalog filled with pretty pictures. However, garden.com recently announced it is no longer taking orders for garden products. It has phased out its retail division, yet much of the site's informational text is still laced with links to products that were available for purchase on the site. For instance, a short article on attracting birds to the garden entices the reader to buy bird feeders. Look up spider mites on the Q & A pages and you will find a brief paragraph on how to handle them, along with the products you can buy to be rid of them. Knowing what products are out on the market may still be useful, even though the products are no longer available at garden.com. For more detailed garden information, check out the online magazine page. Text here is educational and the reader is not bombarded with product links. An informative article on cultivation of amaryllis was accompanied with plenty of photos detailing the subject.
thegardenhelper.com - Unlike garden.com, this web site has a folksy, homespun feel and is operated by Washington State farmer Bill Beaurain, who says he has been gardening since the age of four. This site is tailored for beginning gardeners who need to know the basics. "There's no such thing as `can't grow a plant'... you just haven't learned how to care for it yet," writes Beaurain. Photos are few, but nice, like the mugshot of a banana slug on the Pests and Problems page. There are plenty of gardening tips. Unfortunately, some articles lack detail. An article called "Joy of Feeding Birds" underlines the importance of feeding birds in winter, but doesn't provide the details.
The educational value of this local web site is not obvious. It
offers links to web pages of local garden-related businesses.
Click on "Gardening and Landscaping." Some business
web sites are informative. Strawberry Creek Orchids, a McKinleyville-based
orchid nursery, offers cultural information on growing orchids.
springville.com - This Fortuna-based page offers 29 local websites. Click on to the "Gardening and the Outdoors" link and find sites including the drought tolerant low-maintenance demonstration garden in Fortuna and Fortuna High School's nationally recognized stream monitoring and restoration project. Humgardens.com is a web site featuring local gardening information, garden-related businesses and links to area garden clubs and organizations.
Terry Kramer's garden articles from 1996 to the present are available at this website. Search for "garden."