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Gardeners can dig up ideas, advice on the Web

June 24, 1996
Web posted at: 7 p.m. EDT

From CNN Interactive Writer Kristin Lemmerman

(CNN) -- Judging from the plethora of technical sites accessible through the World Wide Web, you'd think nobody who's on-line now ever steps outside. A small but healthy number of other Web sites prove the opposite is true.

Some Net denizens not only step outside, they take a spade and gloves with them as they walk out the door.

There are several "green thumb" sites for computer-savvy gardeners. Some sites answer gardening questions; others offer advice through articles. Still others are designed by gardeners to show off the fruits (and flowers) of their labors.

Here are a few of the best.

GardenNet's The Ardent Gardener

Ardent - Screen shot

This easy-to-navigate site bills itself as the Internet's "only weekly gardening publication." Like a magazine, it has regular features. "Over the Fence," for example, offers tips on new and unusual plants, garden design, and the editor's garden philosophizing.

Most gardeners, new and otherwise, will probably find the "Ask the Ardent Gardener" section to be the most useful. Gardeners post questions, ranging from "How do I salvage my Christmas poinsettia" to "Is there any tree in the world that deer won't eat?" The gardening expert in charge of the site posts the answers.

Look for a new search engine in the near future that will make the site's Q&A section even more useful, allowing anyone interested in saving their poinsettias to browse the questions and find the answer themselves. The Ardent Gardener promises that the search tool is on the way.

  • Washington State Gardening Unlimited
  • Atlanta Garden Connection
  • Ohio State University WebGarden
  • Garden Connection screen shot

    What worked in your grandmother's Oregon garden probably won't carry over to your garden in Mississippi. These sites are among those available when you need advice from somebody with the same weather you have.

    The three sites listed above are just a few of the many good sites available that deal with gardening specifics in their region. You might go there to find out what ornamental bushes do well in your area, learn whether there are specific blights affecting your food crops, or look up a checklist of yard care chores by season.

    However, each site does have features that cross regional boundaries. The Ohio State WebGarden site, for example, has a dandy on-line image database where you can search for information on more than 250 different ornamental plants.

    Gardening Unlimited, a site run out of Oregon, incorporates local Extension Agency information into its layout instead of treating extension agents like a separate species, as many sites do.

    Among its general offerings are tips for garden projects almost any gardener would find interesting -- for example, detailed instructions on building your own cedar window box.

    No clue what to plant in your new cedar garden box? The Atlanta Garden Connection published a lengthy article full of ideas this month. All the Atlanta Garden Connection's articles are easy to find, listed by subject matter in their features section. And for gardeners who live near Atlanta, the site gives a comprehensive list of area resources, shows, and seminars. Joe and Wendy's screen shot

    Joe & Mindy's WebGarden

    Joe & Mindy's falls in a very small way into the "made to make you drool" category. It is extremely image-heavy, and beautiful. For those with modems without the power to cope, the link to a text-only version is placed high on the page.

    What Joe & Mindy do best, though, is present links, according to category, to a multitude of gardening sites on the Web. It's organized, it's well laid out, and it's comprehensive. If you need something and don't know where in the Web to find it, go here.


    Related sites:

  • GardenNet's The Ardent Gardener
  • Washington State Gardening Unlimited
  • Atlanta Garden Connection
  • Ohio State University WebGarden
  • Joe & Mindy's WebGarden
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