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Garden variety sites growing in popularity on the Web

April 14, 1996


Rising temperatures and greener lawns mean that most of us will be spending more time outside tending to our lawns, gardens and performing assorted landscaping chores.

There are a wide variety of resources available on the Internet that offer facts and information that any home gardener will find helpful. One of the best sites I've visited lately on the World-Wide Web is The Virtual Garden.

You'll find it tucked away in a corner of the massive Pathfinder Web site by Time/Life, and it lives up to its claim to be ``an on-line resource for the home garden.''

The gardening content of two Time/Life publications, Southern Living and Sunset, are included as part of the site's content.

It also features outtakes from Homeground, a gardening newsletter.

You'll find a Time/Life Garden Library section, including an interactive plant encyclopedia, house plant directory and garden project information.

This month's issue of Southern Living had some neat tips on creating a patio herb garden.

My favorite feature was how to baby a new lawn, complete with tips on proper fertilization (which begins with having your soil's pH tested) and how to properly interpret the test results.

Sunset magazine offers similar advice, though its articles are aimed at readers in western states.

The Time/Life electronic encyclopedia is very useful, offering information on nearly 3,000 species of plants for use in North America. You can search it by plant name or by plant hardiness.

If you want to see what a real garden looks like, Virtual Garden even offers on-line tours of The New York Botanical Garden. Another nice link is to The American Orchid Society Web site, with information on growing these delicate beauties.

GARDENNET. Well executed with surprisingly quick-to-load graphics, GardenNet is both an on-line catalog and reference Web site. In addition to the secure on-line order capability (while using Netscape software), the site offers ordering by e-mail, fax and telephone.

The site includes the Ardent Gardener, a column that offers reviews of new gardening publications and interesting bits of gardening news.

ORTHO. If you've done much yard work at all, you've undoubtedly run into products by Ortho. These include all types of chemical pest controls, fertilizers, and that all-purpose weed killer, Roundup.

Under the yard-care section, they offer the Ortho Rose Encyclopedia and the on-line Ortho Problem Solver. The site has on-line forms to complete to determine the proper mix for their products when using them at home.

Visit www.ortho.com/ for all the info you need on their products.

ROUNDUP. Roundup is isn't included in Ortho's Web site, but the product has its own dedicated Web site.

The site offers complete information on all the Roundup products, mixing tips, a glossary of terms for garden terms, and a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about the product, and the ability to submit questions to the company via e-mail.

MONSANTO. Gardeners who also have farms can find information on the agricultural uses of Roundup and other Monsanto products on the Web.

ORGANIC GARDENING. Netizens with an interest in organic pest controls will want to visit the Bug Store.

The Bug Store is an online source for predator insects to control whatever is ailing your garden.

They offer books, tools, and advice on the various insects. For lady bugs, they warn buyers ``don't expect them to stick around too long.'' They suggest enticing the bugs to stay near your garden with food (in addition to the aphids you hope they eat).

They also offer non-chemical controls for pest control in your home.

COTTAGE GARDENING. The American Cottage Gardener magazine's Web site is aimed at those who ``believe that you do the best you can with what you have, that compost is good for what ails you, and that going there is much more fun than getting there.''

Cottage gardening, information at the site explains, is folk gardening; it places emphasis on an informal, personal garden designed with a wide variety of plantings.

The site includes subscription information to the magazine, as well as some copy pulled from various issues of the magazine.

'TOONERS ON THE WEB. This column recent featured information on News-Enterprise editorial cartoonist Terry Wise's Web site, and he's in good company.

There are other cartoonists on the web, ready to send their latest offerings to your desktop.

  • And if you're wondering about life (and employment) as an editorial cartoonist, you can visit the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists' home page and find out what's going on in the 'tooning world.

    The group knows about how their work is often seen as controversial, since the group's logos on their Web site is an ink bottle with a bullet hole in it.

  • United Media also offer their syndicated cartoons on the Web.

    In addition to its editorial cartoons, it also offers on-line version of its popular cartoons, including a Web favorite, Dilbert.

    Besides to Dilbert, you can check out the latest version of Alley Oop, The Born Loser, Marmaduke, Peanuts and others.

  • Vice President Al Gore, the target of many editorial cartoonists since he has been in office, shows his sense of humor with his personal collection of 'toons featuring caricatures of him.

  • Western Kentucky University student Stacy Curtis is a rising talent in the 'tooning world.

    He's provided artwork for Western's student newspaper, the College Heights Herald, as well as the Park City Daily News and The Kentucky Post.

    Curtis' work goes well beyond college issues, take pokes at social and government concerns. He's received a long list of awards, and is now syndicated by Tribune Media Services.

    Check out his work, you'll find something to entertain (or irritate!) you.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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