Science of Gardening
Like all great endeavors, gardening is both a science and an art. This Exploratorium site demonstrates how the plants we tend feed our bodies, our minds, and our senses.
The Exploratorium is an online extension of the real museum of art, science, and human perception located in San Francisco. It includes over 12,000 Web pages, including video and audio files on a wide variety of topics. The site covers a lot of material and does it very well.
There is a top navigation bar that gives easy access to the main areas of the site. The main page also offers graphic links to featured sections. An on-site search tool is available, and all pages provide a link back to the home page.
The New Flower Gardener
The New Flower Gardener, by Pippa Greenwood (Barnes & Noble Books, 2002; $13), is illustrated with photos gorgeous enough to inspire even nongardeners. The book starts by exploring the basics of flower gardening, including seed starting and proper planting techniques. Step-by-step instructions for rooting cuttings and dividing plants are accompanied by how-to photographs to help beginners gain confidence with their very first try. Plants are conveniently arranged in chapters according to shape ("Trumpets & Bells," "Spikes & Spires"), and each plant profile includes pertinent information about soil types, watering requirements, and mature size. The final section addresses topics such as choosing plants for specific sites and conditions, fast-growing flowers, and flowers for cutting. It's a bookshelf "must-have" for experienced and novice gardeners alike.