Where to Learn More about Gardening

Devra Boesch
Frederick County Master Gardener Program

The Master Gardeners are a volunteer organization through Maryland Cooperative Extension. For those gardeners who would like to broaden their knowledge and give something back to the community, you might consider becoming a Master Gardener. Check us out at www.netstorm.net/~gene. New Master Gardener classes start the first week of February. Call 694-1594 if you are interested.

There are many traditional and non-traditional sources of information available to the avid gardener, many at no cost to you. Traditionally, the local bookstores all have separate sections of their stores devoted to the garden. There are also specialty book clubs that will send pre-selected volumes targeted to the interest of the gardener.

However, don't overlook your local library! There are a wealth of volumes on all manner of garden topics just waiting for you to check them out. The local staff will assist you to browse the card catalog on their computers to search out interesting volumes. With modern technology you can also browse your local library from your own computer without leaving home. Libraries in Frederick County have on-line access (check with your local librarian to obtain an access code via your library card). With this code you can check not only your local branch but all branches in the library system, order the book you want and have it delivered to your local branch library, where they will call you when it arrives. You can even reach outside of Frederick County and the library system will search nationwide if the book you are looking for is not available locally.

With computer access (either from your home or via the library) the whole Internet is open to the avid gardener. There are several web-sites that I particularly enjoy: Two of them are the gardening and landscaping sections of www.hgtv.com and www.diynet.com. These web sites, and many like them, not only have scripts of their various gardening shows on-line, but also contain many articles of interest to a wide range of gardeners.

And how about those gardening shows? No computer at home? How about a TV? PBS broadcasts "Rebecca's Garden" and other garden shows on the weekends. Or how about cable or satellite TV access? There are entire channels devoted just to the gardener, and what is more satisfying then sitting inside on a snowy day watching someone develop a garden project and learning how to do that project yourself? The variety available on TV is staggering. Lifetime has "Surprise Gardener", BBC America has "Ground Force" and of course Home and Garden TV and DIYNet are full of shows such as "Gardening by the Yard," "Seasoned Gardener," "Weekend Gardening," and "DIY Gardening and Landscaping".

All of these resources make your fingers itch to get outside to start working and certainly give you the ideas to start a new project as soon as the weather warms. Enjoy, and as Rebecca the garden gal says, "Keep those fingers dirty!"

Read other articles by Devra Boesch