This fertile site will help you grow your gardening game
All summer the farm stands were full of freshly harvested berries, corn, tomatoes and other delicious produce. As we enter autumn, pumpkins, squash, carrots and other fall offerings will take their place. Weekends will be occupied with apple picking, cider drinking and trips to the pumpkin patch. And then the frost will come and agricultural activities will wither away.
Or not. If you’re serious about your gardening, there’s still plenty to do in the fall and even in winter. Gardendesign.com is a website bursting with information and ideas about gardening that are ripe for the picking, including many articles on fall planting and winter prep. Gardeners take the long view of life, so they know that you sometimes have to plan and prepare now to have successful growth next season.
The site can tell you which plants can be started in the fall, as well as where and how to plant them. It has information on flowers, vegetables, trees, houseplants and many other types of plants. It also branches out into garden design, landscaping, pest control, how-to information, tools and more.
Winter activities are also featured in several articles. Gardens can be planned, seeds can be ordered, tools can be sharpened and serviced, and plants can be pruned. It turns out that gardening is not just a fair weather activity — it’s a year-round passion.
Naturally, the site does not focus exclusively on fall and winter. The number of articles on all aspects of gardening is truly amazing. There’s so much information on the site it’s sometimes hard to find your way back to a specific article. There are photo galleries of all kinds of gardens and plants. The site features online events that you can register for. There’s an online shop with tools, books, plants and other gardening products. The Garden Tours section has information on beautiful gardens all over the world that you can visit.
The site is organized well, but some of the navigation changes as you explore different sections. There’s a navigation menu down the left side of the page. The list of items on this menu changes depending on the section you’re in. This takes a little getting used to, but if you spend enough time on the site you start to figure it out.
Most sections are organized with grids of photo links that take you to successively more specific content. For instance, the home page has five rows of photos with a heading and caption under each photo. Each row has a heading over it, such as Gardening Essentials or Popular Now. Click on a photo in the row, and it takes you to a page with another grid of photo links dealing with various aspects of the main subject. Click on a link and it takes you to a specific article on the topic.
The articles are well written with lots of good information. Good quality photographs, and in some cases drawings, accompany most articles. There are usually links to similar articles, books, supplies or other resources throughout and at the end of the articles. The site is a terrific resource for anyone who is interested in gardening, whether they’re already a green thumb or just starting out.
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: email@example.com; 570-348-9100 x5212