Monday, 16 February 2015

INTERNET GARDENING



INTERNET GARDENING

Garden lovers have always bought a regular gardening magazine to hold our interest and give us up to date information. We also regularly visit garden centres and nurseries as well as horticultural events in our area. This way we gain knowledge of modern gardening techniques and the latest plant varieties as they appear. Today, even in the world of gardening everything has moved on and now we seek our information on the internet as well as the other sources. There is any amount of information available at the click of a mouse leading to websites, blogs, forums and newsletters.
Schools teach computer studies from primary age, so our kids are well versed up in internet technology, but my generation has a lot to catch up on and although there is plenty courses in basic computing, it is not easy to adapt to this new technology.


My first steps
About twelve years ago I enrolled onto an evening class for basic computing learning a wee bit about all the parts and how they worked, then I found another course on learning to search and surf the internet, “Computing for the Terrified” I was an uphill struggle as the keyboard, which I had never used before, really had me baffled, but Scots don’t give up easily.
At this time Dundee Business Gateway was running a series of courses on computers, the internet and website building for small businesses, so yet again this very determined lad enrolled on all of them. I got enough information on just what to look for to buy my first computer with confidence. Now I could practice all these lessons I had been taught. Before long I was searching, emailing, scanning, adding pictures from my camera, printing, booking buses, trains, holidays, and building up a list of my favourite sites that I look at frequently.
My next step was to build my own website www.johnstoa.com to showcase my paintings, prints and art tuition. However I also added pages to show my gardening activities in and around the house as well as my allotment at City Road.
I then added a new blog, scottishartistandhisgarden.blogspot.co.uk linked from my home page to archive all my Dundee Courier articles for future reference. The latest venture is into Facebook and other social media sites, but being very careful with uploading pictures and content.
Today every worthwhile nursery, garden centre and grower has a website. So do Botanical gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society, stately homes, research institutes and numerous allotment sites.
If you wish to find information, or where you can buy a plant just go to Google and type in the common or botanical name and browse through the result pages. Pests, diseases, weed control, pruning, planting, composts, greenhouses, sheds, fences, polythene are all easy to find.
You can look up local garden centres such as www.glendoick.com  or if you wish to look up specialist plant growers try Cockers at www.roses.uk.com and www.davidaustinroses.com for roses.
For fruit growing try www.kenmuir.co.uk, and for excellent chrysanthemums check out Harold Walker at www.walkersplantcentre.co.uk I have used him for over twenty years.
If you want the best tuberous begonias look up www.blackmore-langdon.com.
Our own Dundee Botanical Gardens can be found at www.dundee.ac.uk/botanic 
For information on allotment sites try www.allotment.org.uk which has links to everything you are likely to grow, then check out both the National Society at www.nsalg.org.uk and the Scottish Society at www.sags.org.uk

Wee jobs to do this week


Lift and divide rhubarb plants more than three years old and replant them in well prepared soil that has been well manured as they prefer a rich fertile soil.
Tidy up the edges of lawns with a half moon lawn edger. Any areas that are damaged can be repaired by cutting a square of turf then turning it around so that the edge is clean and straight on the outside. Add soil to the broken area, level it and sprinkle in some grass seed.
Check over all garden tools and sharpen blunt edges with a file. Many tools such as secateurs, spades, hoes, axes and shears all get blunt with constant use.

 End


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