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My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 3/29/01
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers & magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, e.g., skiing, gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each biweekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site one week after publication so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

"Equinox means balanced light, not balanced eggs" - Von del Chamberlain. The vernal equinox, when night and day are nearly the same length, marks the first day of the season of spring in the northern hemisphere and occurred on March 20. The equinox also marks the time when we should start thinking about our gardens. If the occurrence of the vernal equinox is not sufficient warning, the recent conclusion of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's New England Spring Flower Show should provide the tocsin. But help is on the way! The Web is a cornucopia of gardening information - I had great difficulty in limiting the number of sites listed. The sites selected provide detailed information on plants and gardening techniques. Thousands of photographs and descriptions (including fact sheets) are provided; tips on garden designs are available; professional advice for problems with pests and diseases is given. Even if you are not a gardener, the sites are interesting to anyone who loves nature.

The New England Wildflower Society
The New England Wildflower Society is the oldest plant conservation organization in the United States. Beautiful photographs of rare plants of New England, a list of courses, field trips and programs, a calendar of special events, information about Garden in the Woods, the society's headquarters, and a list of publications are provided at this site.

The Arnold Aboretum of Harvard University
The Arnold Arboretum is a research and educational institution. Explore the Arboretum's woody plant collections. The collections comprise a national and international resource for research in botany, dendrology and horticulture. Find out about the Arboretum's educational opportunities and obtain visitor and membership information. Search the library and archives of the Arnold Arboretum.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society
The society's home page.

The National Plant Data Center
The National Plant Data Center (NPDC) focuses resources on the acquisition, development, integration, quality control, dissemination and access of plant information. The NPDC is responsible for the PLANTS database, which focuses on the vascular and nonvascular plants of the United States and its territories. Search for any plant by common name, scientific name, or symbol and obtain high quality images and profiles (distribution, synonyms, growth habit, family, and more).

Department of Horticulture, Cornell University
Gardening resources, horticultural image collection, plant fact sheets, and extensive, detailed information for retailers and commercial growers.

Department of Horticulture, Cornell University - Homes and Grounds Pest Factsheets
Facts sheets from Ants in Houses to Willow Leaf Beatle including management recommendations.

Plant Dictionary of Ohio State University
Searchable databases for almost 4,000 high quality images and horticultural descriptions for hundreds of unique species and cultivars and for more than 1,100 high quality images featuring pests, diseases and other problems of plants. History of horticulture, biological processes and functions of plants, and procedures involved in propagating horticultural plants.

Fine Gardening
The Web site of the magazine Fine Gardening. The site provides articles and tips on design techniques, plants, and garden structures. A large list of links to other gardening Web sites is also provided. You can also subscribe to the complete online version of the magazine for a fee - 1 year at $29.95 (6 Issues).'s Plant Encyclopedia
Enter a name to find plant details or enter a hardiness zone (or zip code), plant type (annual, biennial, bulb, ...), soil type, bloom season, flower color, and resistance to find the plants suitable for your garden.
Links, descriptions, and contact info for thousands of gardening companies, mail order catalogs, associations, Web sites, services, products, events and more!

Gardening Resources
Additional links to gardening resources - plant data bases, university horticultural centers, encyclopedias, plant dictionaries, etc.

The headline is from The Mikado, by Sir William S. Gilbert.

The next column will feature sports sites in anticipation of the Boston Marathon and the baseball and tennis season. Previous columns with live links can be found at

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at either the Packer tennis courts or at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist.