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September 1, 2009

The Yard and Garden News: Features in blog format

Karen Jeannette, Horticulture Research Fellow & Yard and Garden Editor

Last month, former editor David Zlezak explained the Yard and Garden News has moved to a blog format.  Here we explain a little bit about how this new type of format has enhanced options, but still the same quality information you've come to depend on. These are some new features:

  • Readers can comment on articles - we want to hear from you!
  • RSS feeds - read Yard and Garden News in your favorite feed reader
  • View articles chronologically (under Archives) or by topic (under Recent Posts) - choose what works for you
  • More options to use media (video, voice, slidshows, etc...) to support articles
We encourage you to explore these new features, or you can sit back, relax and read the Yard and Gardens News as always. You will continue to receive email notifications linking to new Yard and Garden News articles.  And don't forget: The old Yard and Garden News archive is still accessible from the new site by searching for information under the  "Search 1999-2008 archive" (see left column).

Printing and photo captions

With the switch to the new format, we are still working on improving printing and photo caption options for our readers.

Printing instructions: To print the newsletter in blog format, click on the desired month in the archive (right column), then select print from your computer's file menu. Note: When printing pages, you currently may be experiencing the text clipped a bit short around the margins. We hope to resolve this problem in the next few issues. We appreciate your patience while we are working to get this problem corrected.

Photo captions: The blog format does not currently have the ability to produce captions around the images. Until this is corrected, we will be providing descriptions and photo credits in the body of each article.
 
We want to reassure our readership that your Yard and Garden News team is working to correct these printing and photo caption issues. We hope you'll enjoying using the new blog format. We're excited about the additional possibilities for sharing the latest Yard and Garden News with you.

Plant Information Online

Sometimes finding the right plants for your garden is half the battle of getting them planted! The University of Minnesota's Plant Information Online database is a valuable tool for finding sources of plant materials, links to plant specific information, and much more. Created and maintained by library staff at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Andersen Horticultural Library, it is updated many times a day. Kathy Allen, Andersen Library's head librarian, highlights ways that the Plant Information Online database can be used, including as a resource to find:
  • nurseries that specialize in certain plant materials (mail order)
  • where to find or buy a particular plant (mail order)
  • wholesale plant sources
  • (hint: knowing local wholesalers may provide clues about local retail plant availability)
  • nurseries or plant names (especially helpful when you can't remember the entire name)
  • plant specific links to reliable web sites with images and information
  • plant specific book and magazine citations listings
Allen and University of Minnesota Extension Librarian, Kristin Mastel, developed this 5-minute YouTube video showing how to use Plant Information Online. The video uses animation and subtitles to convey how to effectively use this online resource. Sit back and enjoy learning how you, too, can become a pro at finding plant information online!