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Garden journal entry

January 27, 2008. I spend a good amount of time trying to find information about plants on the web. The internet has completely surpassed my trusty hard- and soft-bound references when it comes to figuring out what a plant looks like, whether it is hardy in my climate, and what conditions it appreciates in the garden. But it's not always easy to find the best references from a Google search - search for common plants and you'll find mostly links to commercial seed and nursery catalogs, many of which don't specialize in providing useful information (although some do!). On the other hand, search for a more obscure plant by its botanical name, and most results are references to scientific articles and studies of little interest to the gardener. As an experiment, I set up a Google Custom Search engine. This allows me to define websites from which to preferentially display results, as well as websites to omit from the results. So far, I've listed 39 sites - mostly purely informational, a few particularly good nursery sites, and a handful of "do not list" sites. I'm fairly pleased with the results already, but I'm sure it will improve further as I tweak the lists. I put a search box for this custom search on my plants page, and for convenience I'm putting one here as well. Let me know how it works for you!
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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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