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The Educated Gardener, Volume 1: Interactive Guide to Herbaceous Perennial Plants

Allan Armitage
Locust Valley, N.Y.: PlantAmerica
Publication Date: 

CD-ROM, $59.95.

Perennial expert Allan Armitage demonstrates his familiarity with modern technology with this CD-ROM, an electronic manual on herbaceous perennial plants. This product contains descriptions of over 4,000 plant species and cultivars, with plenty of color photos and line drawings. Also included are a glossary, a heat zone map and general horticultural information. The program includes search tools to find plants by characteristics, common or scientific names or identification keys. There are also ways to locate plants by keywords, light, height, flower color and blooming season, among other factors. A specific identification search can help locate a plant by specific characteristics and determine the plant's name.

The CD-ROM is designed for computers using either Windows 95 or Windows 98 only. In addition, the computer must contain at least a 75 MHz Pentium microprocessor, but a 100MHz or higher Pentium processor is recommended. There must be at least 16 MB of RAM (32 MB or more recommended), a CD-ROM drive and a VGA color monitor set to 16-bit or 24-bit color. On the computer's hard disk, there should be at least 9 MB of free space.

Once familiar with the CD-ROM's search system, the user can breeze through the program. If this product is used in conjunction with Armitage's CD-ROM entitled Photo-Library of Herbaceous Plants, some 7,000 plants are illustrated in one way or another. This CD-ROM is a valuable reference tool for planning a new garden or researching cultural information on thousands of different plants.

— Julie Stundins