Gardening Multimedia Handbook
The Gardening Multimedia Handbook (Chestnut), is touted as containing information for everyone from “armchair gardeners” to “die-hard enthusiasts.” That may be true, but this disc is such a complete mess that you’ll lose patience with it long before gleaning anything useful. Let’s begin with the “historic encyclopedia,” which is anything but encyclopedic. A mere 150 entries, and the vast majority are without any multimedia support. Also in short supply are hotlinks probably because there’s so little on this disc to link. The sections on various plant varieties are a little better, but not much. Herbs, for example, opens with a brief video about herb drying. The main body then has entries on 15 kinds of herbs, but only one picture and one video. Click on that single video, and guess what? It repeats the same clip from the opening. The multimedia elements in other sections make you wonder click on the video about tomatoes and a 30-second video of someone picking a green bean comes up. Or the video about North American trees, which plays some jaunty music over a black screen. Some of the text appears to have been copied out of a local gardening book, mentioning that you can “grow tomatoes in all parts of the state”! You’ll need a lot more than you get here before you can dig in.
– June 1996