Horticulture tips in rec.gardens

Angeline Kantola kantola at u.washington.edu
Mon Mar 20 12:20:17 EST 1995

In article <jxvauz at brunt.demon.co.uk>,
Clarke Brunt <clarke at brunt.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>That said, I have had to give up on rec.gardens because I could not 
>keep up with the volume of messages. For anyone with even a vaguely
>scientific interest in plants, rec.gardens is just annoying - full
>of items like "My <common name for plant> is sick", when I have no
>idea what plant they are talking about, or "Which is the best 
>leafblower?" (leaf what? never heard of them in the U.K.). 

Now, now, give the layfolk a break. The volume of traffic
at rec.gardens is pretty huge, but manageable with a decent
news reader, and can be considered an indicator of its value.
And I can think of several regular contributors to that forum
who clearly have scientific interests in plants; I'm a huge
fan of Kay Klier, an academic plant taxonomist who shares her
vast knowledge generously there. 

I enjoy
>bionet.plants much more (and wouldn't dream of posting anything
>which didn't have some sort of scientific interest). Pity though if
>rec.gardens ends up with lots of people asking questions and nobody
>who has a clue to answer them.

Arguably, Clarke, you just _did_ post something 'which didn't
have some sort of scientific interest'. :) All joking aside,
I concur with the suggestion to 'professionalize' the name of
this group, or to post a regular FAQ of sorts emphasizing the
academic nature of the group (though arguably, if someone's 
been lurking a while they'll realize this is not the forum for
questions about their droopy dieffenbachia). There's a similar
split in newsgroups about reptiles/herpetological subjects--
rec.pets.herp gets questions about 'what's wrong with my pet'
and there's a bionet.group for more academic topics. Sure, 
r.p.h. gets a lot of repetitious and boneheaded questions, but
more often than not someone has a knowledgeable answer. 

Angie Kantola
Ph. D. Candidate in Biochemistry,
avid amateur horticulturist.

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