Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 2, Number 4 / April 1, 1995 / Page 15

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

by Lisa Schmeiser (

What do roller coaster temperatures, all-day cleaning binges, and the Time-Life Virtual Garden have in common? They're proof that spring is ... well, springing -- both in the physical world and the Web. Centered around the perennial spring themes of flowers, cleaning, and the ever-unpredictable hemline, here are a few sites which will bring a virtual April breeze to your Web browser.

For a realm which exists in a tangle of cables and electrons, the Web is surprisingly fertile ground for gardens. The Ohio State Dictionary of Plants boasts an extensive list of plants for any garden, and each plant comes with a detailed definition and a remarkably clear color photograph. But the Web doesn't slight the garden for the flowers; Monet's Gardens at Giverny page offers a virtual tour of the sites Monet painted. A separate scenic site is the Missouri Botanical Garden, which combines lovely topiary images with lively and informative text.

In addition to showcasing star garden sites, the Web also provides a plethora of gardening guides. The Gourmet Gardener catalog and the Gardener's Supply catalog (featuring must-have tools for "Composting Made Easy" and "Plant Protecting Fabric") are two of many on-line seed catalogs. There are also numerous sites offering advice on keeping your houseplants alive and what to grow on the shady side of the yard.

When you're done gardening, come in and clean up -- but be sure to watch where you walk because you're likely to step on someone's freshly waxed floor. Although some may insist the only spring cleaning to be done on the Web might involve dumping old sites on a hotlist, there are plenty of sites to assist in the real-world ritual of top to bottom cleaning. First and foremost is the Tupperware home page, possibly the only page in existence to virtually organize your kitchen. now if only the page authors could simulate that trademark burp.... Back 2 Nature offers environmentally friendly cleaners, and the Vacuum Cleaners page features an instant excuse for putting down that broom ("I am too cleaning! The Vacuum Cleaners are on!").

So, you've visited the Giverny Gardens and ordered a few dozen tulips of your own, you've dusted the house, and now you're ready to go out? If you're suffering from hemline anxiety (as a wearer, a spectator, or both), the Web might not do much for you; three server searches later, the best sites I could find were the TallWeb Clothing site and the Upstream Flyfishing catalog. It looks like the virtual runway is still a thing of the future... ¤

Coming in May: employment pointers for all you college graduates, really informative college home pages for any of you considering "higher" education, and five really cool sites to inspire a summer vacation.

Lisa Schmeiser is a Master's student in technical communication. She is currently spending her time looking for a writing based internship in the Washington D.C./ northern Virginia area. Please visit her home page and check out her resume.

Copyright © 1995 by Lisa Schmeiser. All Rights Reserved.

This Issue / Index / CMC Studies Center / Contact Us