University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
NEW ON-LINE HERBACEOUS GARDEN PLANTS COURSE
By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
Whether you are a home gardener or industry professional, if you are
interested in outdoor flowers and want to learn more about them this winter
and the coming year, here is a great, new opportunity for you.
The course I teach at the University of Vermont (UVM) on garden
plants is now available to take totally online through the Internet.
The more than 250 pages of printed notes are available for purchase in
case you want to have them for future reference, and not just on a computer
screen. Or you can get the notes on a CD-ROM, or the lectures on
audio CDs to listen to while you follow the lecture outlines.
You can buy only the notes, too, without taking the course, but
there is a considerable discount if you also sign up for the on-line course.
Although the notes contain lots of useful information, they are best used
in conjunction with the course for enhanced learning. Many aspects
of the course are designed to reinforce key points and plants and give
you additional information and exposure to this whole field of study, which
is not found in just the notes.
The cost for the course is $99, with a $20 discount for horticulture
industry professionals and Vermont Master Gardeners. Printed lecture
notes, CD-ROMs, and CDs are extra. The course also may be taken for
credit. If you aren't a full-time UVM student, you can sign up through
the UVM Continuing Education Division.
To learn more about this course and the notes, to see samples,
and to sign up or order these products, visit the Website at http://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/hgpo/hgpo.htm.
So what does this course offer?
Knowledge of some of the more common annual and perennial flowers
of temperate climates, as well as other herbaceous garden plant groups
such as ornamental grasses, roses, aquatics, ferns, bulbs, and wildflowers.
In all, 200 plants are covered extensively, and dozens more in lesser detail.
Lectures covering botany, design, culture, pests and problems—more
than 90 lectures grouped into 32 main topics and five modules.
Quizzes at the end of each module are designed to reinforce the lecture
notes, and even add additional information as they help you test your knowledge.
Plant identification quizzes from photos will help reinforce your
recognition of key plants, and their proper name spellings.
Exercises, similar to "lab" projects, will give you experience in
several related aspects of garden plants, such as the most common, how
to find information, garden history, plant combinations, and current issues,
among others. Many of these results will be shared through the Web
so you can benefit from the collective work of the class in this region
When you sign up you will be placed on a listserver, so I can share
questions and answers with the whole class periodically, along with key
results of projects, course updates, and more. You won't be able
to post directly to this list, in order to limit the volume of E-mails
sent to those taking the class. If you want more interaction, you
will be directed to specific other lists and chat rooms.
Lectures streaming with real audio (www.real.com) so you can follow
along while viewing the lecture outlines, or just listen. Several
videos, varying from four to 16 minutes, on various aspects of herbaceous
plants, also are streaming with Real Audio.
Useful list of terms.
Highly linked pages and an index in order to navigate easily and
There are some key differences between this course, and others you
might take. These include:
It's one of the first such courses in distance education and totally on-line
on the Internet. Based on more than 18 months of market research
and six months of testing with university students, it has been designed
to meet the needs of most people. It is as simple as possible to
work with slow connections and novice computer users, and priced affordably
for the extensive amount and quality of information offered.
It is asynchronous--in other words, you can take it anytime. You're
not bound by length of semesters or a set number of weeks to finish projects.
You take this course at your own pace and as time permits with up to a
year from signing up to complete it.
It covers both plants and their related aspects, such as design and culture,
extensively. Often courses and texts just cover one or the other, and often
in much less depth.
In keeping with Vermont's concern about the environment, and UVM's environmental
focus, the lectures are based on underlying principles of sustainability,
environmental friendliness, and ecological soundness.
The lectures and information are widely applicable, not just in Vermont
or the Northeast, with geographic differences in culture and plants noted
Perry's Perennial Pages, Articles