Since we were unable to lure many of our members to brave the hot Texas weather to visit ABC’s extensive herb gardens, we decided to take the gardens to our members by putting a virtual garden tour on the ABC Web site. It is now available for viewing at .
The virtual tour has been on the backburner for a few years due to higher priority projects. However, this year we were fortunate enough to have a summer intern, Jesse Sommerlatt, who studies Biomedical Photographic Communications at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Jesse also has a strong interest in medicinal plants and wanted to spend some time at ABC to expand his knowledge. He created the virtual tour of the gardens as his primary project at ABC. In addition to photographing some of the plants that appear in the tour, Jesse researched and wrote the commentary that accompanies the photos. Each plant has a short description that addresses its economic uses and some of its properties. Over time we will add links to additional educational material on the plants in the virtual garden tour so viewers can learn more about these plants.
Web site viewers can “tour” the gardens in a couple of ways. On the main page of the virtual tour there are two lists of the gardens with a link to each one, one across the top of the page and one at the bottom. This list continues to appear at the top of each page no matter where you are in the tour. For viewers who want a complete tour, at the bottom of the main page is a “start tour” button with “next” buttons when the viewer is ready to see the next plant.
Currently there are approximately 70 plants in ABC’s virtual tour. There are many more plants in the gardens, and as they continue to grow and bloom, we will add more of them to the tour. It will continue to grow and get more interesting, just as gardens do.