Fine Gardening Magazine Educational DVDs Review

This week’s product to review was sent to me by Fine Gardening magazine. It was a set of DVDs that were presented to me by Fine Gardening as a great resource of information on very focused gardening topics. I got to take a look at Pruning and Propagation.

First, because I like to present good news before the bad, this is an information packed product. Each DVD covers in entirety all the questions that the average person might have about a topic and the bonus videos do make it a bit easier to understand the topic you may have a question about.

But… The dreaded but…

This was not a product that I liked. First of all, it is a program that automatically tries to install itself on your computer. I HATE installing anything unnecessary on my computer. I need all the space possible on my computer to store things like pictures of my garden and illegally downloaded songs. For information that I may only need to reference a few times a year, installing a permanent program is a hassle. It is like buying a reference book that you are told you can only buy if it stays on your coffee table year round.

I would prefer to just pop the DVD in when I need to and access the info from the DVD. This option is avaliable, but as you are prompted to install each time you put the disc in your computer, this may be confusing for less technical people.

I also was a little disappointed in the quality of the videos on the DVD. Don’t get me wrong, the information was all there, but the quality of the video was shaky and I mean that in every sense of the word. Unless there were minor earthquakes in every location that they shot, there is no excuse for shaky video on a professional DVD. For the cost of a single one of these DVDs ($24.99) they could have bought a cheap tripod and improved the professional look of the DVD by 100%.

I also thought the price was smidge high as well. I appreciate the value of information and, despite the free access to all kinds of crappy information on the web, I appreciate that quality information should be paid for especially when it is organized. But the fact is that you can find well illustrated books with similar information for less.

Who are these DVDs for? Well,

  • If you do not mind installing several programs on your computer to have easy access to quality information
  • or you understand how your computer works enough to feel comfortable navigating it
  • If you don’t need to take Dramamine to make it through a Disney 3-D theme ride
  • If you are lacking in space for books

If the above describes you, this would be a good product for you. As I said, the information is solid but the execution leaves a little something to be desired.

Read other reviews of this DVD:
Guest Review: Fine Gardening’s DVD on Propagation
The Fine Art of Teaching Pruning

5 thoughts on “Fine Gardening Magazine Educational DVDs Review
  1. I’m with you. I hate automatically downloaded programs. Just bought this Dell XPS and there’s all kinds of stuff, as usual, I didn’t want already on here. And also, like you, I need my precious space for all the gardening pics. Don’t download songs, as I’m one of those silly “silence is golden” type of individuals. But I do like the fact that, though they sent you something, you didn’t feel compelled “to like it!”
    Brenda

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  2. Thanks for the review. I’ve always been impressed by the home and garden books Taunton puts out, but I too am not crazy about installing any extra software on my computer so will probably avoid. I also spend too much time at the computer already, so the books and magazines are nice for taking to the hot tub or my reading nook. :)

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  3. Thanks for the review. I agree that programs should never automatically install themselves. If they want to pop something up when the DVD is inserted for less technical people, that’s fine but not an auto install.

    And is there still a market for Gardening DVDs out there? Most of the gardeners that I know are pretty thrifty and with YouTube and other free video sites out there, will people actually buy Gardening DVDs?

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  4. Hi Hanna, I came here via Cowgirl and loved the “What Flower Are You”. I’m not an avid gardener like YOU are, but I do piddle around a little. I’ll be back to read more! Thank you and I have added your flower to my blog :)

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  5. Hanna on

    Brenda Kula – I do want to be honest with my reviews. I would feel remiss to you guy and cheap if all I put were positive things.

    Lindsay – They do make nice books. I want a hottub to read them in too!

    Anthony – You know, I was wondering that myself. But then I figured that there is still a healthy proportion of people not using the internet yet (40% or 30% I think) and not everyone is hokked up to the internet all the time, so maybe those people would enjoy having the DVD.

    Debbie – Awesome! Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you came. :)

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