Since I use Corel Paint, I'm not familiar with "actions" of Photoshop. However, the manipulations of fphoto.org did not seem that impressive. I guess actions are several manipulations combined. I would rather do them separately. The old version of Corel Paint that I have has at least 7 or 8 sharpening algorithms. It can also alter highlights, shadows and contrast. I especially like the resampling function to reduce the size of the image. They have a function were you can break the contrast curve down into many segments, and then alter the shape of each segment, therefore altering the contrast across the entire contrast curve from black to white. You can see the results immediately. Its great to see a certain area of a plant just pop into view when you adjust the right segment. So with this funtion alone I make probably 8 separate adjustments to the contrast, and probably about a dozen and a half total adjustments to many files.
I'm sure that you can do the same manipulations with Photoshop. Its just I think that the results are far better when you make the individual adjustments to each photo, and don't use a canned macro, because every photo is diferent.
I crop the pictures first then auto adjust the image. If I dont' like the outcome of the autoadjust, I use manual adjust and move the little triangles around like crazy trialing and erroring which frame looks better. In the end, for planted picutres, I adjust the color hue. Bringing out the green would be nice in some pictures but not always. When it is possible to bring out the green hue, plants look amazingly beautiful and people wonder why I have such healthy plants. Maybe I do, but it's just photoshop.