Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Plant photo directory

I have already written about the MyFolia website, which is a wonderful plant networking community.  The single most enjoyable aspect of MyFolia was one that I initially underestimated - the photos of my plantings.

When I first started building my catalog on MyFolia, I found that most of the plants I have in my collection were not in the database of MyFolia.  Since the MyFolia database of plants is created by the users, I attribute the missing plants to the group of people who have used MyFolia so far.  I would gander that many of them are traditional "gardeners," which (to me) means that they grow vegetables and flowers and things in their yards.  I consider myself more of a "plant enthusiast" and "plant collector."  For me, the gardening side is a small fraction of my plant hobby.  Most of my plants reside in pots and most must live half the year indoors.  Another portion of my plants reside in my aquariums.  So far not a single one of my aquatic plants was already in the MyFolia database.

So from the get-go, I was having to add each one of my plants to the database, as well as to my list of plantings.  I give great credit to the developers of MyFolia, because this was an easy and quick task.  But as I was focused on adding the correct genus and species names for all of my 160+ plants, I neglected to invest any time in uploading pictures.  Besides, MyFolia requires you to upload pictures to a photo-sharing community (Flickr, PicasaWeb or a couple of other options).  Since I didn't already have an account, I put that task on the back burner.

It was just a couple of days later before I decided I should probably open a Flickr account so that I could post some of my plant pictures to MyFolia.  Boy, am I glad I did.  My "Plantings" (what MyFolia calls your list of plants) is now a wonderful photo directory of the plant list that I also have listed here on The Variegated Thumb.  The MyFolia developers were pretty smart in using an existing photo sharing community, because they can just show a snapshot from Flickr, without having to store the pictures on their own servers.  The only downside is that to see the full picture, you must click the link and go to the Flickr website.

On LibraryThing (a website for book lovers - very similar to MyFolia), you can look at your "Library" (book collection) in list form or cover form.  I found that it was really fun to look at all the books I have read in cover form.  I thought this would also be a really cool feature for my plant collection, to see the little uploaded snapshots of my "plantings" (analogous to my "library" on LibraryThing).  I have written the developers to suggest this feature for MyFolia, so we'll see what happens.

So, the cool thing is that I have been thinking about taking a picture of every plant in my collection and building a photo album of my plants, to accompany My Plant List page on this blog.  But the problem with that method is updating the photo album would be a hassle.  Using MyFolia will be much easier to add a new plant and a new picture, so the work is done for me already.  Check out my plantings on MyFolia here.

Also, MyFolia has a Wish List, which is just like my "Plant Wants" page.  So I have started transferring my Plant Wants list to MyFolia, as well.


  1. I just saw the folia website this week. I would love to get that organized.

  2. Sigh. I'll never be quite that organized. :) But I do hope you create that album. I created a MyFolia account a long time ago, but never did much with it. I must!