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Voting Booth: How do you use PlantFiles?

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admin
Schenectady, NY


July 18, 2011
9:50 AM

Post #8699539

There are a total of 129 votes:


I like to check the zip code reports to see what will grow in my area.
(9 votes, 6%)
Red dot


I enjoy adding images to the entries. (if you don't add images, why?)
(17 votes, 13%)
Red dot


I find the member's comments useful.
(42 votes, 32%)
Red dot


I check the hardiness chart before I purchase a plant.
(8 votes, 6%)
Red dot


I use PlantFiles to get ideas for new plants.
(20 votes, 15%)
Red dot


I don't use PlantFiles at all. (why not?)
(7 votes, 5%)
Red dot


Other. (tell us!)
(26 votes, 20%)
Red dot


Previous PollsThanks to 'pirl' for the great Voting Booth suggestion!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 18, 2011
9:55 AM

Post #8699554

I use pf for all the listed reasons, except the last one ofcourse. PlantFiles was how I was introduced to DG when I purchased a plant years ago, and wanted to learn more about the plant's culture to begin with. I've been a member ever since.
melnfla777
Kathleen, FL

July 18, 2011
10:59 AM

Post #8699712

I like to look up info about plants I don't know about, like how to grow, what conditions they like.
dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

July 18, 2011
12:19 PM

Post #8699860

I'm like you on this Lily. All the reasons listed except for "I don't use plantfiles." Plantfiles is how I ended up finding Dave's Garden. One of the things that makes this not just a social club with flower pictures and advertising.

flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

July 18, 2011
1:39 PM

Post #8699988

Same here...looking up info for plant a discovered DG.
Always using Plant files

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 18, 2011
2:03 PM

Post #8700036

I'm like everyone else...All of the above, except for the 'I don't use PF' answer.
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

July 18, 2011
2:10 PM

Post #8700047

All of the above, to a degree, but mainly I add pictures and use it to look up scientific names and correct spellings.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

July 18, 2011
3:33 PM

Post #8700257

I voted for users comments. It is interesting to get some honest opinions complete with reasoning. I do find a lot of 'invasives' don't seem to bother me as much as others, perhaps because I have acreage to work with so am not confined to smaller areas that can be problematic with over zealous plants.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 18, 2011
3:36 PM

Post #8700267

I chose other ~ I use it when I've purchased a new plant or to research a plant I might want.
Then I link it to my journal in the appropriate category.
It is a worthwhile feature and it is how I came to DG initially also. I think it must be DG bait! lol

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2011
5:29 AM

Post #8701222

I use PF in a number of ways, including adding pics, checking hardiness zones, and reading comments along with countless others, but the main way that use it is to see what a plant/cultivar really looks like before placing an order. That's what I was doing when I found DG to begin with and that's still the most important thing for which I use PF. Because so many vendors use shamefully doctored photos, I look every plant up in PF before I buy. If I'm really lucky, there will be a number of photos so that I can get an 'average' of how it looks.

Eleven

Eleven
Royal Oak, MI
(Zone 6a)

July 19, 2011
5:33 AM

Post #8701227

I voted that I find user comments useful, but like a couple other have posted, I found Dave's Garden by searching for plant info and being directed to a PlantFiles entry. I've active on DG about half the year, and probably use PlantFiles every day I'm here.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

July 19, 2011
6:41 AM

Post #8701330

Ditto to everyone else above! I haven't posted many pics, but I enjoy doing so when I have one to offer.

olddude

olddude
Big Pine Key, FL
(Zone 11)

July 19, 2011
6:57 AM

Post #8701356

While I do enjoy adding images or new plants I use Plantfiles mostly for identification of plants that are new to me or plants that I want to identify.
Scott
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8701584

I use Plant Files for all of the reasons listed (except for the last one, obviously) plus some others.

I also love to look at the pictures that other members have posted, even if I already have the plant. If It's something I just planted, it shows me what I have to look forward to. If my plant isn't doing well, it shows me what it should look like. Since many of the plants have several pictures (and some have lots), it gives me a better idea than just looking at pictures in nursery catalogs where the speciman photograghed was grown under the best conditions and the picture may have been "touched up".

Eleven

Eleven
Royal Oak, MI
(Zone 6a)

July 19, 2011
9:06 AM

Post #8701604

Nuts, I do the same! I especially like to see pictures of the overall plant. It's easy to get lured in by a pretty flower, but I want to see what it's going to look like in relation to the rest of my garden.
GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2011
10:13 AM

Post #8701721

DreamOfSpring wrote:I use PF in a number of ways, including adding pics, checking hardiness zones, and reading comments along with countless others, but the main way that use it is to see what a plant/cultivar really looks like before placing an order. That's what I was doing when I found DG to begin with and that's still the most important thing for which I use PF. Because so many vendors use shamefully doctored photos, I look every plant up in PF before I buy. If I'm really lucky, there will be a number of photos so that I can get an 'average' of how it looks.


Took the words right out of my mouth.
Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

July 19, 2011
10:17 AM

Post #8701728

Yes, that too, to see what the color really looks like.
dparsons01
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2011
10:21 AM

Post #8701735

The pictures work for me to EXCEPT when there are 15 pictures of just the flowers and nothing else. Flowers are great, but I want to see what the plant looks like the other 9 months of the year too!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 19, 2011
11:00 AM

Post #8701818

Same as nuts.

I do enjoy adding photos and comparing how similarly my plants grow to other areas of the country as well as how different some plants are, like daylilies and their colors.

It's the way I found DG years ago and it's what led me to become a subscriber.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2011
11:31 AM

Post #8701878

ditto to what dparsons01 said. i love when someone posts a picture of the whole plant so i can get an idea of form...and yes, PF is how i found DG.
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

July 19, 2011
11:34 AM

Post #8701883

I also like close-ups photos of leaves and emerging from dormancy, how it looks in fall, and in winter.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 19, 2011
12:03 PM

Post #8701933

Remember to post images of your own plants during the various growing stages.

We especially need images of the stems, leaf axils, seeds, seed pod/heads, roots and undersides of leaves. There's always a new way to photograph a plant if you put your mind to it and your image might be very helpful to someone researching it.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 19, 2011
12:27 PM

Post #8701973

melody, you've got it! I've been wanting to post some unusual seedpods, but have been undecided. Here goes!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 19, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8701999

Thank You!

Other things that we need...bark on trees, terminal buds on tree branches before they leaf out, silhouettes of mature trees in the winter (most have a distinctive shape) Seedlings of trees (or any plant!) Foliage in spring, summer and winter. Weeds and grasses...yep, them too! Folks think 'ornamental' and naturally take pictures of whatever they've nurtured, but plain old Johnson grass or crab grass has a place in PF too. Close-ups of thorns and milky sap from broken stems (if it has milky sap)and hollow stems.

Blooms are nice, but there are so many more aspects to a plant, that many folks are missing great opportunities to contribute.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

July 19, 2011
1:26 PM

Post #8702093

Excellent ideas, Melody, thanks!
nutsaboutnature
Algonquin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2011
1:37 PM

Post #8702108

melody - you've got me brainstorming now! You're right, of course. There are so many other parts of plants that would be helpful to see.

I've posted buds & a couple of seed heads, but I never really thought about tree bark, for example . . .and what's funny about that is we bought our two River Birch trees mainly because of the beauty of the bark.

Guess I'm going to have to take a lot more pics . . .and at other times of the year, too. Wow . . .my mind is racing!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 19, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8702176

If you color outside the lines just a little, you can come up with many images to add to PF.
Even the veining in leaves is distinctive and an identifying trait.

Sashagirl

Sashagirl
Davenport, IA
(Zone 5a)

July 19, 2011
7:15 PM

Post #8702701

Melody,
You are so right about needing great photos of all aspects of each plants life cycle.

I voted "other", because I have always primarily used plant files to research plants. It's the very reason I joined DG many years ago.

PlantFiles just keeps getting better!

Beach_Barbie
Kure Beach, NC
(Zone 9a)

July 19, 2011
9:12 PM

Post #8702873

I use it for plant info, pictures and comments. I agree about needing pictures of things of than a plants blooms, so when I can, I post a picture of the seeds, seed pods, seedlings, etc.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2011
8:29 AM

Post #8703602

I definately use and contribute to plant files database! It is what brought me to Davesgarden.com
sherman99
Menifee, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2011
8:48 AM

Post #8703641

i think there is a need for a "more thanone answer" choice on these.


all of the above except the dont use one.


i am learning not to buy anything until i check it out on plant files.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2011
12:24 PM

Post #8704089

and sherman, don't forget GW. once you decide to buy "that" plant, buy from a reputable source.

gardenmart

gardenmart
Saugus, MA
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2011
1:11 PM

Post #8704211

Definitely other. I joined Dave's Garden to have unlimited access to the Plant Files. I consult them for all kinds of information and for plant identification. I utililize plant height, spread infomation, zone info etc. You're right about needing photos of various plant parts but you have so many plant photos that this is still a wonderful plant resource, especially now in the era of digital photography.
Martha

carrielamont

carrielamont
Euless, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 20, 2011
4:20 PM

Post #8704504

Oh, now I can put pictures in PF too! I take such lousy pictures that I'm usually embarrassed to upload them...but I ought to be able to get a coreopsis seedling or a balloon flower's milky sap or even than stupid burning bush when it's NOT burning. Gotcha!

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

July 21, 2011
6:53 AM

Post #8705709

A year or so back, I took a bunch of pictures of leaves from just ordinary trees around my area, closeups showing the veins and undersides, some just because I liked the abstract patterns they made and others to add data to my journal. I also took pics of bark from various trees to use as a reference for artwork. I took a lot of weed pics to request ID's. I'll have to go back and find some of those and see about adding them to PF. I, too, only thought you wanted the perfect, gorgeous pics of flowers and such, but now that you mention it, I can see how all of those pictures actually include a lot of data about the plants they represent. Such informaiton would add to the richness of PF and make it an invaluable tool for scientists, researchers, and hobbyists alike.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2011
4:36 PM

Post #8707036

And it looks like we need to educate 5 voters that don't use PlantFiles at all... hmmm.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 21, 2011
5:37 PM

Post #8707177

how could anyone NOT use PF? hmmmm indeed.
speak up yee voters.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



July 21, 2011
6:25 PM

Post #8707284

If I might add a little something to Melody's excellent suggestions...when you add a photo to PlantFiles, it's very helpful for both those that use PlantFiles, and the PlantFiles Administration if you add a little comment to the photo when you add it. Then that comment shows up in the photo caption and tells users that the photo is of the 'underside of the Populus deltoides leaf, or just put 'the underside of an Eastern Cottonwood leaf'. I know the photo should speak for itself, and most times it does, but that little bit of additional information is helpful in a lot of ways.
mrs_colla
Marin, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 21, 2011
9:14 PM

Post #8707663

All of the above, but also to see what a plant might look like in a different stage of life, a different season and sometimes the pix available by nurseries are too cute to be true!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2011
4:15 AM

Post #8708005

The stock photo online of Purple Prince is typical of your message, Mrs. Colla. It hasn't been "that" purple for anyone yet. It creates only doubt for the vendor by gardeners who want to believe that what we see is real. I've faced it too many times. Here's a collage showing the stock photo (dark) along with reality.

This is just one great reason for posting photos on Plant Files.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ericabelle
West Plains, MO
(Zone 6b)

July 22, 2011
5:17 AM

Post #8708074

I think PlantFiles are essential to me for two reasons: First, I go to them to see if anyone has posted a photo of the plant's growth habit. So many catalog photos are just pics of the flower, with no overall view of the plant. Second, the member comments really tell you the "real deal" - whether the plant really has a long bloom time, how strong a grower the plant is, etc. Thanks everyone for participating! =) I try to post any photos of plants that we don't really have that many photos of to add to the database, too.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 22, 2011
6:00 AM

Post #8708137

Yes indeed Joan, the comment area is very important!
I usually tell what the image is: underside of leaf, leaf axil, seed pod, and then tell what time of year it is and where it was photographed. The little comment area attached to the picture is for a very short description (I think it is 25 words or less...Joan?) My description is usually something like..."Cornus florida berries, late October, west KY, USA" Then, I go to the real comment area and write a more detailed comment.

This has been a very good Voting Booth question, it has people thinking and many are now encouraged to contribute to PF when they may not have before. A BIG thanks to Pirl for coming up with this one!
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



July 22, 2011
8:08 AM

Post #8708349

Quoting:The little comment area attached to the picture is for a very short description (I think it is 25 words or less...Joan?)


Close... it's 20 words or less.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 22, 2011
8:12 AM

Post #8708357

Thanks Joan.
So, you see...you don't have to say much, just a few words about where you photographed it and what season it was would be fantastic.

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

July 22, 2011
12:27 PM

Post #8708872

I also greatly appreciate it when the poster indicates whether the photo was taken in such places as a greenhouse, a nursery or store, a botanical garden, a trip to such and such Iris garden, etc.

Joan, I didn't realize the description on the photo was also helpful for PF Admin, so I appreciate that you shared that info.

I haven't actually posted to PF much lately, but I used to try to post a photo of everything I had, esp if there wasn't a photo of it in PF's already. I've just been busy lately with other things, but I will post them again in time. Another thing I realized recently is that there can pretty much never be too many photos of a plant in PF. I used to avoid adding photos if there were say 5 or 6 there already. I figured that was enough. Now I realize that I love it when a plant I'm looking for in PF's has tons of photos. The more, the better, as that gives me all the more visual information about the plant/flower.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 22, 2011
12:39 PM

Post #8708884

Exactly. The more information PF can give someone the better. If an entry has none, or just one image, you might upload several. If an entry is popular and has many images. select your best one or two, especially if you can give everyone something unique. If you have a plant you want to share with everyone, go to PF first and see what is posted. You might be able to make your images more useful that way. If all you see are close ups of flowers, an image of the whole plant with possibly something in the picture for a size reference would be good.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

July 22, 2011
5:05 PM

Post #8709387

I was introduced to DG through the PF as I googled different plants. The best combination of info and pictures was here.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 22, 2011
7:18 PM

Post #8709659

I am not seeing it as much now, but used to be when you did a search on a plant on the web DG was always popping up near the top. Now a lot of the results are someone trying to sell plants.
Cindy_Rae
Kansas City, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 22, 2011
9:12 PM

Post #8709885

I stumbled in here by googling plants I wanted to learn more about. I'm in the process of clearing out the back yard of 30 yrs worth of growth with the intention of using it all for crops. I'm only using a fraction now. After realizing that I could plant more than we could dream of eating, canning and sharing I decided I could have flowers after-all! I didn't think I would have room since I'm planting just about every common veggie & fruit known to man. I never realized I have a full acre! I love being able to see the plants in real life pictures unlike the doctored photos on nursery sites and the different variations some have between plants of the same flower. Next spring I'll be able to have beautiful flowers in the back with the knowledge I'll be happy with what I buy because of this site!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 23, 2011
5:19 AM

Post #8710279

Cindy...lots of fruits and veggies in PF too, and reports from folks who grow them. (I know, I've added hundreds myself) We need fruit and veggie pictures. The seedlings, plants, blossoms, immature, and ripe produce.
Be sure to get those fruits and veggies added too folks!
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2011
12:27 PM

Post #8710900

http://www.missouriplants.com/Whitealt/Croton_capitatus_page.html

Pls look at the excellent pics this individual posted. Details about foliage, stem, flowers, etc. Joan, the only thing they are missing are the little explanations as you suggest. Unless the pic is glaringly obvious, I will start including little legends.

Melody, I will look at the samples you provided so I can be better informed as to what constitutes a good pic of a trunk, foliage, etc.

great and useful discussion.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


July 24, 2011
5:48 AM

Post #8712025

Those are excellent examples.

Even the obvious image will benefit from a small caption. Just say where the image was taken and what time of year. This will help viewers...even with blossoms. A plant that blooms for me in April may not bloom for someone further north until May. This will help someone judge bloom time for their area. Even some catalogs are quite vague when describing the bloom time. 'June' does not always mean June at different latitudes.
Joan
Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a)



July 24, 2011
8:33 AM

Post #8712241

Bloom times can be confusing when comparing the same plant to two different areas.

When PlantFiles was first born, we had the criteria for Iris bloom times set in months. Someone could check off April for bloomtime, which kind of corresponded to the early/mid season bloomer for those in the southern part of the country. But that same Iris up here in the far north wouldn't bloom for me until mid June, and that was considered early for this area. Mid season would be early July for me, and the late season Iris are just finishing up now toward the end of July. We have since changed the bloom time criteria to correspond with the American Iris Society's E, EM, M etc.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

July 25, 2011
9:00 AM

Post #8714087

If I could check all the reasons I would have. Except for not using the plant files. I have caught viruses from looking at Google images on the Internet, so I feel safe looking at the images on here instead. The info others provide of their experiences has been very helpful for my success in the garden. I also enjoy the communities submissions. I finally subscribed this past year after many years of using DG and my journal has been a wonderful tool to aid my poor memory of what plants I've had in the past, or when I fertilized the last time. I wonder why I waited so long? I'm stuck like glue now!
Sherri
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 25, 2011
10:23 AM

Post #8714238

So glad to hear you subscribed, Sherri! DG, in all aspects, is a wonderful place to spend time and the people are terrific.

Welcome aboard.

You cannot post until you register and login.


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