How do you organize your garden photos?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 164 votes:

I file my images by the garden or location.
(11 votes, 6%)
Red dot

My image folders are organized by type of flower.
(16 votes, 9%)
Red dot

My images are organized by flower color.
(0 votes, 0%)
Red dot

The season, month, or date determines how I file my images.
(42 votes, 25%)
Red dot

Organized? Seriously? You mean folks do that?
(80 votes, 48%)
Red dot

Other?. (tell us!)
(15 votes, 9%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Nurmo, Finland(Zone 4b)

Third time I'm first! Thanks to time zone. I keep promising to get organised. I've been thinking about it for at least sixty years now. I'll get round to it someday.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Name of plant, year, garden, anything additional:

Lily Anastasia, 2011, Fireplace garden right, front right

It still isn't perfect since often I have the same plant in several gardens and as a consequence I have more folders than is imaginable. The advantage is that any photo is easy to find.

Do not ask about the papers, notes, etc. on my desk!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I have a Flower folder on my computer and name the pics by either common or Latin name (whichever I most use with that particular plant). I try to get photos of the plant emerging, closeup on the flower, pic of the whole plant, and what it looks like in the fall (a work in progress). Within the flower folder I have a subfolder for Flower Beds to show pics of plant combinations, things that work, and things that need improving.

In Word, I keep a master chart of all living* plants, and I insert a picture of usually the flower closeup to each entry. Different columns are for common name, care, where located, uses, etc. I usually keep this sorted by latin name, but can easily switch to common name or do a simple search. I print this out once a year and keep it in a notebook to refer to as I garden. I think it is about 60 pages long this year - each entry row is about 1" tall.

*At one point I was cutting and pasting the dead plants to a second master file and editing to include cause of death (if known) but as that file quickly became larger than my living plant file, I decided to quit beating myself up and now I just delete the deceased.

Most of this organization is done in the dead of winter when it is pouring down rain outside. Cheers me up.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

I put down organized by location, but how I do that depends on the location. If the pictures were taken away from home, they would get a filename like sandiego07.25.2011A, which would mean that it was taken in San Diego, on July 25, 2011, and the A means that it is the first photo in the series, usually the first picture of the day. If I need to identify the plant, that goes in the file information section. Pictures taken at home are organized by plant name (general to specific) and date, e.g. rosemisterlincoln07.25.2011. I only need the A, B, etc., if I were to take more than one Mister Lincoln picture on that day.

On the hard drive, everything is in chronological order because that is how my brain works, but when I move the stuff to my jump drives, stuff at home goes on one drive, stuff away from home goes on another, and local wildflowers go on a third. Stuff away from home and wildflowers also go onto a backup jump drive. I'm not saying that I'm all caught up on naming and moving, but that is how it works in theory.

I'd like to make a database of stuff that I have at home, but like I *might* find time for that.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

My photos are done month by month. When a new ,month starts I put the previous month in a folder for the whole year. Then I have folders for 2009 thru 2011 now.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I file by flower name, and also under "trees, vines, herbs...etc." Under the names I have yearly folders. Then there are the garden "views" under front, north bed, west bed, native bed....etc. Insects are a whole different set under "critters" to start with! LOL!

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I let PlantFiles organize them for me. I add them to PlantFiles and then delete the photo from my computer and/or camera.

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

LOL! I try and organize but I have over 40 gig of photo's, flowers, my two kids you name it. (note to self must do some photo weeding)

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Kelli, I had to laugh at your "that's how it works in theory" comment. As Albert Einstein so aptly put it:

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Folders are named by date and eventually grouped into months. Vacation garden photos get their own folders. Within these folders:

Individual pics are labeled by plant name and maybe an extra identifier, especially if I have multiples (Hosta Liberty, or Hosta Krossa Regal small, Brunnera Kings Ransom 1).

I also have pics of my garden beds; these are labeled by house quadrant and then bed name (Back right Main hosta bed, Front left crabapple bed)

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

Organized by month and year, with separate folders for special events/ trips

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Organized sounds so, well, organized! I generally take a file of pictures at a place. The latest file is of the Coastal Maine Botanic Garden, which I just went to last week. I download a rough file, that is, every picture good or bad and call it by the place name and the year. I work up albums for facebook, pictures for DG, etc from that, editing individual pictures as necessary. I transfer all of these rough files to my external hard drive for storage. I also take pictures of my garden or any new or unusual plant acquisitions and file those by place and year. Also, I have files for the flower shows that I participate in. When I take flower pictures at a botanic garden or a flower show, I try to get an accompanying shot of any plant tag or id as the very next photo. Especially if I have a mind to acquire that plant. can't rely on my memory as much anymore. I also was able to identify two plants that were left behind from this year's show because the person took the ribbons and id cards and got flustered and forgot the plants. I had taken pictures of every display bench and was able to go back to my id card copy and look them up. Plants and owner were happily reunited.
I love digital cameras and the camera in my phone! I have a teensy data card to download pictures from the phone. It's great!

Marin, CA(Zone 9b)

My pictures are in monthly folders on my computer, but each year I make picture books online organized by colour.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

since I have about 500,000 named plant photos and an additional 300,000 more generic photos, I have to organize them by family and then genus and species... no other way to do it... I don't have too many hybrid or cultivar photos, but I suppose those I do are genus and cultivar in alphabetical order.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

To those folks with tons of photos, do you keep these on your hard drive, on external drives, or in the cloud somehow? I'm struggling with that at the moment. Want quick and easy access to photos, but I'm quickly running out of space on my hard drive.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I use an external hard drive for all my pictures, saving myself from crisis is something goes wrong with my computer.
They're organized mostly be garden, but a few favorites, like hibiscus and orchids has their own folders.
I'm probably going to start utilizing DG more as far as notes and pictures go. That was I don't have to worry. I'm paying for it (gladly), so why not use it!

Floresville, TX(Zone 9a)

I have over 10,000 jpegs, about 9000 are plant pics; none are organized lol. Of course, iphoto arranges them by date, but that's not much help. I thought about at least giving them keywords, but still haven't done it. Maybe this winter to pass the time...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Isn't that the reason for winter?

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Right on pirl, LOL!

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I bought a scanner last year with the thought that I would scan all the family photos and then give the kids each their own disc. Ha. If I can't even do that, how would I do the ones on the computer. They are in chronological order, but finding a specific picture depends on my swiss cheese memory of when, or approximately when it was taken.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Part of my curiosity about how others organize their photos was to see if others had those momentary lapses when we just can't think of the registered name of a plant and, for me, it was far easier to just go to the type of plant and then the additional information I had for a name tag. So if I knew I bought the Japanese iris from Eartheart Gardens and had it labeled as such, I could find it.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

I am currently using a gardening software that you can chose how the list is shown by name, height, color, etc, etc. That really helps when you can't remember a name but know you bought it from XYZ or it's yellow, or a vine, etc, etc. Problem is, the software isn't sold anymore and it's not connected to the web at all. So, if it goes bad, I'd lose all that info.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I'm not as organized as I'd like to be, but my technique is to do it by month. Inside that folder, I'll make subfolders depending on what I've got. If I make a trip somewhere, it will go in the June folder and then have its own folder inside that one. Flowers, insects and veggies in my own gardens will be separated into their own folders inside the main monthly folder. I have folders for DG stuff, like the series of articles on the Gronomics beds that I'm doing, and the Sunday Funnies. Roundups get their own folders too.

I still have to dig for an image that I know I have sometimes.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Therein lies the angst.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Mine are on an external hard drive, too, though it's only 50GB and it's already 3/4 full so time to get on of those Terabyte drives. But a I also have them on the web, on this site actually (see here:
though they are more organized for me that what they will seem to you as when I visit my journal, all is alphabetized, but it's not when others visit it (no idea how to get it so alphabetized for everyone else without a lot of extra work). I am thinking of breaking down each category into even smaller groups as it is getting hard to find certain photos even with this system.

Kure Beach, NC(Zone 9a)

Good gravy. We are such plant geeks... *sigh* ;)

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Original images are kept on an external hard-drive into folders by year. Each image has been downsized with the latin name added and held in the "plantpic" folder on my main drive so that I can use them as needed. I currently have 14,211 processed images in this folder, easily searched using Windows Explorer by entering Genus, species or cultivar name, or portions of the name. The problem starts when the names change and then I need to go back and change the name on the file(s).

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Growin....I will never be that organized but love that someone is. I have started putting the biological name on a few so far. My DH does make a monthly backup on an external drive and then takes it to the lockbox and switches it about every 3 months or so. Not as much for photos of flowers but events, and family pics.

Palmbob....I too have to search even with my organization for that one I remember that showed exactly what I wanted.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Original pictures are down-loaded from the camera and saved in their own folder by date taken. I then add various tags to the photos (where- if it was a trip, someone else's garden; what - for instance kid's school play; garden bed- if they are my plants). These tags help me figure out what they are later. I don't change file names or mess with pictures in this folder in any way.

I then copy the files to other folders depending on what kind of photo. I have main folders set up with generic descriptive names and progressively more specific sub-folders as needed. For example: our trip to Williamsburg VA was filed under Trips/Trips 2011/Williamsburg/Date.

My daylilies (I have a lot) are in the following for this year: Gardening/Daylilies/Daylilies 2011/2011My Garden//Month taken/Date taken.

Once files are saved in the proper folder I rename them with a descriptive name. My daylilies would get the registered name of the cultivar and the date (month and day) taken. If something gets messed up I can always go back to the original down-load file and get the original.

I also have some of the best of each flower saved in another folder called A - Z 2011.

So far I have plenty of room on the disk, it has 900+ GB of space. I do back up the pictures on photobucket and a flash drive.

Below is a picture diagram of what I mean. The top folders are all in the Daylilies folder. The next layer is the 2011 My Garden sub-folder in the Daylilies 2011 folder. Inside that folder are the Months and the A-Z 2011 sub-folders.

This message was edited Jul 28, 2011 7:01 PM

Thumbnail by DitchLily206
Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Mine go into a folder called, "Myplants".

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

OH Dear, Oh dear, You who are organized. I do envy your dedication. I am without a doubt the most unorganized person in the world. On the bright side I am always amazed at the mysterys in my life.It is totally miraculus to see plants bloom that I'm sure i never planted. LOL

Floresville, TX(Zone 9a)

I do that too cando. I found one a few days ago of a bog dwelling orchid that lasted less than a year for me... perhaps that one needs to be tried again lol.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

year folder, month folder, then a date folder

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

Wow! You guys are way more organized than I am. I still go by the event, because when I am looking for a plant I know I photographed, I still think first about where I saw it. One of mine or from someplace else? I guess I am still kind of visually oriented memory-wise.

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

"Garden Pics 2011" Windows keeps them sorted by date
Nothing is named/renamed - Im lucky if there is a tag in the garden to tell me what it is. Not real worried about the photo at this point. Just glad I have the pics.

Thumbnail by minnesippi
West Plains, MO(Zone 6b)

I organize mine by date, then I make notes during the winter as I scour the photos, looking for changes I would like to make. Then I make notes in Microsoft OneNote - I have sections for each month, and sections for garden planning for each bed.

El Cajon, CA

Thanks to iPhoto and me naming new photos immediately all my photos are organized by date and easily accessible by name.


Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Is there a program where we can put multiple tags on a picture and in doing so have it (virtually) filed in multiple folders? Something user friendly (and idiot-proof)?

I have 50 years worth of pictures to organize and I can't seem to get started...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You can put multiple tags on any photo in Picasa. Good luck with your project.

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