We're so pleased with the response and the activity in the new Garden Showcase category. It is an exciting feature and when gardeners make use of all of the available tools; it should evolve into a massive resource where gardeners can access information about specific climates, soils, types of gardens and even the plants in each one.

ImageWhen you upload images to an album, there are a number of actions that will help others with similar gardens or in comparable areas find it.

Give your album a title and add a few details as to where it is located and what type of garden it is. You do not have to select every option, my Natural Landscape album, West Kentucky Autumn Landscapes, obviously does not have an amount spent, but it is Temperate and Continental, zone 7a, over 10 years old and neutral soil. By selecting these details, other people looking for similar albums, will be able to find mine. Gardeners looking for trees and shrubs with great autumn color can click the link on each tree to see if it would grow well for them and if a participating vendor offers it.

tag pageTag your plants! Have you ever seen a lovely garden image and wondered what that great plant in the right corner was? With the Garden Showcase the tagged plants take the mystery out of the images. The tags are clickable links that take you right to PlantFiles where the cultural information, trade lists and PlantScout vendors are listed. So, if you see a great peach colored iris in an image, if it is tagged, you can see where it has been successfully grown and even if other members have some for trade! Open your album using the Edit Album button. The image at right shows one of my album images in the edit mode. You'll see Cover, Tag and Delete at the bottom of each image. Cover lets you select the first image visitors will see in your album, just like the cover of a book. The Tag option is whaere you'll tag your images and of course Delete is self explanitory.

image orderThere is also an option to arrange the order in which your images will be viewed. You'll see this choice near your Save and Exit button. You can choose to show your album with the oldest image viewed first. (that would be from the first image you uploaded to your album) or you can choose to have the newest image viewed first. (from the last image you uploaded) Another option is a custom order. If this option is selected, you can simply click and drag your images to the area of your album where you wish to display them.

ImageI've tagged the plants in my Autumn Landscape album to make it easier for those viewing it to know what they're seeing.Just click on the plant you wish to tag and type either the common name or botnical name in the field provided. They system will suggest plants and you can select the your plant from the list. If your plant is a named cultivar you can then select the cultivar name from the second field. My Sassafras tree is the wild species, so does not have a cultivar name.You can see the drop-down list in the image showing suggestions.

ImageBy tagging my images, it is a visual record of a nature walk in this instance. I have a record of the autumn colors each tree or shrub displays at that time of year. This is also a handy tool for documenting visits to botanical gardens or arboretums. You have a visual record of your visit and the plants are tagged for future reference.

Once the plants in your image are tagged, then anyone who hovers a mouse over the tag spot will see a window pop up with the basic information. This is also a clickable link that goes directly to its PlantFiles page. This keeps cultural information available for anyone curious about the plant. Traders can see if another member is offering it and participating PlantScout vendors selling it are easily accessible.

Spring is just around the corner for the Northern Hemisphere and it is a perfect time to document your gardens as the wake up. Many of us are contemplating new garden projects. Documenting the coming garden year is a helpful and fun activity...I know I can't wait to start my veggie garden album! I think seeing an album from seed to harvest should be a great project.

Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere have the opportunity to show off your bountiful harvests and bright blooms (and many of you already are)Those lovely images are some of my favorites as I scroll through the new offerings each day.

The Garden Showcase is being fine-tuned based on your activity and suggestions. The tech team is anxious to make this one of our best features and want you to get in there and 'get your hands dirty' with this new garden tool.