Take your garden online in 2015 with Plants Map. Created by husband/wife team Bill and Tracy Blevins early last year, this botanical-centric social platform is taking off with numerous plants, trees and gardens shared every day. Users can document their growing activities, learn from others and find new ideas, all on one easy to use site.
Giving Plants a Dedicated Social Platform
Natural beauty is naturally shareable. And the act of growing is an inherently social activity. As a master gardener, no one understands this better than Tracy Blevins. Beyond wanting a place to catalogue their own flowers, plants and trees, the Blevins’ also hope Plants Map will, in Tracy’s words, “be the bridge and social network that connects all generations of gardening and growing enthusiasts.”
On the site, users create profiles where they can list personal information and upload different plants. You can also “Like” other user’s individual plants and gardens. This creates a list of “Liked” items that’s easy to revisit as desired. There’s no “friends” “following” or “circles” on Plants Map, but posts can easily be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. There’s also a location feature for those who want to look at plants according to region.
This is NOT an App. We repeat, this is NOT an App.
To join Plants Map there’s no downloading necessary. It’s a social mobile website. And if you take a pro-App stance, rest assured that the site is designed to be user-friendly on all devices. Pull it up on a laptop, tablet, PC or phone using any web browser.
The Best Plant Journal, Like, Ever
Like the Blevins’, many families inhabit a few or more homes throughout a lifetime. And as we migrate from place to place, the trials and tribulations of plants and gardens past tend to get lost in the mix. (See: stack of water- and dirt-stained notebooks banished to basement boxes.) But with Plants Map, “garden amnesia” is eradicated like a bad case of mealybugs. Here’s how:
- Create an account
- Add plant photos, names and notes
- Refer back anytime
Make plant profiles as simple or as detailed as you want. Text fields include information like place and date of purchase, scientific and common name, and even the date of death, if necessary. There’s also a free-form section to add personal notes. Have a ton of plants? Users can categorize by whole gardens and collections to keep entire landscapes organized.
“Beyond the coolness factor, being able to access my own plant webpage to add photos and notes while working in the garden is a time saver and a convenience,” shares Tracy, whose growing profile you can view here. “Plants Map has now become just as indispensable to me in the garden as my shovel.”
And if you have trouble remembering what’s what while you’re down in the dirt, consider adding QR codes to different beds and containers. Plants Map makes it easy to order custom tags and signs directly from each plant or garden profile.
Bringing It Back to Communities
“I have read that the first sign of a community is the establishment of gardens. They anchor people and draw them together in ways that are beneficial.”
–Plants Map co-creator Tracy Blevins on their growing network
In addition to individuals, Plants Map also invites organizations to create profiles for
schools, universities, public and botanical gardens. One such example is the Florida Institute of Technology’s Botanical Garden. Grounds Manager Holly Chichester linked up with Plants Map in early 2014 at the suggestion of a friend. Now, the site and labels are playing a role in the FIT Botanical Garden’s landscape master plan and renovation.
“The QR code capability brings our self-guided tour process up to date. It makes the garden a destination, both esthetically and educationally,” Chichester shares. She hopes Plants Map will help expand their reach in the community and beyond. “It’s really jump-started the process for Florida Tech, being one of the first steps in taking our garden from a lazy little jungle to a high-tech horticultural venue.”
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