Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ultimate plant nerd

Ribes aureum is a showy native
I've been away from here for a while. I have actually been out in my garden quite a bit, enjoying seeing first bloom for each flowering plant, the return of more herbaceous perennials, and the filling out of some of the beds.

But instead of keeping up a blog I started only a matter of weeks ago, I immersed myself in software. First, photo management software, which is a combination of a more flexible view than Windows Explorer gives me and photo editing tools. And then, because that wasn't the database I knew I needed, some software that is a template for Microsoft Access (obviously I have Access and so theoretically could have set up the right tables, but I didn't want to invest the time).

In my slight defence, it has continued to be a rainy spring, so there have not been too many days when any work was possible.

The photo management software has been great. I have tagged all of my plant and garden photos with their scientific name, so I can then use keywords to view only a particular genus of plant from earliest to most recent (on the disk they're stored in folders by year). Unfortunately, its trial period is almost up. It's not really expensive, but I have to decide if I want to pay that for the view part of the software, since I don't care about the photo editing tools (at least not at this point). I will probably pony up, despite the sad Canadian dollar.

Dodecatheon pulchellum (pretty shooting star)
The garden management template is not exactly what I might have liked, of course, but it's good and reasonably configurable. It looks clunky because it's 10 years old, but since it's really just Access it works fine. Data entry, however, is slow and time consuming. So far I have made it only through the A's.

I don't want to get totally immersed in software and being a geek about tracking. But it's a handy thing to have. My Word tables are pretty cumbersome, especially when I want to add notes.

Much work to do outside, however. I have to write about trying for a new balance between wild and tame.

Addendum: the mystery plant turned out to be an invader, possibly from the ground next door, which got very dug up to remove an oil tank and all the bad soil. Gone plant.

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