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Evernote and garden plants

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There's no "gardening" category in Evernote lifestyle section, besides categories in Lifestyles have only half dozen posts in them, so there's not much conversation going on.


Does anybody have advice for how to collect & sort plant information?


Some items of interest:

  • horticultural name (title)
  • photo
  • height: 6' high bush; 10 ft high in 5 years, 25 ft in 25 years;
  • width: 6' wide
  • plant colour: blue-green
  • flower colour: white with purple bracts
  • Exposure: sun tolerant, shade tolerant, part-sun, part-shade
  • Soil Moisture needs: average soil, wet soil, dry soil, bog
  • Season of Interest: winter interest, early summer flowering, fall interest
  • Nature Attraction: attracts butterflies, attracts hummingbirds
  • Wildlife: deer resistant, rabbit resistant, attractive to deer
  • attributes: short-lived tree, dried flower, fragrant, good cut flower/foliage
  • there's probably more . . .


  • lists of what has already been planted in a garden
  • queries and ideas about what one might plant in a garden which would involve searches for specific terms. Would one recommend using tags for each of these things?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. :)

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  • Level 5

Collecting is easy - that is what Evernote is strong at

Queries are easy as well.


But sorting by each of all those categories will not be easy with Evernote.

If you absolutely have to sort by all those different categories, I don't think you will be able to do it with Evernote.


I don't understand why you want to sort all your flower results by each of the categories.

Wouldn't you rather have a search result showing all flowers that are blue-green?

I would suggest you reconsider the importance of sorting.

Evernote queries would seem to be much more productive to me.

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  • Level 5

I notice from Google there's a lot of Gardeners talking about using Evernote in Gardening, but not so much about HOW they use it.  Even this was pretty high level:

Some things perhaps to think about.

As said, I wouldn't spend much time dwelling on sort, rather think of grouping.


If you think of a note as the "what".  And use tags to multi-purpose that "what" into different contexts.


It seems to me you'll likely start with a separate notebook for Gardening to cut down on the noise in your searches.


If you start with a note with content like this copied in:



Ideally copied in with the Evernote Webclipper in your browser, to make input simple, but also capture the source URL so you can click back to it.


Then tag it for different contexts as needed.


A simple search in the Garden Notebook just on the text alone is going to get you search results on any of the captured data without needing any tags.  Things like:

  • Common name,
  • other common names
  • whether it has a flower
  • hardiness (zone)
  • color
  • sunlight
  • soil
  • propagation
  • pruning
  • pests
  • diseases



If you use the same source for populating your evernote then you can leverage their standardized phrases.  Meaning you can search on these, without having to create tags for these yourself.  That should cut down a fair bit on your Evernote maintenance.


Then you can see that multiple keyword searches can get at these:


"H7" "hardy" "part shade" "blue" "perennial" would find the plant above.


And if you added:


to exclude toxic plants, the plant above would not be included in your search.


Now where you might start to want to add tags:


Imagine you'd planted this in 3 client gardens.  You could create tags for them.






The periods let you search on any single word of the tag.

Maybe you only remember a first name.

Or maybe none.  You can search on "Client", and an alpha sorted list of all your client tags comes up and you can just click the memory jogged one.


Now with just a client or garden tag, you can see all the clients/gardens a plant is in.  Or search on the client tag, and see a list of all the plants planted there.


Then you may consider adding tags for year, garden bed, or even perhaps specific locations in garden beds that make sense to you.


You can then imagine, that in terms of grouping, with some variations on search you could reproduce a list of all the plants (plus perhaps a note with a photo you took in Evernote or Skitch) in the South.Garden bed of Client.Tom.Smith in 2013 and compare than to 2014


That would be with just tags in your search.  Add to that a keyword search for perennials, or annuals, or whatever to sub-select items for year end, or spring maintenance.


You'd continue to group the same sets of notes as needed.


Plant a new garden for a new client, and you just search on a tag group of favorites for suggested new plantings.  Then just add a new client name tag, year and location tag to the plants you choose to put in.

The same reference note is now just referenced with an additional set of context tags.  Or put another way, you have with tags, added an additional grouping, on existing notes.


If it's unusually hot, or dry, or cloudy and moist, I imagine it would also be easy to spot problem plants that may need some help or moving based on the keywords in their characteristics.

In the plant above, with no manual tagging, just searching on "autumn" would include it in a list for autumn maintenance work (In the section pruning: "Cut down plants in autumn") Or if it's a wet season, searching on "powdery mildew" would flag this as one plant to check on.


The key is having notes with full plant description with standardized terms.


In addition to those, I'd be inclined to have separate journal notes, tagged by client/garden, year.

Somewhere to capture the why/when the Aconitum napellus was moved, or replaced, etc.


When you have a good sense of your data terms, and what your repetitive needs are with that data, you'll get to your own personal set of tags and terms to search for.

Then I suggest saving those searches as Saved Searches, and maybe dragging them over to the shortcuts sidebar.

Then you can, even without the Reminders functionality, generate lists with searches for all manner of things:

  • periodic plant maintenance
  • favorite starter bed selections
  • selections by requirements (dry, moist, sun, shade, hardy, cheerful color)
  • disease or pest susceptible based on observed seasonal changes.


Caveat, I'm not a gardener nor play one on TV.

I'm merely the lifter of heavy things, doer of hard tedious tasks, and provider of organizational tools to my avid gardener wife.

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  • 6 months later...

A related Skitch question (the Skitch forum seemed too technical for me!):  I just started using Skitch to keep track of my garden design.  That is, I took a photo of each of my beds, and annotated the photos with botanical names.  But then I realized that if I move anything, or add any plants (heaven forbid! :)), I will have to take a whole new photo and re-type all of my annotations.  Is there any way to avoid that?  For example, is it possible to cut and paste elements from a Skitch’d photo (e.g., to move a plant around), or to save annotations and paste them onto a new photo?  


(If others have better tools for doing this, I am open to suggestions!)  Thanks in advance.



Philadelphia, PA

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