All Things Gardening forum: If you use a google spreadsheet to track your plants...

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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Jul 5, 2014 12:07 PM CST
I use google spreadsheets to track all of my plants. I wanted to be able to easily link (click) to photos of each plant on my Flickr account. Here's how I did it.

In my sheet, I use column B for the name of the plant. Here is a screenshot of the first 5 entires in my sheet (column B). Note that there are many other columns of data containing addition info such as height, bloom, description, etc.

Thumb of 2014-07-05/frankrichards16/3aef62

In another column, I convert the text in Column B into web friendly text. Specifically, I convert all the spaces to %20, which is the web equivalent to space.

I use column T for this conversion. T13 looks like this: =SUBSTITUTE(B13," ","%20"). Of course, T14 looks like this: =SUBSTITUTE(B14," ","%20").

In that same row, I have an cell entry that looks like this:


this is the clickable cell. If you have a flickr account, you can figure out this URL by doing a search of your photos & recording the URL.

So, when I click on this link in my spreadsheet, I search my Photos on Flickr for this plant entry. This is especially interesting if you have been taking photos of a given plant every year. For example, I have plants that I have taken photos of for several years, clicking on my sheet link, opens up a page with all of the photos (this is cool!).

When I add new plants to my sheet, it automatically fills in the search data. Of course, new plant items will usually not produce any search results for my Flickr photos:) However, I am starting to take photos of purchased potted plants, before I plant them. And, yes, I have been taking photos of tubers and roots prior to planting.

With modification, you can use any web photo site to do this. Picasa or Smugmug, for example. Also, I use this method to link to a google image search of my plant entry. Many times after I add a plant to my sheet, I manually copy the name and do a google search in another browser tab. This makes it much easier, just a click away:)

For my sheet, the google image link looks like this:


life is good.

Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Jul 5, 2014 5:29 PM CST
Thank you for that Frank!!

Some day I will do this. I am going to star this post for future!
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Jul 7, 2014 6:26 AM CST
I stand in awe of your organizational skills! Amazing. I have trouble keeping my seed packets in alphabetical order... Good job. Thumbs up
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Jul 9, 2014 8:20 AM CST
That's fantastic! I gave up trying to add pics to an Excel spreadsheet. This type of remote file can't be lost if your computer crashes also. I've found the list facility here on ATP fulfills my needs (except a few details like not being able to sort it various ways, and trying to visually ignore the common names while I look through the list for a particular plant.) Thanks for sharing!
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