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The Interactive Garden

  The TownHouse Garden is not as big as your local botanical gardens, but it is still filled with lots of plants, planters, fountains, and i...

 


The TownHouse Garden is not as big as your local botanical gardens, but it is still filled with lots of plants, planters, fountains, and ideas. To keep track of them, I use QR Codes. One side of the Vigoro T-label has a code for the public blog page I created for the location. The other side of the T-label has a QR Code that opens an editable version of the page, where I can add a note and photo updates.

Here's what it looks like when I (or anyone else!) inspects the garden with the camera app.


A prompt shows up to open the public blog page for that location with the default web browser. 

If I turn the label around and scan that, I open the same page, but in edit mode.



The codes are created using Google's Sheets. 




The QR image is created with the formula: =image("https://image-charts.com/chart?chs=150x150&cht=qr&choe=UTF-8&chl="&ENCODEURL(B3)) where cell B3 is the location or URL of the blog page. I did the same to generate the admin QR code.

I printed out the codes and used a clear Gorilla tape to attach the images to the T-labels. I then used another piece of tape on the other side with the admin label and trimmed the results.



The "Notes" that have been created so far can be found here: https://www.townhousegardening.com/search/label/Notes. Not all of the pages have been assigned a location. I carry spare labels in my pocket and as I wander the garden I might stick in a label and add a description of that site.

I first came up with this idea for the garden during a visit to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in February 2020. I thought it would be nice to scan a QR Code near the name of the plant to get a better explanation or even a video of the local botanist telling me more about the plant. Schools could use this to add descriptions to the plants on their grounds, making every site an interactive botanical garden.

Here was the response from the Huntington:

Hi Bill,

 

You’re absolutely right and we are working on that. There is some internal debate about whether people just come here to escape the real world and would rather be left alone…. An interesting theory. For now, we do offer a free app-based audio guide in our art galleries via ipods that we hand out to visitors. Thanks for your note and I hope you enjoy your visit,

 

Heather Hart

Vice President of Information Technology | The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

626.405.3534

hhart@huntington.org

Well I have to agree with Heather, I would not want to hear multiple video tours of the garden. People do know about ear buds/plugs, but some would insist on sharing their sound. However, wouldn't it be nice to know that the flower that looks like honeysuckle is actually yellow jasmine containing deadly alkaloids in it's nectar? Is that glowing iridescent trumpet flower that is talking to me the variety that causes hallucinations? Just saying...

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Townhouse Gardening: The Interactive Garden
The Interactive Garden
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Townhouse Gardening
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