I am making my first attempt at a permaculture design this year, and I am having some difficulty choosing plants. That's for another discussion, though. What this thread is about is this. My conundrum made me think: it would nice to have a plant database, with some sort of web interface that I can use to make an advanced query, e.g. "Perennial shrub layer plant, Hardiness Zone 6b or below, partial shade, food, beneficial insects".
Of course, the query wouldn't be a sentence like that. It would have radio buttons, drop-down menus, check boxes, etc.
Does something like this exist?
If not, how feasible do you think it would be to create something like this? I am a software developer, but I only have about 5 months of professional experience with web programming. I know a little SQL. I think I could design the database tables, web forms, and server-side scripts and so forth. However, I might need someone to hold my hand a little bit.
Also, I would need lots of data! I'm thinking that crowd-sourcing might be the best way to go, i.e. "Wikipedia-style", "anyone can contribute" sort of thing. It could be set up so that anyone can submit a plant species. They would fill out a web form of some kind, checking off the various properties of the plant they're adding, plus a name (common and scientific?) and description. They could also choose other plants in the database with which the new plant pairs well (and maybe even leave a note describing why the pairing is beneficial).
Then maybe there could be a couple of moderators. They would need to be real plant experts who can quickly review new submissions & changes, and just oversee the project to ensure accuracy.
Anyway, just a crazy idea. Feel free to trash it! =)
Edit: Sorry for the edits, I did a horrible job proofreading. I'll let any other spelling / grammar mistakes lie as they are. =P
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
posted 8 years ago
great idea! depending on what part of the world your in there is something like that available. Plants for a future is a permaculture project in england researching plants and their growing habits and useability for human designed systems.
for piles of information try www.davesgarden.com i've been looking for a resource like what you described as well and this is what i primarily use to find the basic information on the largest variety of plants
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