Sunday, 6 December 2009

..and the 2009 Folia Faire winners are...

We’ve just announced the 2009 Folia Faire winners over on the Faire page – many congratulations to all recipients, we think that all awards are much deserved!

This year, we decided to split the nomination and voting process into a public vote, and also a set of awards decided by a committee. The commitee for 2009 was comprised of 9 folians, hopefully representing a good cross section of the folia community: ceae, kristiecav, cmagnus, graibeard, janietta, Katxena, kelly, SneIrish and whirliegig.

Much thanks goes to our committee members for this year for their careful and methodical consideration of award recipients – they did a marvelous job, so much so that we will make the committee awards a regular fixture for future faires. We will choose a different committee for each year, to make sure that as many as possible can participate in the judging.

We’ll be making contact with each winner over the next couple of days, but you’ll start seeing your winner badges appearing on your profiles / homepages very soon – so look out for them over the coming weekend!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Last chance to vote in the 2009 Folia Faire awards!

As we are sadly coming to the end of Folia Faire month, we are also coming to the end of the voting period too – so if you haven’t voted yet, this weekend is your last chance to do so!

Folia Faire 2009 Voting page

We’ll be officially ending the voting on Monday and tallying up the winners – so stay tuned for the big winners announcement next week!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Vote now in the 2009 folia faire awards!

After a couple of late nights getting the nominations sorted from your fabulous suggestions, the voting page for the 2009 folia faire is finally now up and running!

Voting page for the 2009 Folia Faire

Voting will be open until the last week of November, so you have plenty of time to decide on your favourites – if you missed the deadline for nominations and would like to nominate someone else for each category, you can via the “other” field (just make sure it’s a link to a folia page, or it won’t be counted in the final tally!)

Voting is open to all, so feel free to post this link around the interweb, facebook and tweet as much as you like.

Happy voting!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Nominations for the Folia Faire now open!

Over the last couple of days we’ve been busy finalising and announcing the categories for the first annual Folia Faire – so please let us know for each category who you’d like to nominate for each award. Nominations received will be then factored into a voting round that will happen during November – stay tuned for updates!

So, without any further ado, the categories are:

Best Garden 2009

Most Creative Garden 2009

Best Exotic / Rare Planting 2009

Houseplant of the Year 2009

The Gigantic Veg Award 2009

Leap Into Gardening! Award 2009

Best Garden Design / Plan 2009

Best Creature Feature 2009

Best Grown Fruit / Vegetable of the Year 2009

Seed Saver Award 2009

Best Journal Entry 2009

The Winter Sowing Award 2009

Beautiful Bloom Award 2009

Best Recycling / Repurposing Idea 2009

In addition there will be a series of awards that will be calculated (most harvests, most journals etc.) that will be announced in November – so you still have a bit of time to get your journals and harvests logged!

We really want to make sure that we have enough categories to cover all different types of gardens and gardeners, so if you think we’re missing a category then let us know as might be able to squeeze in a couple more…

Happy nominating!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

New Feature: Batch updating on your Seed Stash Lists!

As some of you have already discovered ;), we released some new features for Seed Stash over the weekend that will hopefully make it much easier to mark stash items as archived and available for swap.

If you are a Supporter, you’ll now see a checkbox on the left of every item in your stash list, and a checkbox above the heading of your list for quickly marking all items on the page.
After you’ve marked the stash items you’d like to archive / unarchive / make available for swap, scroll down and select the option in the dropdown list, click the button and hey presto! you’ve just done your first batch update of your stash! How exciting was that?

Let us know what you think about this new feature – we’d love to start expanding it out to the planting lists too if everyone thinks that this is a good feature to have. Let us also know about what other batch features you might like to see for your stash and planting lists (oh yeah, and wish-lists too I guess while we are at it!)

Handy dandy links

  • If you need some help with new batch update feature on stash: Help!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Announcing the 2009 Folia Faire!

We thought it was high time that we organised something that celebrated and recognised all the amazing things that happen on folia – so we’re officially going to have the inaugural Folia Village Faire in November, and we need your help to start organising it!

What we’re thinking is just like a village faire, we have a competition with categories that everyone can enter. Think categories like “biggest pumpkin”, “Weirdest shaped vegetable”, “Most perfect tomato”, “Most beautiful bloom”, “Most creative growing container”…you get the idea :) Quirky is great, but more serious categories are welcome too.

Categories can be suggested by everyone over the next couple of weeks, and we’ll then shortlist the ones we like the best.

We’ll then call for entries for each category, and everyone can cast their vote during a set period in November. We’ll do a big announcement and a newsletter to let everyone know when to vote – entries will be need to be anything grown / done within the last 12 months: meaning October 08 – November 09. This should hopefully cover everyone in both hemispheres equally.

After the voting period, the results will be tallied and we’ll declare the winners who will all get some marvelous badges to show off on their profiles / websites / blogs, and we’ll also giveaway some free memberships, stickers, badges and whatever else we can find for certain categories.

We’ll also be contacting some companies to see if they’d like to offer any fabulous prizes – if you know of a company that might be interested in getting involved (in exchange for advertising perhaps?) we’d love you to let us know about it!

So, we’ve got the best part of the month to start getting this happening – as with everything around here, if you have any suggestions on how we can organise this or if you’d like to volunteer as a faire helper let us know!

I’ll create a group for the Faire in the next couple of days so we have a place to start organising…watch this space!

Edit: The Folia Faire group is now open for business – please come along and join!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Folia Plant Wiki now Creative Commons

From this week, the Folia Plant wiki is now officially under a Creative Commons license.

What does this mean?

We’ve chosen to license our data as a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike (BY-SA), which means that we are open to anyone reusing and remixing our plant wiki data as long as they attribute us and also open up their own data in the same way. From the Creative Commons site, the official definition is:

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

We are hoping that this move encourages more sharing of gardening data in the online community in general and that it represents how strongly we feel that the wiki should remain a public and open resource to all.

What does this mean for Folia?

You’ll now notice that all plant and variety pages now display the license logo to indicate that these pages are BY-SA. In terms of benefits to Folia, this new license means that we have more flexibility when it comes to remixing other sources of data out in the interweb. Wikipedia have only just recently announced their adoption of the same license, so by invoking our “Share Alike” we now have the ability to source data directly from Wikipedia (and if you are a Wikipedia editor, then you can also start to source directly from us)!

We’ll shortly start a topic in the Wiki Group to start listing sites with the same license – if you know of any sites, feel free to contribute to this thread. If you have an interest in the Plant Wiki, please feel free to join the group!

So, what do you think?

We’d love to hear what you think about the new licensing, and if you have any questions at all about what this means for Folia – ask away!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Look! We have new tabs!

Hey all – you’ve probably already noticed this one, but I thought I might as well mention the elephant in the room: we’ve just rolled out a little bit of a redesign. Weeee!

After two years of the same header, we thought it was high time to give it a bit of a makeover – we’ve shrunk the header banner down a bit, tidied up the logo and made the tabs tabbier. I’ve also added in some brand new icons too (we now have an icon for gardens – yay!) The tabs are partly designed using the latest and greatest styling technology (CSS3 to anyone in the know) and as a result will look their best in new (standards-based) browsers. So, if anyone is still clinging on to their old browsers, using our lovely new tabs in their full glory has to be a compelling reason to upgrade, no? ;)

This makeover is part of a wider redesign that we are attempting to do slowly in bits and pieces across the site – so you should notice some areas of the site starting to become tidier and nicer looking over time. Let us know if you spot anything that looks a bit weird or out of alignment and we’ll take a look into it :)

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Vote for us in the Techcrunch Europa Awards!

Hey all – we’ve got a bit of a favour to ask: we’ve been nominated in the Techcrunch Europa awards for Best Bootstrapped Startup (yay!) and we need your vote!

Click here to vote for MyFolia for Best Bootstrapped Startup

There is no signup or email required to vote, it’s just a simple click-and-vote process on PollDaddy – so if you have a spare second or two to vote for us we’d be very grateful! Voting ends this Wednesday – so be quick!

For anyone not in the internet industry and wondering what a “bootstrapped startup” is: A bootstrapped startup is any website run by people who are completely funding it themselves – with no outside company involvement or investment. The two of us have been running Folia completely our of our own pocket right from day one and we are really proud of how far we have taken it, and how much support we have had from all of our wonderful, amazing users in this time.

Many thanks for your support guys!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Defeating the spammers

This month we've received an influx of backlink spammers setting up accounts and posting only links to sites they've set up. Apparently some site out there that does this for a living found our site, due to it's high page rank, and recommended us for it's backlink spamming newsletter. As a result we've been spending most waking moments checking who has signed up and deleting accounts that only set up 'spam gardens'.

We've also changed the site so that when a 'spam garden' is set up, and we don't notice it then we've put nofollow attributes to all links posted on the site. This pretty much renders the links as useless in the eyes of search engines and hopefully will deter these type of spammers over time.

Because we use RedCloth for all our text formatting on the site we can manipulate the text before rendering it to the site. This code sits in our initializers folder as redcloth_extenstions.rb of our Rails application:

module RedCloth::Formatters::HTML
include RedCloth::Formatters::Base

def link(opts)
"<a href=\"#{escape_attribute opts[:href]}\"#{pba(opts)} rel=\"nofollow\">#{opts[:name]}</a>"

def inline_html(opts)


def no_follow(text)
tokenizer =
out = ''
while token =
node = HTML::Node.parse(nil, 0, 0, token, false)
if node.tag? and == 'a'
node.attributes['rel'] = 'nofollow' unless node.attributes.nil?
out << node.to_s
puts out

The link override is the inbuilt link generator for textile, so, anyone who creates a link using the textile format will have the nofollow attribute added to their link.

The inline_html is called to check for html generated by the user (as we allow basic html support). This scans the html and looks for link tags then adds the nofollow automatically.

Without using RedCloth as our markup generator I'm not sure how we would have gone about in adding these attributes.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Create a list of your favourite retailers!

On your gardener dashboard, in the bottom right corner, you’ll now find a new little widget box called “Faves”. This box has direct linkage to your fave gardens, fave plantings and…your new Fave Retailers page!

That’s right – you can now fave retailers on folia and keep a list for handy reference. As we don’t have a retailer search yet (it’s on its way!) we’ve added a link to this page to show you all the retailers you’ve used on folia so far so you can “quick fave” them. To add them to your faves list, just click the pink heart icon and it will be instantly added to your list.

p.s. While you’re at it, we’d love it if you took a quick look at the details of your fave retailers and add any contact details or missing information too. We’re also doing a big retailer cleanup this week, so if you notice any duplicates let us know and we’ll clean them up at the same time.

New faster search for folia

Hey Everyone!

In this release we’ve change the search on the site around a bit. I’m sure you’ve all noticed how slow it was in returning a specific plant or journal post or even have slow it was in just saving posts and topics. Ultimately, the search that we had running wasn’t coping with the massive growth on the site. Our weekly usage stats keeps going up, everyone is journalling and gardening like mad and we have well over 100 000 different plants and varieties (most of which were added in the last few weeks).

Hopefully we’ve fixed all of this and sped things up with switching over to the new search. By our test runs its looking like a huge improvement. Indexing the site now take about 30 secs (down from hours and hours) and the results are retrieved in a faction of a second from the database and it shouldn’t be as slow when you save topics and posts.

However with all good things, there’s also some setbacks. Our old search was using a system called Ferret which was slow but allowed for updates in real time (so when you added a planting, it would instantly update the search) however we’ve switched to Sphinx which has quick indexing but no real time updates. To counter this – I’ve told Sphinx to reindex itself every 2 minutes or so. There’s a few other things I can do to make it feel more ‘instant’ but for now it’s a good starting point. Currently Sphinx is running on Plants, Varieties / Cultivars, Groups, Topics (yes! you can now search topics across groups! Posts are coming soon!) and Journals/Questions. So if something you added hasn’t popped up yet – give it some time and it will appear in a short while. Ferret is still used to index Gardens and Plantings as we need real time updates for the milestones and tasks – but we’re looking into switching over these too.

Also with the new search comes a different search algorithm – just like how Yahoo and Google never return the same results. So the results won’t appear exactly like they used to in the old search. These will be mainly for the better as we’ve got some good matching improvements, but there’s bound to be the odd plant that doesn’t appear in the list like it did before. It’s still very much a work in progress whilst we tweak it for the site.

So have a play around and tell us what you think.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Harvest Tracking is Here (and Automatic Moving too!)

After working through all your suggestions and feedback about how you want to track your harvests on Folia, we’ve finally rolled out version 1 of Harvest Tracking! We’re really excited about this one (especially me, as I got my first harvest of the year a couple of days ago – how’s that for good timing!)

New Milestone Notes

When you next go to add a new journal item to your journal you should now notice there is a new text field with a comment bubble image. That’s a new field that you can use to write a bit of detail about each journal item – it’s completely optional, but really handy when you want to note a bit more about the event. It’s deliberately limited to 140 characters (just like twitter!) as it is intended to be for short notes that describe the event. So, for example: if you log a treating event for your sick little plant, you can pop a quick little note about what treatments you used. If you log a “Purchase” event you could log how much it was. It’s totally up to you how you use this feature, but hopefully it should give you much more flexibility in how you want to log information in your journal. This feature is for Folia Supporters only – check out our Become a Supporter! page for details.

Harvest Tracking

If you now select “Harvesting” as your event type for a journal item you’ll now magically get a couple of new fields appear – these fields will let you log the number of things you harvested, what amount type it was (items, baskets, cups etc.) and how much it weighed in total. These amounts are then tallied and displayed on your planting page in a new section called “Harvest Tally”. As you can see from my Strawberry example , you can mix and match the units as much as you like – it will tally up all items that are the same and display them together. The weight measurements are also totalled separately to the unit tally – so it should work equally well for precision gardeners that like getting their scales out, and for gardeners that like to work in rough numbers of bowls and bags (I think I might be in the second group there!). We’ve set your default units based on if you are in the US (lb) or elsewhere (kg) – apologies if you are a staunch metric-er and you live in the states! You can however change your default preference on your Account Configuration page to your unit of choice. This feature is for Folia Supporters only – check out our Become a Supporter! page for details.

Automatic moving of your Plantings from your Journal

Whilst we were at it, we also managed to build in a nice little automatic move feature to the journals. What you can do now if you select a “move” event (like transplanted, moved or planted out) is also select which garden it’s being moved to – and it will automatically move it there for you. As a bonus, it also logs where the planting has moved from and to for you! Check out my basil moving journal for an example of how the new move journal items look

Handy dandy links

  • If you need some help with understanding how harvest tracking / planting moving works: Help!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Filter your growing timeline by garden / Lots-O-Plants

It’s been a bit of a quiet week in terms of new stuff due to our little camping trip last week (yes, it did rain - the entire time!), but we’ve managed to sneak in a couple of minor improvements and bug fixes for you all. One of the improvements is a new filter on your growing timelines* that lets you filter by garden – this should hopefully make navigating around your timelines just a little bit easier :)

We’ve been also working away on a couple of features in the background too – we’ve been importing a whole heap of new plants into the system to make our plant database much more complete and accurate. At last count, we now have a staggering 79,454 plants now in the system – wow indeed! (..and that’s not even counting cultivars and varieties in which we have many thousands more.)

Due to this sudden surge in new plants, we’ve had to start doing a huge amount of work rejigging things like the plant search logic – we’re still working on rewriting this part of the site but we’re hoping that the search is working well enough for now (let us know if it’s not!) We’ll be tweaking and stablising the search over the next couple of weeks, but we’d love your help in testing it out – we’ll let you know when we start rolling out the changes.

*Growing timelines are a Supporter feature – Supporters help us pay for hosting costs to keep this site up-and-running. If you’d like to become a Supporter, check out the Become a Supporter! page.

Read more in the Announcements group:

Friday, 1 May 2009

Reviews of Folia on Treehugger & Planet Green

We've had a bit of folia love this week with two lovely reviews on Treehugger and Planet Green - here's a bit of what they said about us:
Folia provides a user-friendly dashboard tool to help users know what plants are being sown and harvested, as well as weather forecasts, seed organizing, and photo organizing so that your garden can grow at its best...Folia's cool webtool helps you get all your seeds in a row - from listing chores to tracking frosts, researching sowing and harvesting timing to tracking observations about your garden.
Nice stuff, hey?

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sprouting, transplanting and harvest / bloom estimates for your timeline!

This one is a pretty exciting update for us – we’ve been waiting aaaages to implement this, but we’ve had to wait for enough data goodness to be entered into the system to make this work properly.

You’ll now find that your growing timelines have been shifted to the left slightly to show more of your future dates. This is because we are now displaying calculated estimated dates for sprouting, transplanting and harvest / bloom for each of your plantings. This data is being calculated from every one of the milestones that are being logged in the system for the variety that you grow – so it’s real info from real gardeners, not estimated dates from the back of random seed packets. This data will start becoming more accurate the more observations we have in the system – so remember to log all of your observations so that the data keeps getting better for everyone (and remember to classify all of your plantings too!) For an example, check out MattMiddleton’s fab timeline.

Over on the wiki page we’ve also added more detail to the planting estimates too – you’ll be able to see min / max and average days for germination, transplant and harvest days too. You’ll find these new estimates under the “How long does it take to grow?” heading on the plant and variety wiki pages. Check out Tomato for an example

The estimates are really wrong for my plant, how can I fix them?

Because we know this system isn’t going to be perfect all the time, we’ve also created a way for you to override the data in the system with your own. You’ll find three new fields on your planting edit page that will let you tweak the days between sprouting, transplanting and harvest for just your own plantings (this data doesn’t save back to the wiki, it's completely yours to use).

My timeline says my dahlia is ready for harvest – huh?

We’ve added some logic to check what sort of plant you have and we show either a bloom icon if it is a flower, or a harvest icon if it is fruit / vegetable. If you’re seeing a harvest icon for your flowers, edit the wiki page for that plant and set the Category field to Flower.

Timeline estimates are currently a Supporter feature only – Supporters help us pay for hosting costs for the site, and allow us to create more spanky features like this one!

Handy dandy links:

  • If you need some help with the new estimate feature: Help!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A-Z for your stash lists, Journal share link, new widget tab

Hey all – another week, another set of new features and goodies! So what’s new this week?

A-Z filters for your Stash Lists

Following on from last week’s A-Z on your plantings, for Supporters we’ve also now added A-Z filtering on your stash lists to make it easier to quickly find your stash items.

New look gardener profile page

We’ve also tidied up everyone’s home pages to make them a little clearer, and make functions like “add as a gardening buddy” a little easier to find. Check out Dee’s new look home page for an example!

Profile widget tab

Over in your profile settings page, you’ll find a new tab called Widgets – you’ll find a couple of widgets, blog badges and example email signature code – all personalised and ready to copy and paste.


We’ve also made the Invite-a-friend link a permanent fixture on your top header bar (in the top right of the page) If you haven’t used it yet, give it a whirl and send an invite or two! If they join up from your invite emails, you’ll get a message in your folia mail and they’ll get a little “invited by” link in their profile with your username. Woo!

New Journals Share link

On every journal, you’ll now find a silver little Share button that will let you quickly bookmark or share the journal on lots of different networks and sites. So, if you do read an great journal on your travels around the site, remember that you can now email, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or Digg it (to name a couple).

Some handy dandy links:

  • If you need some help with the new A-Z stash lists or widget pages: Help!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Photobucket is here!

Yep, after quite a bit of struggling with the API, we’ve finally added Photobucket to our photo hosting options, alongside Picasa / Blogger & Flickr. Woo!

What’s Photobucket?

Photobucket is a site much like flickr and picasa that stores your photos. It’s also free – to get a free account you can sign up here.

How do I connect up my Photobucket account?

Take a mosey on over to your (hugely improved) photo account page and select “Photobucket” from the dropdown list. Copy and paste your entire Photobucket URL into the textbox and you’re away! We’ve got a new Photobucket Help page that will give you some pointers if you get stuck (it’s got some handy screenshots too)

When are you going to let me upload my photos directly to the site?

We’re still not in a position where we can offer direct photo uploading to the site as we still have to be frugal with our bandwidth. We are also of the belief that these sites host photos much better and with more features than we will ever be able to provide – and it means that your photos are not locked to our site, you can use them where ever you like. Flickr and Photobucket have great little photo upload programs that can be downloaded to your desktop, so if you aren’t a big user of photo sites you can just upload from your desktop and start journaling on folia.

Hmmm, it doesn’t seem to be working for me…

It’s definitely very very beta – we are definitely anticipating that there might be some teething problems with this option to begin with, just as we had with flickr and picasa. If you are having trouble connecting your Photobucket account, firstly take a look at the Photobucket Help page to see if we’ve covered your problem already, then ask us in one of the groups below:

  • If you need some help connecting up your account: Help!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Your new Growing Timeline page & some more new icons!

We were going to release this on the weekend, but we had to do some server tweaking this morning and thought we might as well pop these changes up for you all to start playing with! Aren’t you all spoilt this week, hey?

On your Dashboard you’ll find that your growing timeline heading has now mysteriously turned itself into a link. If you click the link, you’ll now get taken to your brand spankin’ new timeline page! This page shows lots more weeks “at a glance” and increases the number of plantings you can see to 30. Best of all, your timeline is now fully public – so you can link to your timeline like this ( ). Likewise, you can now see have a sticky beak at other gardener’s timelines and see what they’ve been up to lately. This is a feature for our lovely Supporters – they help us to keep the site up and running. If you aren’t a Supporter yet, take a look at your Become a Supporter! page for details.

Added to that, we’ve also added three new timeline icons: Potting Up / Repotted, Treating and Fertilising. These icons are available to all – so use as much as you please! More icons are coming as fast as I can make them up!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

New timeline icons, swaps home page & more!

Thought we might announce the latest round of changes to the site that we made this morning:

New Swaps home page

The swaps page has now finally been returned to the top menu as it’s had a bit of a makeover – you’ll find the latest swap map, lists of recent swaps that have occurred between folians, latest available plants and seeds for swap, and easier-to-get-at swap labels for your swapping pleasure. Swappalicious!

New timeline icons

You’ll also notice that your timelines are looking slightly different from today – we’ve done some work on refining some of the icons and added a couple of new ones – Sown and Showing True Leaves. We’re going to start adding some more over the coming weeks – so you can collect the whole set ;)

Garden page redesign

We’ve been doing an absolute ton of work in the back-end to get the gardens working faster and better-er. We’ve also given this page a bit of a redesign as well and kicked out a couple of annoying bugs in the process.
You’ll also now find that gardens now have “friendly urls” so that they look like this:

For Supporters, you’ll also find a new tab called “Tasks” on your garden page. I think you guys might be able to figure out what that’s all about :)

Local Activity tab

As a Supporter prezzie this week – we’ve rolled out a new tab on your activity page that shows you what gardeners in your local area are up to. You can filter by what is being sown, harvested, fruiting…you name it. If you want to consider becoming a Supporter – it helps us with paying for the costs of keeping folia up and running. To find out more take a look at your Become a Supporter! page

As usual, let us know what you think!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Multi-planting journaling is here!

Recently, we released a fabulous new feature to the site - the ability to journal about multiple plantings and gardens in a single journal entry. We've been flat-out with fixes, improvements and enhancements on this feature for the last couple of weeks, but now we are finally ready to announce it to everyone!

So, how does it work?

Before, a journal was linked to only one of your garden "things" - so it was either a journal about one of your plantings, or a journal about one of your gardens. We've totally rejigged the way journals work in the backend so now journals can be linked to multiple things. So, you can journal simultanously about your backyard garden, your windowsill garden and your 4 basil plantings. There is no limit to the number of items you can link to your journals - so it gives everyone much more flexibility as to how they want to organise their gardening journal.

Let's see an example!

Okay, so on your journal page you'll now find a big search box that will find all of your gardens and plantings. Type a couple of characters, and a list of possible matches will appear. Select the item you want to add to your journal and it will appear in your "journal items" list.

After you've added your plantings and gardens to your journal item list, you can then assign events to each - these events will appear as milestones on your growing timelines. You'll also see a day counter appear next to each - so you can see for each item in your journal precisely how old each planting was when the event happened.

So, if you haven't been in for a while, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!

Friday, 13 March 2009

We're updating the site!

We are now releasing some huge changes to the site - this one is a biggie, so we are estimating downtime of around 1-2 hours. We might be up a bit earlier than that, but we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime, you can check out some of our changes already - we've got a revamped holding page featuring our twitter feed and (of course) the sudoku.

We'll be updating our twitter as we go, so if you'd like to follow us:

Update: We're back up and running as at 13:20 GMT! What an exhausting day - we'll blog and twitter about the changes very soon

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Experiencing a little bit of unexpected downtime...

Sorry about the downtime - we're working on getting the site back up and running right now.
We'll update our twitter ( as we go, but hopefully won't be too long.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Performance enhancements, more stash options and personal journal search

This week at Folia HQ we've been mainly working on a heap of performance tuning to make sure we get through the busy springtime. There isn't many visible changes this week I'm afraid, but we did manage to sneak in a couple of little goodies:

More options to describe your stash

Om suggested a couple of other options for seed stash (Corms, Sets, Roots & Pods) that we've added to the system - you'll now find the new options on your Add Stash and Edit Stash pages.

New search box for your journal page

Supporters will find a shiny new journal search box on their journal home page. Woo! This one was suggested by a couple of people: nax , Merelymel13 and Armorel

Blistering fast Grapevine

Nath would also like to add that he has suped up the Grapevine to a blistering speed - so no more waiting around for your grapevine fix!

Hope you like, and remember if you have any suggestions for the site, we'd love you to add them to our Suggestions & Feedback group.

Group your Planting Lists by Lifecycle Type, Genus and More!

Grouping your planting listsYou may have already noticed a couple of new links at the top of your Planting & Stash lists – these links can now be used to group your lists in a couple of different (and exciting!) ways. The grouping uses data from the plant wiki to determine lifecycle types and categories, so jump in and edit the wiki to get your plant list grouping. It will also only work on plantings that have been classified, so get in there and start classifying your plantings!

The options are pretty self explanatory, but to give you some examples from my own lists, you can now:

Group by Genus: This will display your list grouped by each genus your plants belong to. See my list for an example.

Group by Lifecycle Type: This will group your list based on the lifecycle of each planting (Annual, Perennial etc.) See my list for an example

Group by Category: This will group your plantings based on the plant category (Vegetable, Herb, Succulent, Tree etc.) See my list for an example

These features are at present only available to our Supporters – our fantastic Supporters help us to pay for hosting costs to keep the site going. If you want to find out more about becoming a Supporter, visit our Supporter Page!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Getting organised for gardening

Hey There!

We've spent the last week or so completely re-writing the garden task page with a brand spankin’ new layout and funky new features.

So the task page will look a bit different, now you can complete a task directly from that page. You can now repeat tasks that need doing more than once – like weeding, watering and fertilising whilst still assigning it to a plant or garden. And when you complete a repeating task it will create a new task in the future based on the repeating rules you’ve entered! Woohoo!

For our lovely supporters, we’ve also added a whole bunch of ways to export tasks into your other devices and programs, like RSS feeds, CSV and iCalendar. So you can have tasks anywhere you need to see them! These export links are special so that only you can see them and means that you can still access your private folia stuff without actually having to log in to folia.

Now the caveats and known issues. For some reason the person who wrote the icalendar exporter kinda stuffed up the recurring task bit. So if you subscribe to your icalendar tasks then the recurring ones will only show the first task only not the subsequent recurring ones. But I’m looking into that one and should have it fixed soon. The iCalendar has only really been tested using iCal on a Mac so please feel free to drop it into Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Mozilla Sunbird and see how it works :)

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Tagging for your Gardens

A brand new feature from last week’s release is…tagging for your gardens! This means you can now categorise your gardens as much or as little as you like.

You’ll find a new field on your Add Garden and Edit Garden pages called “Categories” in which you can enter your category names (separate by spaces). Popular tags will now appear on the Garden Home Page so you’ll be able to find other gardeners that have categorised their gardens in the same way as you.

You’ll notice that for the meantime you’ll still have to classify by the existing garden types as well – we’ll be phasing this one out slowly and will eventually turn this into a primary category tag for your garden (you won’t have to change anything, it will all happen automatically).


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Improvements to Variety & Plant pages - Sortable lists, new wiki fields and more

As part of the latest round of changes, we’ve done a lot of work restructuring the variety areas of the site to make it easier to locate plantings and swappables.

  1. You’ll now find every variety list per plant is now fully sortable – so you can sort by popularity, days to germinate, hybrid / heirloom and more. Check out the Tomato variety list for a great example.
  2. Open-Pollinated has been added to the wiki, so varieties can now be marked as any combination of Hybrid, Heirloom and OP.
  3. Planting lists are now sortable as well – by name, gardener, happiness, date planted and location (nearest to you!)
  4. Swappable lists have also had a bit of sortable goodness added – name, gardener, location are all now fully sortable. You’ll also find on the Stashed page that you can send a swap request if the gardener has marked as available for swap.
  5. We’ve also done a bit of restructuring work to get some nice friendly URLs in place – so now you’ll see links like this: instead of the old variety links (both are compatible with the site, so if you’ve linked to a variety page out in the interweb it will still work fine)

Hope you like the changes!

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