A few months ago, I asked the rhetorical question, What kind of Plants Map has no map? I was referring to a web site called Plants Map, which is aspiring to serve as a kind of social media network for gardeners. It’s a great idea, but at the time, what stood out about Plants Map is that it just didn’t have any maps.
That’s changed. The mapping function of Plants Map is now online, and it makes for a big change. With the mapping function, gardeners will be able to look for others who are close by. For gardeners, this is important, because knowing other gardeners who are close by means having people with whom to share cuttings, divisions and seeds.
Like all new social networks, Plants Map is spotty in coverage. There are many gardens in the Northeast United States right now, while other parts of the nation, and the world, are barely covered at all. Still, the potential of Plants Map is huge. It could enable gardeners to overcome their current dependence on commercial nurseries, and return to the days when plants were stored and shared socially.
Plants Map can thus become a boon to gardeners, economically and ecologically. Anyone who is interested in the preservation of heirloom varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs ought to be especially interested in Plants Map for this reason. We don’t need to keep going to the corporate-propagated, overbred hybrids that are for sale in most nurseries any more. Varieties suited for our own climate can prosper, with a resurgence of genetic diversity… and fewer of those black plastic pots that collect whenever we bring commercially-grown seedlings home.