HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
silly girl
most recent 31 OCT 12 SHOW ALL
Initial post 22 OCT 12 by CarolynB
Does anyone here grow both Belinda's Dream and Frederic Mistral? If so, please give your comparison of the two roses, with regard to bush growth and habit/shape, disease resistance, bloom frequency, heat tolerance, and/or anything else you'd like to comment on. If I could have only one of the two, I'm not sure which one to pick, as the comments are mostly very good for both of them, and their colors look similar.
Reply #1 of 2 posted 31 OCT 12 by silly girl
i grow both roses, my frederic is 2 1/2 years old and i have 3 belindas, the oldest it at 8 years and the youngest is at 4 years..frederic has few thorns while belinda has the typical hyb.tea type thorns, the scent is stronger on frederic than belinda, frederic grows more upright and narrow for me, while belinda has a bit more of a spreading nature typical of a shrub rose, belinda has been a better bloomer, say 4 full flushes in a year (z7b) while frederic has only done the sporadic bloom (remember he is younger), frederics blooms are looser compare to belindas, she really does have an old fashion look....the reason i have 3 belindas, is that my front fence faces a main road in my town and she is one of the few roses that can take the dirt/pollution..she is a very tough lady ..with all this said, i am now going to suggest a personal method when i cant choose (most will yell at me), i buy most of my roses as Bands/Own Root, so i dig a nice big hole about 18"/24" in diameter and plant two roses in the same hole, they have about 6 to 10 inches in between each other and then i wait....usually they are fine, like they "grew up " together, they can share a smaller space.... should note i do not spray anything, and only feed soil with organic methods thus all my roses get a bit of black spot, both of these roses bounce back and neither have ever dropped all their leaves or looked like ugly sticks...hope some of this helps
Reply #2 of 2 posted 31 OCT 12 by CarolynB
This is all very helpful information -- thank you! It's good to know about the differences in bush shape, because that affects how well they would work in the space I have available. It's also good to know about the fragrances. Only a few of the roses I currently have are fragrant, so I'm hoping to make my next new rose one with strong fragrance.
most recent 4 DEC 11 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 4 DEC 11 by silly girl
what an absolutely beautiful and poetic foto
Reply #1 of 1 posted 4 DEC 11 by Margaret Furness
Thank you! The hands of a man who has spent most of his 82 years working with plants (and too much of them in the sunshine).
most recent 13 JAN 11 SHOW ALL
Initial post 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
It seems less than useful information to have a photo rated for color accuracy when the person rating the plant has never seen the bloom! (No criticism of the viewer intended) This illustrates another way that the rating system can be used to convey questionable data. I'd prefer that users not be able to apply ratings to photos.
Reply #1 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
Paul said,

"I'd prefer that users not be able to apply ratings to photos."

I feel the same way. I love seeing beautiful photos as much as the next person but I've become more reticent of late to post photos at all.

My camera is an older point and shoot that lives in my pocket. I could go out an get a new one that takes more detailed photos but having the latest greatest of anything is a vicious circle. I don't want to have to feel I'm being judged by others because I take a second to snap a pic and take the additional effort to post to HMF. Adding documentation is all I'm after.

I think it would be wonderful to have a HMF section specifically designed where members could vote to judge wonderful photography or even some kind of contest each year judged by a group of professional photographers.

At the very least it would be nice to be able to opt out of the judging process.

This is the reason I quit showing roses.
Reply #2 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, this is a valid criticism and one shared by many.

On the other hand, with over 150,000 photos there needs to be some way to single out the exceptional ones. When you have massive amounts of information you need to provide some method to qualify it. Many people visiting HelpMeFind are mainly interesting in just browsing through its best photos - where do they start ? The "member's rating" section of the website is quite popular.

We do address this need in two ways - member "ratings" and member "favorites". Given how subjective a photo's appeal can be, we agree photo ratings are imperfect and potentially counter productive at times but HelpMeFind does have many exceptional photos and it is enjoyable to be able to browse through them. Possibly we should change the photos rating to simply allow visitors to identify the ones they find "exceptional" but that probably would turn out to be very close to the "favorites" lists and redundant.

Were open to feedback and suggestions.
Reply #3 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
I understand that HMF wishes to highlight exceptional images, and I can see why this would be popular with many viewers. However, I feel very strongly that photo contributors should have the ability to opt out of having their contributions rated. I wish to opt out. If that isn't going to be an option in the future, I fear that I am going to be far less inclined to submit contributions from my photo library.

Everyone should have the right to choose when they do or do not care to be involved in a beauty pageant.
Reply #5 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, a valid criticism. We'll workout a compromise to that effect but we will still need a method for site guests to identify photos which should be removed. There is always the possibility someone will upload totally inappropriate photos or photos of such poor quality that they are a waste of HMF's resources. We need for site guests to be able to alert us to that possibility.
Reply #6 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
absolutely, that aspect is a necessity.
Reply #8 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
It's a vicious circle and one that ultimately leads to malcontent. A similar controversy has been growing for years at ARS. Membership has declined now almost to the point of collapse.

One of the reasons I quit ARS and resigned my consulting rosarian designation was because of the emphasis on competition and showing roses. The competitive environment is to blame.

I'm philosophically opposed to toxic chemical intervention and/or jumping through all the other political hoops required to win prizes.

Cultivars bred for show are often sprayed and inordinately coddled with chemical fertilizers to achieve what can be judged as superior results. Artificiality comes at a cost to the environment.

What's wrong with a rose show where everyone can bring roses without having to worry about competition?

Many are going to judge a photo of a rose in the same way.

Photo editing makes anything possible.

Cultivars with show form will consistently rate highly just because many prefer the aesthetic.

The same argument can be made with judging photos and the cultivars chosen.

I'm glad Paul made the statement because he consistently produces superior photos.

Among other things he is a professional photographer. We all benefit from his contributions.

I say let people choose for themselves which they like best or choose to view. Many of us want to see a rose in all of it's stages of growth and decay.

It's very easy to browse photos. Let's not make it a contest for everyone unless they choose to participate.

I started contributing photos well over 10 years ago and to date have uploaded well over 6000. Considerable time went into the effort but it's very obvious now those older photos are inferior.

That was a few cameras ago. You may leave them up as long as you feel they still have value.

I do plan on upgrading my camera but I don't plan on changing the way I contribute photos.

My roses are not grown for show. I prefer my photos not be judged accordingly.
Reply #9 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, I agree with most everything you said except "It's very easy to browse photos" - it is not easy to browse through 150,000 photos and that was the point of my post.

Both you and Paul make valid points and certainly people should be able to opt out of having their photos judged especially as Paul points out the photo rating is too vague: A very useful photo of a bloom demonstrating its disease susceptibility would surely be voted aesthetically poor by many.

Still... HMF resources are not infinite. Please be aware each photo posted to HMF costs money to store and to display so it would be advantageous to somehow be able to select and feature the "better" ones. Obviously, defining "better" is problematic. If HMF were a book and we asked people to submit photos we would be forced to pick the best ones. A website does not operate under the same constraints but resources are not unlimited and equally important, people are willing to wade through only so many near identical photos. That's one reason we enhanced the photo display so people can filter photo lists by type of photo.

HelpMeFind's member rating of photos was never intended to be a contest. Its intent was to be able to somehow qualify photos to be able to feature the best ones. It looks like we'll have to refine the process but that IS what HelpMeFind is about - HMF is continually evolving and feedback like this is what will make it an even better resource tomorrow.
Reply #91 of 95 posted 24 DEC 10 by aimeekitty
I don't really think that having a "standout" photo is actually usefully, strictly. I think most people who use HMF are looking for information, not a pretty photo. They want to know what the rose really looks like. They want to see as many photos as possible of that rose that are different from each other so that they can get a full good view of what it really is like. You can't always find a rose in a local garden, or you can't find it in bloom when you're thinking of buying. A variety of images is important, showing bloom, bush, post-bloom brown, etc. By people grading things as "not pretty" it discourages people from posting less than magazine-worthy photos.
I think the only grading people should be able to put on something is whether it's inaccurate. And even then, that's questionable, because roses look different in different zones.
Reply #92 of 95 posted 24 DEC 10 by Lyn G
As a premium-member, you can actually bypass looking at photos based upon ratings and even select to view photos by plant identification characteristics ... many of which are excellent photos ... There are a lot of options when you click on the LIST OPTION button.

Another very good reason to become a premium member, if this issue is important to you.

Of course, if the identification type photos are important to you, as they are to me, you can rate those as excellent, because they depict what was intended ... how a bloom ages, etc. The photos are information and, therefore, important.

Reply #93 of 95 posted 24 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
"I don't really think that having a "standout" photo is actually usefully, strictly. I think most people who use HMF are looking for information, not a pretty photo."

Agreed, but lets look at how the rating information is actually applied. If I sort my own photo contributions in order of which received the most "favorite" votes, then a full 1/3 of the first 30 images of mine depict either entire shrubs (showing the whole plant and its architecture) or a view of most of the bush. Now, the "whole bush" shots I have contributed to HMF are far fewer in number than 1/3 of the total volume. That tells me the following:

The "favorites" voting helps promote "whole bush" photos and gives them better ranking. This also seems to indicate that people are more interested in "whole bush" photos and the data these images offer. No surprise there. So we can draw from this the fact that it appears that in having the ability to "favorite" a photo, it will have a positive effect in sorting the more useful/diagnostic images and bringing them more attention. I believe this is exactly the right thing to have happen; not only "pretty" pictures will receive more attention but so will images that give more info about the plant's behavior and form in the garden.

So, that data is already being gathered when someone "favorite"s a photo. I still feel that by allowing people to rate a photo for its aesthetic appeal, you aren't gaining any more of the right data. Simply by adding a "favorite" tag, you are helping promote more of the better "data rich" images.
Reply #4 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Just a follow up point.

HMF is different from the many rose and gardening forums in that it is an attempt to organize and structure the information contributed by people from all over the world in a manner that maximizes its potential as a reference resource.

For example, people often post comments complimenting a photo contributor about an exceptional photo. While this is very kind it really serves little purpose as within a day or two their comments will be buried in the forgotten "comment history". If they instead (or ideally in addition) qualify the photo using the HMF favorites or rating system then even years from now their identification of an exceptional photo is still relevant as anyone will find it using HMF's favorites or ratings feature. Knowing which photos are exceptional and being able to quickly find them is very significant.
Reply #7 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
Identifying a specific photo as a valuable image for identification and reference purposes is fine. Judging that same photo on "aesthetic" virtue has nothing to do with its merit as educational data. I would prefer to implement tools that highlight photos whose virtues are educational, while de-emphasizing the beauty pageant aspects. People are deleting excellent reference photos they donated because they got their feelings hurt when someone rated it poorly for aesthetics. HMF needs more casual plant shots, not more poster queens. The "beauty" rating can actually discourage people from submitting whole plant shots that illustrate plant architecture, etc., because these are often not "David Austin display garden" shots, and they will be judged as such.

just my opinion: this isn't my sandbox, I only play here.
Reply #10 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
This thread is interesting and highly valuable. I agree the "beauty queen" rating needs dropping like a hot potato. I also post photos which demonstrate aspects of the rose I wish to document and emphasize. Permitting someone to rate it "exceptional", for whatever reason whether it be educational, demonstrative of what to expect from the variety, etc., would be totally satisfactory. If they, and you, wish to include a tick box to include the photo in a beauty pageant rating, that is fine. It would permit those of us who do NOT wish to participate in it to opt out, just as you already do for the HMF copyright and to include cultivars in the cutting exchange. While it is everyone's right to have favorites, it IS offensive to struggle to get that just right shot of a characteristic you are trying to document only to have someone who hasn't a clue to WHY you are contributing WHAT you've contributed, rate it poorly. Many of us don't exhibit for that precise reason...clueless "judges" misjudging something worth sharing for its educational value. If someone doesn't like macro shots, they are free to not view them, but they ARE valuable to help identify specific cultivars and to educate someone into seeing something they may not have had any clue existed.

Continue providing the tick box for problematic images and questioning the validity of an identification, but dump the aesthetic rating or massage it so that if you don't wish to play that game you don't have to. I'm in agreement with Paul and Robert that many have either removed instructionally valuable photos or have had second thoughts about contributing them BECAUSE they weren't the glamour shots those who lean on that tick box desire. You aren't going to get the valuable images necessary to fully have the educational value you desire as long as anyone can rate it poorly because it isn't the style of image they gravitate to.

The two current theads on Garden Web concerning photos on HMF provide all the documentation you require. Several have posted they want full plant shots and find the glamour shots worthless for the reasons they utilize HMF. They, and others, admit they have either removed or not contributed those kinds of shots for fear of being rated poorly. If time and resources permit, I submit creating this change may well be one of the most valuable and beneficial upgrades possible...ASAP.
Reply #19 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
But keep in mind there are many people that do enjoy HMF's photos purely for their aesthetic appeal and very much enjoy the ability to review the exceptional ones. Particularly beautiful bloom photos are breathtaking examples of the wonder of nature.

We will make a change to allow photo contributors to opt out of the ratings or possibly alter the ratings to only allow a site guest to identify when a photo has particular merit. We of course do not want to make anyone uncomfortable participating on HMF in anyway.
Reply #14 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Jay-Jay
On the October the 22, HMF Adm. stated as follows:

"Reply #1 of 6 posted 22 OCT byHMF Admin

So... why didn't you select it as one of your favorites and / or rate it. That way this remarkable photo would be singled out on the members favorites and member rating lists.

If more people would take the time to rate photos (yes we're going to make it more convenient) we could do a better job of featuring the best photos.


But Kim made a point too: Many pictures display in very good manner the characteristics of the whole plant in all its aspects.
That ought to be more appreciated I think!
Nevertheless, I don't think that Photo rating is meant as a beautycontest neither for roses or photo's!
I really enjoy watching roses I've never heard of. (one of the pleasures of visiting the HMF website!) And a lot of my favourite pictures are shots from leaves, prickles, stamens or hips.
And as for the discusion: HMF caters for all! Or as we say in dutch: "Voor elk wat wils!".
Reply #15 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
Hi Jay Jay, when I have a comment to make about a photo, I do. I dislike the ratings and wish not to participate in them, so I don't. Ratings are far too subjective to have much, if any value. As Jay Jay has stated, some of his favorites are of prickles and hips. I have posted a number of those types because they are characteristics which define the particular plant. When I have commented on a photo, I have listed why I felt inspired to. Simply ticking a box to "rate" it is, in my opinion, of very little value. It doesn't answer WHY it is rated that way. What makes that photo inspirational, educational, illustrative of what defines the rose? "Good"...OK, HOW? WHY? Because you LIKE red roses?
Reply #23 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, all valid and excellent points but please note what I had said about the usefulness of just a comment. In a few days a comment is effectively lost in the chasm of "comment history".

Say I want help confirming a plant and I'm looking for really good photos to help me. Your comment suggesting a specific photo is particularly useful will likely be very difficult to find but if we had a rating for say "Identification usefulness" that someone could use in a search then they could easily find both the photo and its "Comments" tab would include your comment.

We can make this better but just using comments in not the answer - it's not structured enough for efficient data retrieval.
Reply #24 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
Since the premise (an important part of it, anyway) of the rating system is to make the better/more useful photos easier to find, then how about this:

1) Keep the rating system (accuracy, plant representation, but perhaps eliminate aesthetics) in place to help identify the most useful images.

2) Make the results of the ratings invisible to the public: results will only be used to programatically emphasize the better photos.

3) When you click on the Photos tab for a rose, do not sort them "more recent images first", rather, arrange them according to their rating "score".

Doesn't something like that help to achieve the goal of sorting out the most useful images and making sure those are presented in the forefront, while reducing (or eliminating) the opportunity for hurt feelings? Just a thought.
Reply #25 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, exactly !! Ideal suggestions getting right to the heart of the matter - a method to feature the "better" photos more prominently. As you pointed out, the current photo listing sequence of most recent photos first is not an optimal choice. The ideal, default, sequence would be by member voted rating. That way, presumably, the best photos would be featured first. In fact that is already an option for premium members. They can optionally reorder the photo list to list the highest rated or most favorite voted first.

The problem is the rating feature not used extensively enough because, as you all have pointed out, it is unsatisfactory in some aspects. We're perfectly open to addressing the problem areas and welcome the suggestions provided.

Your suggestion of keeping the photo ratings private is a very interesting one and one we had never thought of. Excellent suggestions - thank you.
Reply #31 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
I think Paul and Kim both make excellent suggestions.
Reply #33 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Reply #27 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
The only change I would like to your suggestion, Paul, is to keep the "sort by" option on the photo section so they may be viewed either by date, favorites or other criteria.
Reply #28 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Reply #11 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Landperson
As a newcomer here, I have little to contribute, but I'm going to speak anyway. It occurs to me that it is nice for a person like me to know whether a picture of a rose is considered to be accurate to the rose or not, and I have found some of the very considerate conversations about whether pictures were or were not accurate to be instructive. However, I think the "rating" check boxes are too simplistic to be helpful.

If people want to comment on a photo they should be able to, but who they are should be clear and their comments should be open for rebuttal or whatever comes next.

As it is there is no clear indication of whether "excellent" means it's an excellent picture or an excellent representation of a rose, or whether the rating party simply doesn't like the person who posted the picture.

In summary, I think ratings are good but they should be made in prose format and with accreditation.
Reply #12 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
Landperson said "In summary, I think ratings are good but they should be made in prose format and with accreditation."

AGREED! "Excellent" why? "Poor", for what reason?
Reply #13 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
Landperson has brought up another matter that I think bears examination: a person can submit a rating as desired, in complete anonymity (as far as I know) and therefore without consequence. Should any individual take a disliking to another HMF member and choose to cause emotional harm by rating all of their contributions as "poor", they can do so, remaining disturbingly anonymous. While I hope that would rarely, if ever, actually play out in reality, the system offers the tools to do so.

One further question: should someone suddenly find a large number of their photo contributions badly rated, does HMF admin have a way of "seeing" who the perpetrator is? Can admin easily and promptly undo the damage in such an instance? It would be reassuring to know that such a remedy exists, just in case. While I myself am not so thin-skinned as to care what people do with my photos, ratings-wise, I don't like to think of other people's feelings getting hurt over such issues.
Reply #16 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes we are able to trace all rating posts and we have on a few occasions removed site guest's ratings where it was obvious there was possible malicious intent or just poor judgment. Trolls are everywhere.

Yes there is always the possibility of someone using a feature of HMF maliciously but there are very, very few perfect solutions. It is a matter of assessing the benefits against the risks.

As far as allowing anonymous posts and ratings - thank the rest of the internet for that. People are so afraid of providing any personal information (eg email address) for fear of it being used for marketing from third parties. Certainly recent headlines about leading social websites reaffirms that fear. That is NOT the case at HMF but we can understand why people might prefer to remain unregistered, anonymous site guests.
Reply #17 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
Trolls are everywhere and people do prefer to remain anonymous. It is YOUR choice to permit anonymous ratings and THEIR choices to make them. We all know anonymity provides lack of accountability.
Reply #21 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Many of HMF's most useful and informative posts come from anonymous members and the number of people that take the time to improve HMF by participating in the rating feature is already very small. Eliminating the anonymous raters would make the feature much less useful. The anonymous site guests with malicious intent are very few and nowhere near the number to drive website policy - knock on wood.
Reply #22 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
Understood, and thankful that this is the case.
Reply #18 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
HMF is FAR from being another Farcebook in terms of its ability to compromise its users and user data. FB is a whole different animal because of the malicious scripting allowed in some of the "game apps" they invite into the environment.
Reply #20 of 95 posted 18 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Are you kidding (!?), nurseries and other gardening suppliers would give their eye teeth to buy a HMF mailing list if we offered it. That's the issue.
Reply #29 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
HMF's goal is too appeal to everyone, beginner and expert alike, and for that reason it is important to hear from everyone. What you might suggest, or criticize us about, may not be an issue for the website's advanced or expert users but it very likely is something others of similar experience with roses, or HelpMeFind, have a question or concern about.

Suggestions from everyone, irrespective of experience or expertise, are appreciated.
Reply #26 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by AnitaSacramento
I go to HMF for information about roses, not just to look at beautiful photos. We definitely need a way to flag photos that may be inaccurate or which are of too poor quality to convey information, but I honestly don't care what somebody thinks about a photo's aesthetic quality. I like the idea of putting more highly rated photos first, rather than more recently posted photos. I've never rated a photo, but would be inclined to do so if it was helpful in making more accurate or better photos more easy to find.
Reply #30 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Landperson
One problem with sorting photos by their rating is that relatively few of the photos actually are rated.

For example, I just went and looked up Tenacious. There are 10 photos. Only two of them -- uploaded by the same person -- that have been rated (both Excellent). So, if I sort by either Favorites or by Rating, only those two photos show up at all. Only by sorting by date (oldest or most recent) can all of the photos be seen at all.

I'm sticking by my recommendation that ratings should be attributed or they should cease to exist at all.

And/or (sorry, but this occurred to me) there could be a stern warning that pops up when someone is rating a photo that reminds them of what they are being asked to rate is the accuracy of the representation of the particular rose, not the skill of the photographer/artist or even the appeal of that particular rose.
Reply #32 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, we are aware the rating system is not used very much. That is an issue we need to resolve - we have some ideas on the burner and this discussion has provided valuable insight. But... it also begs the question of why photo rating is perceived as such a significant issue at the moment. It's really not used that much. Even so, it is apparent many people are uncomfortable with the current format so that's reason enough to make a change.

We feel providing the option to allow you to immediately reorder the lists by rating or by date is still a benefit even if ratings are sparse - you may gain little (for now) but on the other hand you lose nothing.

Yes, a thorough explanation - we'll avoid the "stern" part thank you ;) - is a good idea but that too can be problematic because most site guests will read only very brief messages. That's an issue on ALL websites.
Reply #34 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, that's the whole point of "qualifying" information when the knowledge base grows unwieldy and as HMF is a tool and not a service that responsibility falls on the website's users.

I'll say it again - HelpMeFind is what you (all) make it.

Hopefully more people will come to appreciate the effort and expense that has gone into providing this constantly evolving tool for the last 13 years. HMF supporting members are still an small minority of its users - please encourage your non-supporting friends to help.
Reply #35 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by prairiemoon2
Interesting discussion and timely. I am barely a rose grower and only own 6 roses. I've only recently been frequenting the Rose Forum on GW. Someone sent me here to HMF for more info and I've been researching an upcoming rose purchase. In all honesty, sometimes it is so very helpful, but at times it is frustrating. There have sometimes been photos that look like different roses under the same rose 'name'. And look different from catalog photos. No explanations given for why they are different. I LOVE the comments from members and find that very useful. Too often the location of the person commenting is missing, so I basically just ignore the comment because how do I know that rose will grow the same for me?
The photos of course are essential, I just wish there was a way for someone who is in the know to view the photos and say, 'nope, that photo is not the right rose' and take it out.

For example, I was looking at photos of roses at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and saw a gorgeous one of what was supposed to be Sombreuil. I came here to find more info and none of the photos look like the one at PRRG. OR look like the one in the Pickering catalog. I don't want the one pictured on this site, I want the one in the PRRG.

As for 'rating' photos. I have no use for ratings of how good a photo it is as far as photography skills. I only want to know is it an accurate representation of the rose. Since I have little experience with roses, I don't know if the photo is or not. If I had the same rose and it looked different, I would think it would be useful for me to write a comment saying so.

I also like to see 'bad' photos of roses. Photos that show what a rose looks like on it's bad days. Especially if those bad days are frequent. [g]
Reply #36 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
"There have sometimes been photos that look like different roses under the same rose 'name'. And look different from catalog photos."

A great deal of effort goes into making the photos you see in rose catalogs. Sometimes they tell the truth, sometimes not so much. Sometimes a rose is "dolled up" to look its best for a catalog photo, because these photos have to sell the product. Many photos contributed by generous HMF members don't get the same degree of "manicuring"; they are realistic shots taken without flattering lighting, grooming or post-production work. These photos are perhaps the most honest of all, and are likely the most meaningful as indicators of what people can actually expect of a rose.

That said, not every single photo is accurate or correct. Sometimes a person buys a rose and without realizing it, they have acquired a mislabeled plant. Sometimes only very experienced growers recognize a mislabeled variety, so the gardener isn't to blame if they unintentionally upload an incorrect photo. So, you wonder who polices all this content? (Remember, there are over 150,000 photos on HMF now; no small catalog) HMF administrators can only do so much. In fact, most of the time the only way an incorrect photo is going to get reviewed is if another HMF member happens to encounter the image and flag it as incorrect. This community polices itself, voluntarily. In many, many ways, this is a self governing community, and that is both its strength, and sometimes its failing. (Although I hesitate to use a word like "failing" in any way associated with HMF, since I feel it is truly one of the great success stories of the Web, the kind of resource people dreamed of when the Web was in its infancy.)

Ya know, in many ways it is such a shame that the Web started out as a "free" source of data, because all these years later, it is still very difficult to get people to pay a few dollars for services like HMF. It costs a small fortune to keep it online, and the wonderful people who do pay for it still aren't enough to cover the costs. Its tragic to think of the things we drop $25 on without hesitation, and yet the same amount helps insure that HMF remains the single most important Rose resource there is, for another year. But getting people to actually contribute has been difficult, very difficult. You bet I pay for my membership. I'd still pay if it was 2X that much. Far better value than a membership with the ARS, in my opinion, and we all know what THAT costs now.
Reply #37 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
PS, can you provide a link to the photo(s) of 'Sombreuil' you saw? Perhaps the PRRG has a mislabeled plant in their collection. I have seen this happen repeatedly in most every public rose garden I have visited. It happens. Easily.
Reply #43 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by prairiemoon2
I did find the link to the photo I was referring to. I had looked at a LOT of photos on Flickr of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and I must have clicked on a related link because this photo is not from the PRRG, but from a private collection. Any way, this is the rose identified in the photo as 'Sombreuil' and the photo is of the rose I would like to find. I don't think it is exactly like the photos on HMF of 'Sombreuil', but I suppose it could be the same rose at a different point of being open. I'm not experienced enough to know.
Reply #45 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
The photo you linked to is absolutely 'Sombreuil' (well, the "Sombreuil" as we know it in commerce at this time: see discussions about the true identity of the plant)

That is an excellent diagnostic image of the rose: it shows the blooms and some foliage with great accuracy and with accurate color balance. Not all of the photos on HMF are as accurate or show the details of the bloom/foliage as well as that picture does. That doesn't mean other HMF photos aren't accurate, they just don't do as good a job of illustrating the ideal bloom photographed at the peak of perfection. Perhaps we just need to teach more HMF members how to take better photos of their roses with what equipment they have. Even a smartphone can take a decent photo, with a bit of experience and creative ingenuity!
Reply #54 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by prairiemoon2
Thank you for identifying 'Sombreuil' for me! What a beauty!

It really was a great diagnostic photo. :-)
Reply #58 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by jannorcal
I'd love a rose photography tutorial. I'd even drive up to Oregon if you were willing to teach it :).
Reply #60 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
We couldn't make the trip to Oregon but we'd jump up and down a lot if you'd write an article on rose photography for the Ezine.
Reply #40 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Jay-Jay
You can find the location of the person commenting, by clicking on the member that provided the comments about this particular rose or photo of it!
Reply #38 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Harbor Rose Garden
Would it be at all helpful or feasible to subdivide the photo category for each rose into specific kinds of photos: bush shots, hips/stems thorns, blooms. As it is, the bulk of most of the photos are of blooms. Maybe if there were actual categories of photo shots for each rose people would think about taking shots of different parts of the rose.

I submitted photos of bud clusters on one rose, Enchantress, as no one else had. Not attractive photos, but I thought helpful. I did not submit any shots of the blooms because there were already (I thought ) too many of them. I'm another that cares nothing about the "aesthetic value" of a rose photo, but do want to know the characteristics of the bush.

Another question I have is, if you already have 150K photos how are you planning for the future in terms of expansion of photo memory? Do you just indefinitely keep expanding your memory space to accommodate more and more pictures of just blooms? another thing that makes me think that dividing the available space for the photos into categories and maybe limit the bloom photos. Sticky, I know.

I think a yearly aesthetic value photo contest would be great. I'd never win or probably even submit an entry, but I'd like to see what people submitted. But that's a different kettle of fish than my looking for photos/information on a rose I might want to buy.

I appreciate all your hard work.
Reply #39 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Jay-Jay
When You upload photo's those categorietools already exist, but those aren't mentioned/categorized when the photo is shown! Maybe this info about the picture can be used by HMF to shift the photo's.
Reply #50 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
I assume you've seen where you, as a premium member, can filter your photo list using category types and as far as not including an indication of the categories a specific photo is included in when it's displayed, we don't think that should be necessary. A photo of foliage should (we hope) be pretty self evident.
Reply #85 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Lyn G
Altho' I am on the site daily, I used this feature for the first time last night. I love it ! Thank you for providing a way for us to work through the photos for the kinds of shots that meet our SEARCH goals.

Reply #48 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, this is a great idea and something we instituted a while ago. We're always open to suggestions on what categories should be added or removed.
Reply #41 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Sammy's Garden
If we rate the roses, I prefer to have it revolve rather than the highest rated roses remaining first. THat would give too much credence to aesthetic beauty, and could evolve into a photo contest. Many of us have non professional cameras, yet those with super cameras or super skills could tend to dominate the first page of each rose.

As we post, we ought to think about describing each rose. I think the rating system should also encourage an explanation. Therefore if I post that the ending stages of the rose are unattractive, it would be inappropriate for another person to rate the rose. As it is, if we post 2 or 3 roses together, do they stay together as they cycle? I have recently dug up some roses that would blow fast, and cling to their final stage blooms. Those rose made the entire bed look dirty.

Sometimes one bloom does not reflect the beauty of the entire bush. Also the bush may not relfect the beauty of the bloom. As we post, we might consider making reference to the bush that we have submitted, so the viewer could see both at the same time.
Reply #42 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
Sammy said: "If we rate the roses, I prefer to have it revolve rather than the highest rated roses remaining first. THat would give too much credence to aesthetic beauty, and could evolve into a photo contest. Many of us have non professional cameras, yet those with super cameras or super skills could tend to dominate the first page of each rose."

Precisely why I recommended eliminating the "aesthetic merit" option, leaving only the "representation of plant" and "color accuracy" voting options. If the idea is to drive a tool that sorts photos by their merit as "diagnostic" images, then aesthetics has little, if any, value in the process.

I'm one of those people with an "expensive camera" who often (but not always) aims to make a work of art when he photographs roses. I completely understand the difference between an "art" photo of a rose and one taken with identification and honest plant representation in mind. Some photos can be both (I always strive for absolute color accuracy in my photos, and that is one diagnostic tool we rely on, so its not possible to separate all aesthetics out of the equation), but not always. My collection is about 1.5 acres of greenhouse space and garden. Some of the garden was designed to be "islands" of roses with grassy space in between; a rather park-like effect. It is now far too much work for one person and so maintaining much of the "park garden" has had to be abandoned, aside from an occasional mowing to keep the grass in check. One section of the "garden" involved complete abandonment of the "park" aesthetic, since it became clear that maintaining 1500 plants was going to be a problem, so a third of the space is just black landscape cloth with rows of roses planted in the spaces between the strips of plastic: its not pretty. It is difficult to photograph individual bushes in this context and not draw attention to the truly ugly mess that is the context of their placement, and so I rarely upload photos of whole plants. (I recently uploaded a whole-bush photo of 'Treasure Trail': take a look at that to see what I'm talking about.) I know, that shouldn't be the way it is, but it is, and in part its because I KNOW some people will give such photos a stinky rating for "aesthetic value". This is precisely why the aesthetic rating ought to change to something else, disappear, or simply hide the result data from the users, relying on it solely as an admin tool for sorting.

I have digressed. Sorry.

What I wanted to end on is this: I know that some of my "art photos" would end up with a better rating than some because I have worked very hard to make 'em into "art" images, and as a result, some have greater visual impact/appeal. While I like to see my work appreciated, I don't think art photos should be given higher priority over representational images whose goals are not "art" aesthetic pieces. That is why I feel that the aesthetics rating should be de-emphasized, eliminated, or at least have the results hidden from view. This shouldn't be thought of as a contest in any way, and while most won't think of it in those terms, some might. I don't see any need for hurt feelings over this.

I'm guessing Steve is wondering why this is suddenly a Hot Topic. All I can say to that is: maybe many people already had an opinion on the subject, but nobody had asked for their opinion. Well, as happens in most Web discussions, topic of discussion shifts and changes and starts to include new things, and on GW, that is what happened. Suddenly people started to chime in on the subject of photo ratings on HMF and as it turns out, quite a few people had something to say. It snowballed and became a bit of a "media darling", as these things sometimes do. Clearly, the people speaking to the issue are probably only a very small percentage of the membership of HMF (and GW for that matter), but that doesn't mean that these opinions aren't important and worthy of consideration. It might just be that the dozen people who are speaking to the subject are pointing to the tip of a future iceberg that can be steered away from far in advance.

Admin states: "Yes, we are aware the rating system is not used very much. That is an issue we need to resolve - we have some ideas on the burner and this discussion has provided valuable insight. But... it also begs the question of why photo rating is perceived as such a significant issue at the moment. It's really not used that much. Even so, it is apparent many people are uncomfortable with the current format so that's reason enough to make a change."

Perhaps if people perceived the rating system as more of an opportunity to participate in generating a better diagnostic tool, rather than simply voting in a beauty contest, you'd get more participation. ;-)

One last observation: sometimes, the design of HMF makes me think it has more of a programmatic life than a UI (user interface) life. (Not a criticism, simply an observation) Case in point: click on a photo and up pops a new window displaying a full sized version of the photo. In that window are three tabs: the default view, the Q&C tab, and the Ratings tab. That, to me, is very "database-generates-Web-content" approach to the problem. Why tabs at all? Can it be engineered so that all of the data of the three tabs can appear simultaneously in a single, tabless window? That might help to encourage participation in the ratings system: people will SEE it more clearly. I know for a fact that there are features of HMF that I was unaware of because I don't click on every button or link I encounter. Until yesterday, I wasn't aware that I could sort photos by rating/popularity! I never bothered to click on "sort options"! If you don't click on a button, for whatever reason, you can miss a lot of options, so making options obvious WITHOUT more clicking is a good thing. (Just a thought; feel free to disregard)

We all know after many years experience with Web UI's that the more clicks you have to make to get where you want to be, the less likely that people will get to their destination. A successful user experience relies more on the UI than the content itself sometimes. I have "grown up" with HMF over the years and am so familiar with its workings, and yet, as I have illustrated, some features elude me simply because they are "hidden" by the UI. As I said, this is just a personal observation about how I relate to HMF, and is in no way intended as a criticism of it. HMF is quite literally my most valued resource on the Web. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Steve (and Clara) enough.
Reply #49 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
Well, I am purely an amateur photographer with a 3 year old point and shoot camera. I nevertheless try to put my best shots up on HMF, and take care to make sure the colors, etc, are accurate and that the photos are the best they can be for that rose. I also don't put up many "full bush" shots precisely because it is very difficult to get a reasonably presentable shot of a full bush. Usually, even when I start out with a pretty plant covered with blooms, the photo comes out looking like just a few splotches of whatever color the rose is, on a background of green. There's really not much detail in those photos, and they really don't have any "aesthetic value" either. Also, I am a serious rosaholic, and grow far too many plants, and nothing in my yard is not "squished together," which again, makes for lousy full bush shots. The people looking for "full bush" shots, in my opinion, are probably thinking that my garden looks nothing like it actually looks, which is crowded, and may be expecting something more like the famous, but unrealistic, old Jackson & Perkins catalog bush shots where they just take a one flower close-up shot and cut and paste it all over the plant via photoshop. (See,

I also object to the "aesthetic value" rating system. When one of my photos is anonymously rated just "good" (i.e. grade = B) or worse, I usually take it off the site, especially if I can replace it with something that might be rated better. I also wonder who the people are who apparently had the time to be judges of such things, but not enough time to contribute something useful to the site. And I don't see rating someone else's freely contributed photos as having a lower aesthetic value as anything other than being a self-appointed, somewhat obnoxious busybody. And I really wanted to talk back to that person who used to go through every day and rate all the new photos only on "aesthetic value," apparently without knowing anything about the rose in question. I have been known to go through and just use the law of averages to "cancel out" the undeserved bad ratings that person regularly gives out by assigning those photos an "excellent" rating, especially if it appears that the photo poster is a new contributor to the site. I didn't do it on this particular photo, but apparently someone else did, which is what got Paul started on this entire thread.

Moreover, the ratings for aesthetic value, representation of plant and color accuracy are all actually quite meaningless UNLESS you know the background and experience of the person providing the ratings, and/or unless they provide some reason for their rating. Some roses do grow differently in different locations -- so "color accuracy" may be misleading -- I know in my cool oceanic climate, colors are often brighter than in areas with more sun. So, anonymous ratings on these things have, in my opinion, no value.
Reply #52 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
Rosaholic, you make some great points here.
Reply #55 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Yes, the "tip of the iceberg" theory is well respected in the website development field. As you suggest, the majority of the time the few are speaking for the many. We're grateful you started the discussion and brought this issue to light.

Volumes have been written on computer user interfaces for the web and how unique the medium is for a myriad of reasons including technical; user experience and expectations; geographic; competing market forces; etc. Addressing your UI question could be a dissertation but in the interest of not boring everyone to death and getting some work done I'll be very, very brief.

Screen "real estate" is a much analyzed topic and how to present and organize more information than will fit on a users screen is certainly not unique to websites. The most universally recognized tool, by far, is a tabbed display. If HMF has a failing, it's that its representation of tabs is not intuitive.

People are often confused by page content out of view unless it's obvious the current content continues. A list is a good example. Different content out of view is very often ignored as people rarely use the scroll bar as a gauge of page length. You can overcome this with a message noting one has to scroll down but at that point you might as well use tabs and save them from scrolling.

Depending on scrolling for the photo display would not likely be a good choice. If say the rating form was located below the photo it would often be completely hidden and site guests would need some indication of the need to scroll down. Keep in mind everyone's screen size is different so you cannot with certainty predict how much of a web page is going to be viewable. What is certain is that page will start at the top so if your tabs are there you have the best chance of presenting the structure for the whole page including those sections not currently viewable.

A further issue is the avoiding unnecessary work for both the website's server and the user's computer. Photo information is kept in one part of the database, comments relating to that photo are kept in another, and rating information for the photo is in yet another part of the database. To include everything on one page, the website server must look up and assemble all this information even when the site guest is only interested in looking at the photo (the usual case) and they're paying a penalty in longer download times because the page their computer is downloading now includes information they never requested or have interest in.

This is not to say the we're completely happy with the current photo display format. Improvements in browsers offer much greater functionality and we look forward to taking advantage of those many improvements as time and funding permit.
Reply #56 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
All very good points. I understand the issues.

Do you follow trends in screen display size/resolution, and that sort of thing? I expect you do. It is interesting to see how radically home computing is changing from one year to the next. For example:

FYI my main machine has a screen resolution of 1920 X 1200. The smallest screen I regularly use (not counting my iPhone) is 1024 X 768, which is the iPad.

PS: I don't know how typical I am as a Web participant, but I almost always look at the scroll bar to gauge how much scrolling I can expect to do to access the data presented to me. Mind you, now that I no longer use a mouse on any of my machines, that is becoming less relevant, since multi-touch gestures like "two finger dragging" quickly shows me whether there is more data to be had further down, or not. The mouse paradigm is coming to an end, my friends. Get ready!
Reply #57 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
The size standards you are referring to are physical screen resolutions and not viewable screen size. Most people with newer, larger monitors do not use "full screen" mode so the "viewable window area" is significantly smaller.

Also, HMF has always assumed, particularly in its early years, many if not most of its users are more interested in gardening than computers and as such would not necessarily be the most computer savvy or have the most advanced computer equipment, especially those from some of the less industrial countries in the world. HMF has a remarkably geographically diverse user base.

Of course, we have exceptions and many of our users are quite tech savvy to say the least.

PS - ... you're not typical... but you are a much appreciated supporter of HelpMeFind from its toddler days.
Reply #89 of 95 posted 24 DEC 10 by Simon Voorwinde
I've stopped reading at this point because I have enough points I want to cover as it is... if they have been covered from this point on I apologise in advance.

Firstly, let me be VERY clear that I love you HMF guys... it's a wonderful resource and I use it everyday and promote it everywhere I can. I understand it all costs money and I do my bit to support this and also recommend it to everyone I meet. But...

To say that this issue has only recently been brought to your attention is not quite right. You may recall back in April of this year I also made this request (see: At the time my main objection was that someone could rate features of the plant that only I am privy too. At the time I requested my seedling photos be removed from such a rating system because it is completely irrelevant and as someone mentioned in the above thread, presumptious. At the time I also asked for an opt out option and I think it is important that it is re-emphasised that this is the primary issue in this thread as it seems to be getting a little lost in that same comment abyss you mention. I would like the ability to remove my plants from some of these options but over time, if and when they become commerically available where others have the ability to make such comparisons, I would like to be able to reinstate their relevant ratings status.

You state that there are many different kinds of people and that you need to cater for all of them. What you need to appreciate then is that breeders ARE one of these types of people (and just quietly probably have submitted the vast bulk of the photos, I mean Robert has submitted ~4% of the photos all on his own.. even I've submitted 288 of them (0.19% LOL)) and the option has been provided to include breeding stock and stock under development (as it should or the world would never know about such landmark roses as 0-47-19), so to cater for THIS kind of customer there needs to be some special provisions. I will continue to be a financial member for ever... so I would like to think, as a breeder, some of my requirements would creep into policy considerations.

You said we need to single out exceptional photos. Why do you meed to do this with a manual rating system when you can do it more intuitively by making it more dynamic using website statistics? Why can't it be done on a hit-counter basis so that the more hits an image gets the higher up on the list it is displayed because over time this will find its own equilibrium and be more meaningful because it means we are all participating in the 'popularity' rating system and voting with our feet, so to speak. By using the filtering system for features such as foliage they can be sub-flitered by most frequently viewed.

I love photos of blooms as much as the next person, however, I like to also submit diagnostic photos. You said that there needs to be some way to sort through the large number of nearly identical photos. My question is why not cap each category? Surely there must come a point where one can have too many bloom photos of something like 'Iceberg'. As the cap is reached this option is removed from the list of options by which each photo is categorised. I know at this point you can upload a photo and not tick any of these boxes. It would not be hard to make at least one a required field. This way, if you needed more photos of 'Iceberg's foliage, for example, then once the other categories fill up this one remains open for submissions until it too reaches its quota. Maybe you need a section that is purely for beautiful photos, also capped and also linked to a variety that has the rating system fully enabled because they are there to be judged on aesthetics. Maybe this section could be limited to be an annual feature that is archived by year (which would be kinda cool to show progressions in image quailty too as technology continues to improve).

The filtering can be made more detailed too. I would like to be able to choose all the photos from Australian members, for example.

Someone mentioned instructionally valuable photos. The unfortunate thing is that so many people lack instructional intelligence and that instuctional photos are 'lost' on them. Given this is the case, and more to emphasise an existing HMF function... people should take the time to add a clear and concise comment of their own when submitting the photo if it is of instructional value to clearly point out what their intention was because it may not be immediately apparent to some viewers.

I don't really understand your point about comments being lost in the comments abyss. They are only lost in the abyss if people only look at the forum section where all posts are published en-masse. Each comment is pinned to a variety or separately pinned to each photo. That means you need to look in two different places to see the comments. If the two could be combined in some way then there is less chance of them being lost. So, using an example of one of my photos where someone has commented, if I search for 'Pink Grootendorst', and look under the comments tab, the comment on my photo doesn't show up in the list. To see this I need to look under the photos and look for the little 'C' under the thumbnail to see which ones have a comment attached. Maybe they need to be more relationally linked.

Members like Robert and myself use HMF like a photographic journal. In years to come when rose historians dredge back through all existing records there will be a clear record of how some rose varieties that make it into existence evolve into their final form. Some photos are quite unflattering in the early stages of this process. I would like to think that such photos are exempt from any form of rating as they are purely educational, but highly valuable, to add that little extra bit of understanding to the viewing public about the way new varieties of rose come into being. Again this comes back to instructional intelligence but in cattering for all users some of us really like this and it is, quite frankly, offensive to have a photo of a rose's first flower rated aesthetically ordinary when it is an accurate depiction of what it is like... at this end of the computer you are literally saying to the computer screen 'you dumbass... don't you understand this is it's first flower and the ugly duckling will turn into a swan and you REALLY have missed the point'. It's like the rating system (again) for each variety... a rating implies quality to me and to rate a once flowering rose as having poor rebloom seems silly to me.

So... I'm sorry to be so blunt. I just find the whole rating system to be flawed by the subjective, chaotic and fickle nature of public opinion and so to be of little value.


Reply #90 of 95 posted 24 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Thanks for your feedback. Lot's of good suggestions we'll consider as time and funding permit.
Reply #66 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Cass
Unlike Paul, Roseaholic, Robert and jannorcal, I couldn't care less if my photos are dissed for aesthetic value. The rating is irrelevant to me because aesthetics is entirely subjective. Aesthetic value as a photo? Aesthetic value as a rose? Aesthetic value as a composition? Who knows what the rater had in the mind.

Standards of image quality have improved dramatically over the years. The quality of HMF's photos is steadly improving, as are our technical skills as digital photographers. I just reviewed photos uploaded in the last 3 weeks and didn't see a single stinker. I think the existing quality helps guide users as a standard of the photos that are contributed. The occasional poor shot is the price paid for all the outstanding shots collected on HMF. Oh, no question, there are some poor photos on HMF. I'm sure I've contributed more than a few myself (note to self: clean them up some day). Still, I don't think HMF users should have much to say about quality question. (We all know the type: camera focuses on the dirt, out of focus rose in the foreground somewhere.) Online public criticism of any kind can trigger inappropriate online conduct. That kind of dirty work is best left to the Admin's gentle ministrations.

Color accuracy of the bloom, Accuracy of the look of the bloom, Accuracy of the Representation of the rose plant, Documentation of Botanical Detail....These are what matter to me. I suspect that the reason most photos aren't rated is because most of us don't know or grow rose and therefore have no basis for rating the photo.
Reply #44 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by prairiemoon2
I'm always disappointed when I don't find a photo of the entire bush.
Reply #46 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
How many "whole bush" photos have you contributed to HMF? Just asking a question, not making any criticism. I know that for myself, the number of "arty" bloom/spray photos I have uploaded far outweighs the number of "whole bush" images.
Reply #47 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
We'd all love to see whole bush photos but I'm in the situation Paul is.

I have far too many roses. Adding another means discarding or giving away one more.

I literally don't have the room to feature each rose or get a photo featuring individual growth habit.
Reply #53 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by prairiemoon2
I haven't contributed ANY photos to HMF. I only have 6 roses and 4 of them were bought last spring bareroot and had minimal growth and only one had more than a bloom or two on it all season.

Not a criticism that there are few whole bush photos. I do understand a reluctance to show a whole photo of a bush that might not look as great as a bloom or would include a part of your garden that you haven't gotten to weeding lately. [g] It's just always nice when at least one person found themselves in a position to post a photo of the whole plant.
Reply #51 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
People visiting the website are always going to have different priorities and for that reason we offer the LIST OPTIONS. Using them you can pick the sequencing which best suits your taste or needs. The system even remembers your preferences after you leave HMF.

We spent an significant amount of time adding this level of flexibility to the website in an effort to appease as broad an audience as possible - please take advantage of it.

Your idea about "grouping" photos from the same bush is an interesting one we'll have to consider.
Reply #61 of 95 posted 19 DEC 10 by jannorcal
I agree whole heartedly with Paul's recommendation to eliminate the 'aesthetic' value rating. I've uploaded photos specifically to demonstrate certain aspects of a rose (in response to comments or topics raised on various forums), then had the photos rated 'good' or 'fair'. Some of those photos I've deleted, others I have left. My skin is thinner than Paul's. When I've spent time and money to go to various gardens miles from my home and post photos of roses seen there, then to have someone arbitrarily rate the photo as good or poor irks me and makes me less likely to post again.
I also preferred the prior way photos were displayed, when you could click thru them sequentially with a next type button. Don't care for the current interface where each photo must be viewed individually. May be programming reasons for the change, but not as user friendly.
Reply #62 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Thank you for weighing in - we get the message; people do not like having their photos judged and we will be addressing the issue very soon. Thanks again for taking the time to provide feedback.
Reply #63 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
As you have stated (and rightfully so) on many occasions, it is important to do your best to please as many people as you can. Have you considered simply allowing contributing photographers the opportunity to opt out of having their photos rated? I'm sure some people LIKE the rating system!
Reply #64 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
First, for now we have hidden photo ratings from view. One can still rate photos but it's "for our eyes only".

Second, yes, some people like the photo ratings and some like being able to browse through the exceptional ones but clearly people feel uncomfortable with the process.

Fortunately the "Favorites" feature can fundamentally serve the same purpose without the side effect of people feeling judged. We urge people to just click the ADD TO FAVORITES button when they come across a photo they particularly like or they feel merits attention.
Reply #65 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
"Fortunately the "Favorites" feature can fundamentally serve the same purpose without the side effect of people feeling judged. "

You know, I had that exact same thought earlier today and forgot to mention it!
Reply #67 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Aurelija D.
There is one issue with Favorites though, as it can be very well used just as personal bookmarks. At least I used it like that without PM, as Wish list is limited and Favorites is the quickest way to bookmark rose for future look up. I assume that it is something that also will persist when the PM expires, when Wish list might get the pruning (I did not look up if that really is the case, but that's the impression). So technically, Favorites might be anything really, actual favorites, bookmarks, avoid lists, etc. Also since you have a few Favorites lists, I end up mostly adding plants to the Favorites, rather than actual photos (with a very few exceptions of some garden solution, etc. where it might be difficult to find it back in mass of the other plant photos).
Of course, a motivated member can possibly be crafty and rate precisely as intended, but it isn't going to happen with everyone who just drops by.

Maybe solution could be to have Bookmarks (current Favorites), and ratings (rename them Favorites), but in simplified version, to allow to mark a photo as Exceptional or even better, Favorite, but do not allow any other lesser grade? That way you still will get the rating of what might be the best shots, but without the negatives of being downrated, trolling or whatever else. On other note, you can probably just replace ratings with Favorites-> Favorite Photos, as those would be actual photos that people like for some reason (as in not the same as plants in general Favorites).
Reply #68 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Landperson
Good Morning to all from rainy Northern CA....This idea came to me yesterday in the middle of a thread over at GW, and just so I am not relying on anyone else to bring it here, I will pretty much repeat it:

HMF might want to develop a photo policy statement (not a rule, mind you). For example: "Please feel free to add any photos which give additional information regarding this rose. If you have pictures of aspects which are not already prominently and accurately displayed, we would be happy to have you add them to our collection." My wording is probably a bit rough and unwelcoming, but I'm thinking that people with photos might want to know at least something about the reasons for photos to be there in the first place. Until this discussion, it really would not have occurred to me that pictures of less than lovely blooms and artistic renderings would have a value.
When there are a lot of pictures of rose, members can probably get a pretty good idea of what the possibilities are, but when there are still only a few, some sort of validation is probably still a good idea. What about changing the ratings to something more like:
"matches well with my experience of this rose"; "this is not what I expected from this rose"; or some other wordings that make it clear that the member making the rating has a valid basis for rating the rose at all????
Reply #71 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
All good suggestions but it's very hard to get people to read more than a very short paragraph.
Reply #72 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
The way you are using "Favorites List" as bookmarks is MUCH better handled by using the "Watch List". That's it's purpose and it has the added benefit of us alerting you when people have added new comments or photos to items on your Watch List.
Reply #69 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
Thank you for hiding them. I think the simplest, and easiest to understand solution to the whole thing would be just to put a simple Facebook style "Like" button on each new photo. Even people who have no prior knowledge of HMF would know what to do with that, and I'll bet it would get used consistently without being offensive to anyone.
Reply #70 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
That's the purpose of the "Favorites" button but maybe people would understand "like" better.
Reply #73 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Barden, Paul
At this point in time, I expect a "Like" button is more universally understood than any other term with similar intent.
Reply #74 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
Favorites, for me at least, is something I want to return to. A bookmark of sorts. I use this, but sparingly.
Like, on the other hand, is just a way to pass on a positive comment or encouragement to the poster. Things I have marked "like" do not need to go into a separate file I can return to. But it would be nice to show on the photo's page how many people "liked" it.
Reply #75 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
Try using using the "Watch List" for bookmarks.
Reply #77 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
OK -- I actually have never used that "watch list" funcition, and I didn't even know what it was used for (until now).
Reply #78 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
The Membership section of the website lists all the features available to you as a premium member - you might be surprised by some others too!
Reply #86 of 95 posted 21 DEC 10 by Aurelija D.
But that's a core of the issue, that for a non premium member Watch list is limited to 2 plants if I remember it correctly (?). So for one, if lets say one forgets/decides not to renew subscription, bookmarks will be gone (?), while Favorites is somewhat more permanent notes (and it is very frustrating to loose bookmarks, as we all know).

For the other, it took me almost a year to decide if to try PM or not. By then you generally already have formed habits where you put what (and what is unlimited for non-PM). Of course, it is possible to remake lists, but as I said, without the intention to have life long subscription it is hardly a wise choice, since once you loose PM, you have to redo everything back to Favorites.

Next to that, if you never intend to get PM, Favorites is basically the only viable bookmark option. It is something to consider if to use those lists as indication of best shots etc.
Reply #87 of 95 posted 21 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
None of your premium membership member information is lost if your premium membership expires. When you renew, its all there.

I'm not sure how or why people are using the PM (Private Message) facility to bookmark items. Private Messages are messages you send to other members that are not displayed to the HMF community.
Reply #88 of 95 posted 21 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
Elemire is using "PM" to denote premium membership, not private mail.
Reply #76 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Landperson
And from my perspective a "like" button is useless UNLESS it is made clear that what "like" means is "I like this as a good representation of what this rose looks like in my experience". I really don't care what roses other people like or dislike; I want to know that the photo is representative -- or not.
Reply #79 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
Landperson -- that's actually the function of the "I believe this photo is inaccurate" tab.
HMF Admin -- that tab should not go away in my opinion. It had a very real function within HMF. I hope you will be putting that one back, as I see it is gone now (hopefully just temporarily).
Reply #82 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
This feature has not been removed. Only the member rating information for photos has been removed while we sort out how to best handle this feature.
Reply #84 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rosaholic's Southern California Garden
sorry -- I see it now!
Reply #80 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Rupert, Kim L.
I agree with the "representative or not" designation. "Like" on FB means nothing to me other than someone's passing click. I also think we should encourage people who use the site to list where they are, what zone type they garden in. Stating the photo doesn't represent what is to be expected from the plant is useless unless you can see WHERE it isn't valid, or is valid.

I am very thankful so many have joined in this discussion. Thank you! I hope Steve is gratified reading how valuable we've all found his (EXPENSIVE to him) labor of love. And, that he's been pretty much on track with it, with just a few tweaks. Thank you, Steve. HMF is what it is because of participation, but it is YOU who created it and makes it work. For you, and that, I believe we are all very thankful. Kim
Reply #81 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by Landperson
You betcha !!!!
This is one fine site !!!!

THANK YOU, Steve, and everyone who has helped bring it to this level of excellence !!!!
Reply #83 of 95 posted 20 DEC 10 by HMF Admin
We have found "encouraging" is not terribly effective. People either provide information or they don't. We agree it would be great if everyone included at least their zone information.

And thanks for the kudos Kim. We have always greatly appreciated your participation here too.
Reply #94 of 95 posted 13 JAN 11 by silly girl
Hello everyone.....i have spent a year "clandestinely" on this website reading every comment about the roses i grow and love as well as the ones i have on my wish list. This is the first post i wanted to make after becoming a member. I want to tell all of you THANK YOU for the fotos and comments and add my thoughts to this discussion.

As an artist, this very same discussion happens in the reproduction of artwork, how accurate the color is and what is the best printer blah blah blah. Many of the old prints you have on this website are from a time when many pigments faded and changed over the years, knowing that color/pigments change does not detract from the accuracy of form or number of petals or the nod of the blossom. ( think of all the old black and white fotos ) This is too how i look at all these wonderful photos, that some of the colors may not be quite true, yet each photo gives me a bit more insight into the rose.

I also believe that what a rose's color and form and health will be dependent on climate, country, soil, sun vs shade, if its neglected or babied. So i even love the messy gardens with the "overall bush" photos, and would hate it if they were not posted for fear of being judged. i actually would love to see photos of roses as there "worst".

Let me explain that. I live in a small town about 30 min from Annapolis and met a lovely lady who spent her entire 93 years in this town before passing away and have never forgotten her words of rose gardening, "if you really want to know how good any rose is then you need to look at that rose in July when its hot, humid and disgusting , then no matter how it looks if you stick your nose into the rosebud will it make you smile". For example, my Radiance (hyb tea) has been with this house since it was built in the 1940's and every year she gets blackspot, drops all of her leaves, is absolutely bald and yet she still blooms and is oh so sweet smelling that i would never be without if we are only looking for perfect fotos of her you would be aghast to see my "naked lady" until you read my comments under her name...maybe its not the rating of the fotos that is needed, its the thoughts that go with the foto...

Once again THANK YOU for such a wonderful resource on roses
Reply #95 of 95 posted 13 JAN 11 by HMF Admin
And thank YOU for your participation. HMF is all about community and sharing expertise, insight and experience with each other.
Reply #96 of 95 posted 13 JAN 11 by Rupert, Kim L.
Excuse me? You are so with it; you hit the nail right square on the head; you are NOT a "silly girl"! Where have you BEEN? No matter, you're here now and that is all that matters! Thank YOU for a post that "GETS IT"! Your 93 year old friend was a wise woman, and it appears you follow strongly in her footsteps. Glad to have you here as a member. You are most welcome! Kim Rupert
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