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Plant & Seed List Maintenance – Instructions


These instructions tell you how to maintain the tables used to create plant list pages (including the seed list). The actual generation of the pages is done in the administrative dashboard (see there: Pages, List generation). There are five tables:

‘Plants’ : contains all the information about the plants in the list.

‘Seed List’: contains all the information about plants in the Seed List.

‘Tab Names’ : a list of the different categories that will be used as tabs in most lists (annuals, perennials, geophytes and so on).

‘Headers’ : the text that will appear at the top of the page, above the plant lines.

‘Lists’ : a table that brings together the header material and the categories to be used for the creation of the page.

You can create new lists or change/delete existing ones by adding or modifying these tables. Some of the tables (especially Plants) contain a large number of items. To help you find what you want, there are facilities for: sorting the table by a specific column, restricting the rows shown by the use of a filter, and searching for specific text. How to use these features is explained below.

Changing the table

To make changes, click in the table and an action box will appear with three options: New entry, edit and delete. Click the one you want.

To change the contents of a row, click anywhere in it and select ‘Edit’ in the action box. Another pop-up box will display the current contents of the row. Make the necessary changes and click OK. You can also add a new row after changing an existing one by clicking ‘Apply and add new’ instead of ‘OK’.

To add a new row, click anywhere in the table and select ‘New entry’ in the action box. Another pop-up box will appear where you can add the new row. Click OK or, if you are adding more than one row, click ‘Apply and add new’.

To delete a row, click anywhere in it. A pop-up box will ask for confirmation of the delete. Be careful about using this feature as there is no undo function.

Sorting, searching and filtering

Sorting.  At the head of each column, the column name is displayed. Clicking on the column name will sort the table by this column. An up or down arrow at the side of a column name indicates the table is currently sorted by this column; the direction of the arrow indicates whether the sort sequence is ascending or descending. Clicking the column name again will reverse the sequence.

NOTE: Using this feature does not affect the way the lists are ultimately sorted on the page itself; this is done by the list generation process.

Searching. Above the table, you will find a search box. Enter the text you are looking for. Without the need to click anything else, the system will display any rows where there is a match in any row for the search term that you entered. Remove the search term and all records will again be displayed (unless there is a filter active – see next paragraph). The search is not case-sensitive and will look in any part of the table for matches. So, for example, if you enter as your search term ‘La’, then you will get matches for any row that contains, say, ‘Plants’ or ‘Late Summer Colour’.

Filtering. Filtering is allowed on some columns, as indicated at the top of the column (between the column name and the first row) by either the message ‘Enter filter here’ or a down arrow.  Where ‘Enter filter here’ is shown, enter the text on which you want to filter. Any text entered will limit the display to only those rows where there is a match for the term in the column concerned.  As with search, filtering is not case-sensitive and all the contents of the column will be searched.  Where the filter is shown by a down arrow, click the arrow and select the filter you want. Filters on more than one column will be combined (i.e. for a row to display, it must match all of the filters).  To clear active filters, click ‘Clear filters’ at the head of the table.

Creating a new list

  1. Check that all the plant categories (tabs) that the list will use are in the Plant Categories table. If not, then add them.
  2. Create a new entry in the Headers table.
  3. In the Lists table, create an entry for each of the tabs to be used. If there are no tabs, create a dummy tab of ‘None’.
  4. Add the items of the new list to the Plants table.

IMPORTANT: After creating new entries in the Plant Categories or Headers tables, you MUST refresh the page (Ctrl+F5) before continuing. Otherwise, these new entries will not appear in the selection boxes for the other tables.

Headers Table

This table establishes a plant list and allows you to select the elements that you want shown at the head of the page. The header table contains the following items:

List name (mandatory): A one-word, unique identifier for the list. This will be used internally and will not be visible on the page. Use something short but meaningful.

Title 1 (mandatory): The title which will appear at the top of the page.

Title 2: A second title line to be shown below Title 1. Typically used for the French translation of Title 1 where the two together would be too long to fit on a single line. For the Seed List, this column should contain the date of the update, e.g.: ‘ (updated / mise à jour: January / janvier 2020 )’.

Remark 1: A single line of text to be shown below the title.

Remark 2: A single line of text to be shown below Remark 1. Typically used for the French translation of Remark 1 where the two together would be too long to fit on a single line.

Click on images?: Enter ‘y’ or ‘n’. If ‘y’ is set, the following text will be displayed immediately above the list of plants: ‘Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge them / Cliquez sur les vignettes pour les agrandir‘.

Seed list?: Enter ‘y’ or ‘n’. If ‘y’ is set, the following text will be displayed: ‘Seeds for many of these plants are available from the MGF Seed Collection’. The French version of this text will be shown immediately below the English.

Rubric English: At the top of a list, it is possible to have a framed box below the title and remark lines with bilingual text side-by-side. Enter the English text here.

Rubric French: The French version of Rubric English to be shown alongside it in the framed box. If you wish to display a block of unilingual text, enter it in one of these two rubric columns. It will be displayed centred within a framed box.

Lists Table

Use this table to enter the names of the tabs which will be used on the page. If a list does not use tabs, then create a single entry with the value ‘None’ as the Category Name. The table contains the following items:

List name: The identifier linking it to the Headers table. Select the one you want from the drop down box.

Category Name: The wording to appear on the tab. Select the one you want from the drop down box.

Position: A number indicating the position of the tab on the page, beginning with 1 on the left and increasing as you move to the right.

Tab Names Table

Category: The name of the category that will appear on a tab.

Plants Table

This table contains the details of the plants in the list. Some columns have rules regarding format:

List name (mandatory): The identifier linking it to the Headers table. Select the one you want from the drop down box.

Category: The categoty (or tag) to which the plant belongs (if any). Select the one you want from the drop down box.

Photo: Enter ‘x’ if there is a photo to to go with this entry, otherwise leave blank.

Plant name: the full name of the plant, including the cultivar/variety name, if present. The Latin words will be italicised by the system but the cultivar name must be enclosed in single quotes.

Synonym / Comment: will be displayed below the plant name on the page. If there is a synonym, then the content of this cell must be ‘syn. ‘ followed by the full plant name as for the principal plant name. No other content may follow a synonym. If there is no synonym, this cell can contain any suitable text as per the description lines (see below).

Plant displayed: If the image to be displayed does not correspond to the plant name, then the name of the plant displayed will be shown on the page after the description line(s), thus: ‘Photo: xxxxx’ where ‘xxxxx’ is the full name of the plant shown. This name should be put into this column, using the same conventions as for the Plant name. ‘Photo:’ will be added automatically by the system.

Description line 1: Any explanatory text to be displayed to the right of the plant name. Any plant names MUST be italicised by using the ‘I’ function of the editor. To insert a link, highlight the text which will contain the link and then insert the URL by clicking the chain icon.

Description line 2: A second line of explanatory text to be displayed below the first; the same rules apply with regard to links and plant names.

Seed List Table

For the Seed List, this table is used on place of the Plants table as the Seed List has three additional columns. The formatting rules for these are as follows:

AGM: Enter ‘x’ if the plant has been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit, otherwise leave blank.

Bees: Enter ‘x’ if the plant is one which attracts bees, otherwise leave blank.

Country of origin: indicates the origin of the seeds offered (not the plant itself).