Sunday, November 20, 2011

Plant Tags: So Much to Say, So Little Space

I know just what Mark Twain meant when he apologetically explained, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." Writing is tough enough, but sometimes editing my first draft down to a tight, lively, informative read feels like medieval dental surgery. So imagine what it's like to compose a plant tag, those skinny little plastic strips we see poking out of containers at the garden center.

You've probably done this hundreds of times: A spectacular looking flower beckons you from across the nursery, so you sprint over, pull out the tag, read a few dozen words, and decide whether that cute little darlin' will be coming home with you.

It's not much to go on, but sometimes it's all the information we have when the "ME NEED PLANT" neurons in the primal core of your brain commence to firing. So, what if you could take an extra minute, fire up your smart phone, scan a QR code, and tap a deep mine of information?

We're starting to see QR (Quick Response) codes popping up everywhere. They're small printed squares filled with a unique pattern of black and white pixels, like a petri dish experiment gone wild. Download one of many free apps to your smart phone (I like QRReader), hold it in front of the square, and the next thing you know, you're at the product's website.

Read how QR codes can make your garden shopping a lot more fun...

No comments: