You will have noticed by now that when first visiting this website, and many others, you see some kind of notice about the use of web cookies.

If you didn’t know already, cookies are just small text files on your computer that are accessed by the web browser.  They have various uses, but as they can be used to gather information about your web activities they are now subject to the EU e-Privacy Directive regulations. In the UK this is implemented by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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Things have been quiet recently here on the web-site, but there has been a lot of activity going on in the background!

From this spring there will be some some significant changes in the way that the business operates. We are moving onto a strictly part-time basis, to allow scope for other activities. The biggest impact is on the garden maintenance side of the business and other on-site visits, which will be reduced to a minimum. The other effect is that there may be lengthy periods when there is no contact cover, so from time-to-time there might be delays responding to emails.

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It has been quite a long time since there was an update to the plant database itself, so here it is – Data Release 22.

There is no program version update to go with it, the production program for Windows remains at version 1.6.1 and the mobile edition at 1.7. The downloadable install files now use Data Release 22, as will all newly supplied CD’s. The free web database, Plant Base Online, has also been updated to the same release level.

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You may have noticed already that some of the web pages have changed in appearance. I’m in the process of updating the site, so at the moment there is a mixture of old and revised pages.

The most noticable difference is moving to a slightly wider page view, which will hopefully make them easier to read. Nearly everyone is now using larger, higher resolution screens than when the website was first written. It makes sense to take advantage of that. There are a number of other changes that are not really visible, but improve load speed and efficency.

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We switched to a new web hosting company just before the Christmas break and after a few small transfer problems the website seems to be running nicely.  The move was really forced on us because the previous web server had become so slow that main Plant Base installation download was taking up to 5 hours. Thankfully everything is much quicker now – the install download is back to just a few minutes on a good broadband connection and the online database is much faster too.

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