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 Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back. 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Not sure when it happened to fold. I would check in every few months. I can't believe that its become no fun at all to talk plants..but maybe the Facebook stuff is filling that void.

I guess something lapsed. Its back on air.


Last edited by Stan on Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:55 am
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Location: North Thames delta UK
Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone.
That has been going for years - a contemporary of the UK Oasis - so I am surprised it lasted this long. Everything has a shelf life.

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Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:28 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone.
Paul Spracklin wrote:
That has been going for years - a contemporary of the UK Oasis - so I am surprised it lasted this long. Everything has a shelf life.

True, but it's a shame as this type of Forum has a lot of good knowledge.

I still buy and collect books for this very reason.


Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:57 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:58 pm
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Location: Oxford UK
Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Hi Stan.... Yes its back but looking at the palms and exotic section it seems only Banana Joe is posting with hardly any replies. Similar experience with the Palms North forum virtually dead as a dodo.... everyone seems to have left. Quite busy a few years ago. :roll:

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Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:04 am
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
I hate to be a naysayer but I think the we're at the end of the golden age of "art horticulture".*
Interesting advances may very well come via technology - I'm hoping for a zn 7 hardy Phoenix palm. (a plantsman/physicist in DC actually started a company for this, but he told me after burning up 500K they'd made some advances identifying candidate genes, but couldn't get more funding after the great recession to continue the work)
But nothing is going to make rare woody plants, for example, grow faster...and serious gardening/plant collecting will always be a hobby that demands a high degree of patience. And this isn't a world where people have much of that anymore. It's an instant gratification, instant everything world, where people are used to having everything at their fingertips, immediately. (smartphones et al)

That being said it was reassuring being in AU and seeing that a relatively small**, relatively young country had at least very advanced seeming public gardens. Obviously the UK and Commonwealth were pioneers and will continue to be leader in many areas of horticulture. There are bright spots like Annie's Annuals, which is relatively new. The huge well funded US gardens like Longwood will continue to do what they do, but I think we are already seeing the vibrancy of the rare plant trading scene getting concentrated into fewer and fewer nurseries and the general public having less overall access to "serious" plant material than they used to. I think the "golden age" in the US at least would have been from the early 80s to the late 2000s.

* I used this term for this reason: was just having a similar discussion with Rachel Saunders, who tersely noted "most horticulturalists in South Africa now work on growing grass on golf courses" LOL.

** in population!


Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:55 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
When the internet created plant boards in the 1990's..the curve started..and I agree with David,around the 2005-2010 era it peaked. Some of the best most informative posts are from then. I think it was a perfect storm of the internet being what gardeners in their prime,their 30's and 40's age range never had and now could do what they never could do before.
Well,now after 20 some years after the start..they are now pushing 60+ I notice too few members are new Palmbobs or Chanins of Garden Web..or Steve Popes.
I have such a small yard..and equal budget I can't really push things myself. I feel slower myself physically too. I try.


Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:20 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
The trend is the same in the orchid hobbyist world. People know of orchids as cut flowers or as Phalaenopsis or Dendrobiums you can buy at the big box stores - they flower, you try to grow them for a while on your windowsill, and then they're in the trash. The problem is not only that orchids need a bit more attention than most plants, but the societies that have formed around their cultivation are not doing their job well in recruiting new members. The reason is simple - politics. There are plenty of young folks interested in orchids (and plants in general), but are turned off by the politics of most societies. So, instead of having exclusive groups of aging, relatively rich people celebrating themselves, there should be outreach to young members to expand interest. The reality of today is that young folks don't have money to own greenhouses since our populations are becoming increasingly urbanized. I think that societies really need to look at the reality of their futures NOW if they are to survive into the future.

If you think I full of it, just look at what has happened to the American Orchid Society - it is nearly a ghost. Here in Japan, I can only say that when the current generation of aging hobbyists die, who will take up the mantle? I predict that within another generation there will be precious few people around maintaining centuries old bonsai collections, or orchid breeding lines that have been in development for the last 2 centuries. What a waste. I guess I'm just being negative, right? Che sara sara...

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Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:41 pm
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
I don't think you are being negative Tom, it is a worry. When I look at what is happening in the small town where I live, all of the houses which have big gardens are selling off part of the land to make a quick buck. The subsequent houses and the original house then lose their gardens. Builders are also buying up any bits of land they can get their hands on and cramming hundreds of houses on them with next to no garden. Without a garden the young families who move in can't cultivate an interest.
I see that my local branch of the BCSS has closed - even in small plots people can grow cacti and succulents but clearly there isn't enough interest in this either.
I also don't think it helps that jobs in horticulture are so badly paid - often minimum wage or just above - young people aren't interested.
And those garden centre chains like Wyevale are taking the personality out of the places they are buying up. I remember when Bridgemere offered all manner of rare plants. Then Wyevale took over and the pansies are just as expensive as the rare plants were. They did the same at the Percy Thrower place in Shrewsbury and the last time I was in Cornwall the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, where I used to be able to get all manner of plant which I can't get up north, seems to have gone the same way.
It's a throw away society and the kinds of plants we are interested in will perish.


Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:33 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: South Devon, UK
Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Whilst I share all of these concerns over the dumbing down of garden centres and the decline of specialist plant societies, I also hold a more positive view in some areas of UK horticulture. There will always be room for specialist nurseries to exist, especially if the mainstream outlets are essentially clones of each other, although any specialist grower will need to adapt and be willing to diversify in how they operate if they are to survive. I think internet sales and mail order are key. There are several examples of specialist nurseries that are bucking the downward trend.

Events such as the rare plant fair at Tregrehan attract an increasing crowd each year, and other rare plant fairs are also busy. Perhaps these events are key to nursery survival? I know that without these events, my tiny nursery would likely no longer be in operation.

I speak regularly at garden clubs and societies all over the South West. Many are struggling, but a small number are doing well, and these are outward looking and fun places to be that work hard to be inclusive. One in particular comes to mind as it has a waiting list to join and the hall was full to capacity when I went. So not all hope is lost, but it does require a change in attitude to the people who run them.

Getting back on topic regarding the forums, Facebook is killing them off, but I hope that some will survive. The popularity of various plant groups on Facebook is proof that growing and horticulture are not dead. I like this forum in particular as the depth of discussion can be very good, and old information and threads are more easily searchable than on Facebook. What I do find a little strange is that a number of plant forums seem to be populated by the same people, all posting on different boards. I never could work that one out!

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Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:30 am
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
I don't think the disappearance of boards has anything to to with horticulturalist or societal changes at all.

For me it's an entirely technical thing: far too many people have turned their backs to classical message boards and are now posting on Facebook and other social media. The issue is, especially Facebook tends to be godawfully superficial and unsubstancial. Profound, focused and intense conversations almost never take place. It's all about showing off and getting stroked one's soul in return.


Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:30 am
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Agreed that social media, facefart in particular, has diminished plant forums. Everything now seems to be on a "feed" - quick spurts of often irrelevant content that is consumed today, tweeted, and quickly forgotten tomorrow as it gets buried under more "content". Hmmm.

I stand by the fact that many specialty plant hobbies are at risk for the above mentioned reasons, and more...

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Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:46 pm
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Interesting topic! My reply got a "bit" lengthy so I posted it on my blog... Finding And Nurturing Things We Love.

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Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:28 am
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Aa a member of Cloudforest who hasn't been active or visited that forum in quite some time, it really came down to conflict, most of which was completely avoidable. They have good meds nowadays to help with wound up emotions. :D

Cheers, Barrie.

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Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:30 pm
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Post Re: Cloudforest plant board.Gone. Its back.
Las Palmas Norte wrote:
Aa a member of Cloudforest who hasn't been active or visited that forum in quite some time, it really came down to conflict, most of which was completely avoidable. They have good meds nowadays to help with wound up emotions. :D

Cheers, Barrie.

There was a lot of "you cant grow that"..I never got the reason of needing to say that when I would post it growing. There's other boards like that. Tropicalfruit International forum has some outright hostile people that also never believed a photo they saw. I was told by that "expert" forum Avocado's don't grow in the bay area. Its common to see them in the bay area. Like Lemon tree's. Yes,I posted 40' tree's. Sad was- the bay area people on that board were so afraid of the soucal and a few Florida guys..they never stood up to them.
THEN,you have Troposphere's "Jungle" board that had an owner who banned most people who posted. Why? again.."It doesn't grow where you live and I ban you for saying it does".and 12 years later my Pachypodium lamerei is still fine in the front yard. Never covered,etc. That guy banned Ron. Mild mannered Ron. Last I looked at it..newer posts were in the 3- 5 years ago category. Why he pays to keep it going? Must be something to brag about at plant meetings I guess.
Yep- a few bad boards out there..but far more good ones.


Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:54 am
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