Digital Project Update: Green Obsessions

The title page for Green Obsessions

Link to Project Website

Since proposing this project in a previous post, I have been busy reading up on the history of botany and scientific exploitation throughout the colonized world. I have decided to primarily focus on the British Empire and plant collecting, since these are the sources I have been able to find. London is also home to one of the largest Botanic societies, which happens to have a variety of digitized collections.

Preview of the interactive map for my project, which shows the origins of popular houseplants.

The screen capture above gives a preview of my map and an example pin. I have also been doing research and finding the origins of many specific plants, but I have found that it is difficult to find out when specific plants were introduced to the western market. The current format for pins for each plant includes about 70-100 words describing the plant, care notes on light, humidity, and watering, and attribution to the source of the images I am using. When I have found information relating to the plant’s history in relation to humans, I am also including that information.

Most photos I have been using are from, a website that makes beautiful photos available for use free of charge. While Unsplash does not require photos to be attributed to artists, I have chosen to ensure that all photos I have used are attributed to the photographer.

Example Interpretive Section, unfinished as of now.

I have largely finished the bulk of my research for the rest of the website and I am now working on writing text for the website. Some parts of the website have not been written yet, but have been outlined. As seen above, I have put general outline information into the StoryMap in order to show my thought process. Each of these sections feature a photo related to the text. Attribution for these photos can be seen by hovering over the (i) icon in the top left of the image.

I would be interested to hear anyone’s comments on my progress so far. This project has proven to be one of my favorites that I have worked on in a while. The wealth of primary sources available through the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew is impressive– and I wish I could put more of it to use in this project. Also, let me know if there are any specific houseplants you would like to see on the map so I can make sure I am getting all of the most popular plants on there. Thanks everyone!

3 Replies to “Digital Project Update: Green Obsessions”

  1. Emily, I am seriously impressed by your project. The design of the website and the map is so appealing and the aesthetic carries through the whole project. I love the mixture of photos, drawings, and maps to structure your overall design. Honestly, I am jealous of how good it looks. Fantastic job!

  2. Emily, I am IN LOVE with your project. When you first shared your idea with the class I knew it was going to be amazing and I have been so excited to see what you’ve created and you exceeded my expectations:) As Claudia said above, the design, layout and overall aesthetic is so appealing. You did a wonderful job with your subtopics and images, I was fascinated to read through what you have so far, which is quite a lot. As for houseplants I’m curious about, since I have no historical knowledge of them (until now! which is sad bc I have so many and enjoy them so much ) I am uncertain of which houseplants were obsessed about back then, but one of my favorites is the philodendron:)

    Great work Emily!

  3. This is already a really impressive project! You’ve done a really fantastic job of building something that works perfectly with the affordances of the StoryMaps platform. The images are all really engaging and your copy flows really well. I also like the way that you are using headings and bolded text to draw in readers on specific parts of your writing. You’ve also done a nice job at writing in short paragraphs that work will for this kind fo web reading.

    All of that noted, the map you have include is also a really rich resource. I very much appreciate the way that you are drawing us into a narrative through the begining and then presenting us with the map as a place to explore the themes you’ve discussed in a more open ended way with specific plants we are familiar with and the places from around the world that they come from.

    Altogether this is really outstanding work.

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