About Me

Welcome to Botaniquarium - a growing plant encyclopaedia

My name is JanineJo Richtobson and I am founder of Botaniquarium.

You can get in touch here  » » Contact

I am currently working as part-time Head Gardener, part-time Consultant and part-time Blogger based in Hampshire, UK. As time allows I travel around Europe and the United Kingdom to visit gardens and meet their gardeners. I love exchanging experiences, plant knowledge and enjoying the beauty of nature.

"My aim is to catalogue the beauty of plants for use as future reference."

Botaniquarium is been created to teach about the floral world, plants and their botanical features. It also gives inspiration when designing gardens and gives information about plant habits and growing conditions. Good quality photos enhance the information given, as well as help visualising colours, textures and growth habits.

Always keen to learn, plants are never boring.

I have always been passionate about nature and plants and have spent most of my childhood outdoors ranging meadows, brooks and scrubs. I chose Horticulture as my career and went to study this field in depth after a three year apprenticeship in a German nursery. University brought me closer to the scientific world and revealed many fascinating secrets of the botanical domain. Research was a major part of the study and its projects. I wrote my dissertation in England at the Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum, Hampshire, UK where I became Area Manager and Team Leader after graduating.

During my researches I found a lack of a comprehensive plant guides or encyclopaedias. Many plant books give brief profiles or mention only a few characteristics. There does not seem to be an all knowing volume. So in order to find comprehensive information about a particular plant it is common practice having to go through numerous volumes to gather up bits of information. The internet is much the same, as well as there is plenty of false information out there. As somebody that would like to learn about a plant, how can I distinguish between genuine information and made up page-fillers?

Field work, plant ID and study day.

I do understand the problem of having comprehensive plant books as each book would weigh a ton and could not be lifted or would have to be published in hundreds of split-up volumes. Too expensive, nobody would buy. As well as the mainstream of amateur gardeners are simply not interested in overwhelming details. So how about the internet? As websites can store vast amount of information without taking up any more space than a hard drive - I got myself into web-designing such a digital encyclopaedia and learning about HTML codes and Java scripts. Soon I found my own limitations since I am not a professional web-designer, however, I loved creating varies versions and filing on each detail trying to come closer to the fantastic vision I had in my head.

A few years down the line unfortunately I am sadly no closer to this great idea in my head, still restricted by those technical issues that remain and which would demand a whole life dedicated to databases, codes and scripts. Simple answer: I am a hands-on horticulturist and I love my plants outdoors as much as my botanical photographs on my computer. So a compromise is required. Little by little.

Yes, I am one of them. Hugging trees :-)

Already loving the garden at five years old.
"One day it might be out there - Botaniquarium in its full glory."

In the meantime this very website is for you to enjoy

Please comment your thoughts or send some feedback, that would be much appreciated!