Garden lovers may soon be able to see their favourite plants at their very best, thanks to a new technology that lets them watch them from an angle.
Story continues below advertisementIn the latest edition of its popular Garden Alive series, The Globe and Mail’s Jeff Bercovici reports that the Gardens Alive app has recently been updated with a new feature.
The app, which was originally launched in late 2015, allows users to select from a large number of flowering plants.
They can also use the app to see photos and videos of plants from other Gardens Alive users’ gardens.
It also lets users look up photos and video of flowering shrubs and trees.
The new feature is designed to give Garden Alive users a wider range of plant options, Bercosci said.
“Gardens Alive was a pretty niche app, but it really became popular,” he said.
It’s also been developed by a group of gardeners at the University of Waterloo.
“They were interested in helping people grow their own plants and have access to a lot of different types of plants,” said Adam Fritsch, a senior research associate in the university’s Plant Sciences and Biotechnology department.
“It’s not necessarily a traditional garden, but there’s a lot to like about growing in gardens.”
The Gardens Alive system works by collecting a number of images of plants, and then comparing the results.
The app then shows the plants that have the best pictures.
“We know the best plants are from the people who have the most experience growing those plants,” Fritsche said.
“It’s a really powerful tool to see how a particular type of plant is growing.”
A new app to help gardeners grow more plants at nightThe new app, called Garden Alive at Night, is available for free download on the Gardens Alight website.
It features a simple interface that users can use to explore different plants, browse photos of flowering trees, and see the time of day when the plants are most active.
“You can also get more information about how much sunlight is being absorbed by the plants,” Bercicci said, “so you can know what time to plant the best variety of plants.”
Garden Alive at night provides an interactive toolkit to gardeners.
(Photo: Gardens Alive at Dusk)Garden Alive at the Sunset Gardeners’ Association, a volunteer group in Ottawa, said it was excited to see the app developed by volunteers.
“Our volunteers, and we have many volunteers, have been using this app for the past year,” said Sara Kalkhoff, a group member.
“So we think it’s a great way for people to help out in the community.”
The app is a great starting point for people wanting to grow their plants outdoors, Kalkhof said.
She said the group had received a number and varied requests from gardeners for new plants.
“When we were getting ready to put it up on our site, we heard people saying that they wanted more plants in the garden,” Kalkstein said.
But the group also has a few reservations about how the new feature works.
“The app doesn’t take a photo of the plant,” she said.
And the app doesn´t tell you which plants are flowering, because that information is not yet available.
“There are some things that we don’t like about the app, like there are no flowering trees,” she added.
“If you have a very specific garden, it may be a great tool for people with a specific interest in growing plants.”
Kalkhoff said she expects the new app will help gardener grow plants outdoors.
“I think it will be great for people who don’t want to spend hours in their garden and want to help others grow their gardens,” she continued.
“Because of that, I think we should have it for free.”
With files from The Globe’s Jeff Dore and The Canadian Press