4 Apps to Help You Design a Better Garden
Plant lists, gardening tips, search features, and garden trackers all at your fingertips
Designing a great garden is not a simple task. Plants grow, so you need to consider how they will mix with other plants now and in the future. Your tea rose may be perfect in back of the border, but you’re not going to see it when the hydrangea gets to its full height. An arbour may look great now, but how is it going to look when the clematis overtakes it?
Because gardens are dynamic, ever changing, you need to really understand the plants you use—how big they will get, whether they like sun or shade, what they look like in every season, if they can thrive in your climate. That’s where garden apps come in; they can help you choose the right plants and arrange them in your landscape. Here are four of the many garden apps available for your iPhone and iPad.
1. Landscaper’s Companion for iPad – Reference Guide to Plants
The Landscaper’s Companion is a general reference for landscape professionals and home gardeners.
This app gives both the common and botanical names for the plants. It includes basic information on how to grow 25,000 trees, shrubs, annual, and perennials, including:
- Hardiness zones
- Water needs
- Sun/shade needs
- Growth rate
- Mature size
- Soil conditions
Over 15,000 images and a well-designed search algorithm make it easy to find the right plants for every situation. Plus, you can keep garden notes and keep track of your favourites with this app.
The Landscaper’s Companion is compatible with iPad; it requires iOS 5.0 or later.
2. iGarten by Andreas Garzotto GmbH
iGarten covers 800 plants and contains over 3200 images. It also includes answers to specific gardening questions.
You can search by customized criteria, such as light and soil needs, flower colour and flowering time, plant height, etc. You can display your selections as a plants list or, using the available photos, as a flowering calendar or slideshow. You can even play your favourite music with the slideshow.
This app provides information such as:
- Common and botanical names
- Description of flowers and their bloom times
- Leaf shape and edge
- Toxicity (if any)
- Usage and ornamental value
- Light and soil requirements
iGarten is in English and German. It is designed for both iPhone and iPad.
3. Dirr’s Tree and Shrub Finder by Timber Press, Inc.
Dirr’s Tree and Shrub Finder is based on Michael A. Dirr’s classic Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, which is the gold standard for landscapers and gardeners.
This app covers 1670 species and 7800 cultivars of trees and shrubs, plus 7600 high quality images. You can search the database by 72 criteria, including hardiness zones, water and light requirements, growth characteristics, flowers, fruits, and fall colours.
4. iScape by Home Revivals LLC
iScape helps landscape professionals and home gardens design their landscapes. You can draw in flowerbeds, arrange plants, add sod, etc. iScape gives you the opportunity to move things around before you plant them.
iScape comes in English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Using your mobile phone as a gardening tool you can choose plants, arrange them in your landscape, track the progress of your garden, calculate water and fertilizer, and keep a personal database of your plants. There are more and more gardening apps out there—just choose the one that’s right for you.
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