05 June 2020

What's in my garden?

I know a lot about plants and gardening. I've been learning, as well as practising, since I was a child. It's amazing what you can absorb from reading and observing. I'm not an expert, though, and there is plenty I don't know.

When we moved to a home with an established garden, I wasn't certain what I would discover here. Conventional wisdom advises to wait and observe closely for twelve months so you can see what shoots up, flowers, fruits, and provides pleasure.

It is tempting, though, to want to rip out plants I don't like for their colours or temperaments and to plant my favourites straight away.

This is one of the challenges that faced me after we moved. That, and the fact that there are many plants here that I don't recognise. So I decided to not rush into making major changes until I could see how the garden developed.

I needed help to identify some of the plants so I searched for an app that would assist. I settled on Picture This, an app that's available for iOS and Android devices (I use the free version). It's been so useful!

Initially I tested it on plants I knew, so that I could check its accuracy. It had 100% success rate for all my indoor plants. Then I started to snap photos of trees and shrubs that were unknown to me. It was so helpful to get me started with identification, although I suspect some of the matches were close but not quite right. I guess I'll find out after winter, when flowering starts and new leaves emerge.

Here's an example of one of my matches - the hellebore. I'm fortunate to have a large patch full of these blooming beauties. I can't wait to see the colour of the flowers.

You can see the app also provides information about caring for the plant. It's very handy and, because it's on my phone, I can easily snap photos of plants in my neighbourhood while I am on morning walks.

Do you use an app to identify plants? Which one? What do you like about it?

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