05 Oct

Indoor Plants: Real or Artificial?

Being an admirer of nature, plants are one of the elements that I always miss in modern, urban lifestyle. They have been an important part of human life not only as source of food and timber but also for their serenity – serenity that we miss today in urban landscapes. There are so many shrubs, tiny flowering plants, small foliage plants, ground covers and vines that used to grow naturally around us before we started replacing them with bricks and mortar. Fortunately, there are still many ways to add greenery around us and enhance life at homes and workplaces. Of course, there are some limitations of space and climate in metropolitan areas (as you cannot grow large pines trees in your small garden or set up a roof top garden on your apartments), but you can still grow a wide range of plants in your balcony garden or set up a small window garden.

However for those who do not naturally ‘green thumbs’ or do not have time to take care of plants on regular basis, artificial indoor plants are the best way to add natural element to their workplace or apartment life.  Artificial plants, these days are made of natural fibers, real wood stems, and long lasting materials that make these plants look as natural as real plants.

If you cannot maintain natural plants or do not have sufficient space and climate for your favorite plants, getting some artificial indoor plants makes much sense. They add tranquility to the environment and do not require regular maintenance (no pruning, no watering, no insects etc.). They are cost effective too especially if you are investing in artificial office plants. They can be moved easily without the chance of damage or disturbing the plant. You can place them in any corner of your home or office. Moreover, you have  large choice of indoor as well as artificial outdoor plants to select from: trees, climbers, palms, grasses, ground covers, succulents and cacti.

Here are a few artificial indoor plants that I came across at Silk Plants Direct.

 

08 Jul

Let your plants ‘tweet’ when they are thirsty

If you are worried for you lovely plant being ignored and left thirsty while you are away, give it a twitter account to tweet whenever it requires a drink. No kidding! There is actually a nifty device called Botanicalls that allows your thirsty plants to send reminders via twitter. You can watch those tweets to monitor your plant via web or have all reminders/tweets sent to your mobile phone.

Botanicalls is a simple electronic kit equipped with a moisture sensor that measures the amount of moisture present in the soil and sends reminders to owners as soon as the moisture level drops. You can choose to customize twitter messages such as: “I need a drink! Your lovely Wisteria.”, “Time to water your Jacaranda tree.”, “J’ai besoin d’un peu d’eau” or whatever you want. Check out this twitter account of a real Pothos plant tweeting for water.

Botanicalls Twitter Device

Botanicalls Sensor

Botanicalls can be purchased for $ 3.95 US at Etsy.

11 May

Win Free License of GardenPuzzle: Garden & Landscape Design Tool

Remember my recent post on GardenPuzzle? Now, you can win free license of GardenPuzzle for your personal use. Here is how to qualify for a free GardenPuzzle software license.

1. Go to GardenPuzzle.com and sign up for a free basic account.

2. Send an email to with THELOVELYPLANTS in the subject line and get a free GardenPuzzle Plus account.

3. Start painting your garden 🙂

GardenPuzzle is an excellent tool for designing and planning your garden and landscape in just 5 minutes. The software has a huge database of plants for all climates, garden accessories and furniture that you can use to design and visualize your garden before start digging and experimenting.

Licenses are limited and would be distributed on First Come, First Serve basis.

GardenPuzzle, Landscape & Garden Designs

GardenPuzzle, Landscape & Garden Designs

03 May

Create Your Garden Design in 5 Minutes

Creating and designing your garden landscape like a professional is just as easy as click-click-click. GardenPuzzle is a smart software application that allows you to design your garden layout before you actually start digging and planting trees and plants. Thus, you can imagine how your actual garden would look like.

GardenPuzzle

You just have to define your climatic conditions and desired layout plan, the application suggests suitable plants and allows you to design your garden with simple mouse clicks. You can download and install GardenPuzzle on your PC as a desktop application or use it online in your web browser for free.

Here is a brief summary of my experience with GardenPuzzle

  1. To get started with your new garden layout, choose scenery (back yard, lawn etc.)
  2. Choose Scenery in GardenPuzzle

    Choose Scenery in GardenPuzzle

  3. Define the type of ground (fertile, dry, acidic etc.) and climatic conditions (your country, state and hardiness zone).
  4. Describe Garden Conditions

    Describe Garden Conditions

  5. Now that you have basic layout of your garden, you are ready to go ahead and start designing your landscape.
  6. Basic Garden Layout

    Basic Garden Layout

  7. Based on your selection, GardenPuzzle would display suitable plants for your climate. You can select from a variety of Conifers, Vines, Perennials, Trees, etc.
  8. Plants in GardenPuzzle

    Plants in GardenPuzzle

  9. Set surface type: Leaves, Grass, Lawn, Brick, Meadow, Planks etc.
  10. Surface Type

    Surface Type

  11. Add bridge, arbor, trellis, fences, garden furniture etc.
  12. Garden Equipment and Furniture

    Garden Equipment and Furniture

  13. Now ‘plant’ trees, vine, shrubs as per your choice. You can filter plants by size (large, small etc.) and type (vines, herbaceous etc.). GardenPuzzle provides complete information on habit and culture of plants that you choose so that you can select appropriate plants for your garden.
  14. Plant Data

    Plant Data

  15. Save your project and see how your garden would actually look like.
  16. Garden Deign with GardenPuzzle

    Garden Deign with GardenPuzzle

Some of the features are not available in free version of GardenPuzzle.

20 Dec

Digital Plant Care Sensor for Gardeners

How technology is going to change our gardening habit is anybody’s guess.  I just came across PlantSmart, a digital plant care sensor that analyzes soil conditions and measures temperature, moisture and sunlight to recommend suitable plants for your lawn, soil beds or indoor gardens from a database of 6000 plants.

plantsmart digital plant care sensor

All you have to do is insert PlantSmart in your soil bed for 24 hours and let it gather essential information. Once data has been collected, connect PlantSmart with a PC or Mac and see full report of your garden. Based on the report, PlantSmart recommends a list of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, trees, shrubs or houseplants that would thrive well in your home or garden – no guesswork, no frustration.

PlantSmart also guides you through all the steps (pruning, fertilizing etc.) that you need to know to keep your plants healthy.

Collect Data

Place PlantSmart anywhere in your gardening area. You can place it in indoor containers, landscapes, small soil beds or in a greenhouse.

plantsmart digital gardening tool

Get Report

Connect PlantSmart via USB connector to a PC or Mac with Internet connection to view detailed report of your gardening environment and download a customized list of plants based on your environmental conditions, geographical location and the type or soil and water.

plantsmart gardening report

Select Plants

Select plants from a list of vegetables, fruits, trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs or houseplants.

Keep Growing

Get step-by-step expert advice for your favorite plants.

This digital plant care sensor is useful for beginners as well as expert gardeners. It not only provides customized reports but also helps you figure out why your favorite plant thrives well in one part of your garden, but not another. PlantSmart actually takes out the guesswork and help you become expert gardener from beginner.

01 Oct

Free Pest and Disease Identifier Tool for Gardeners

I just stumbled upon this free and interactive tool for diagnosing the problems (pests and diseases) with your plants and finding the right treatment. This online tool provides both organic and chemical treatments as well as useful pieces of advice to help you prevent problems in the future.

pest and disease identifier tool

The Pest and Disease Identifier asks you some basic questions about the affected part of the plant and then diagnoses the problems by asking detailed questions about the whole plant and its growing conditions.

pest and disease identifier results

In the end, it suggests possible organic and chemical treatments to combat insects or cure the disease.

pest and disease identifier treatment

Try Pest and Disease Identifier yourself.