There’s no denying that gardening is an occupation that throws up a lot of questions, but garden design apps can help. Whether you’re new to it or a seasoned, green fingered pro, big projects like landscaping or planning a garden from scratch need a lot of information along the way (which a garden designer can help with if you have one, but these apps will help if you don’t) but it’s the smaller issues like plant identification or concerns about flowers that are equally tricky and it can be a nuisance to dig out a book to help you.
Luckily, these days there’s an app for everything (not for no reason has that phrase become a bit of a truism!) and it’s no different in the world of gardening. You can find a wide range of hugely useful garden design apps out there to help with any problem you might have. These garden design apps make it infinitely easier to tackle the thorny world of garden design and maintenance; whether you have a city garden, cottage garden or small garden, these garden planning tools will aid you no end when it comes to planning and planting alike. Plus, new apps are released on a regular basis, so browse to your heart’s content until you find the perfect one for your needs, and keep checking back in to see what’s new, too.
1. Grow Your Own
Who better to turn to for advice than the RHS? The experts there have created an app to help users plant, cultivate and harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs, with down-to-earth advice and useful tools to help you stay on top of garden tasks.
As the name gives away, this app can be used to identify a plant based on its leaves. A vast library of close-up, detailed shots will help knowledge-thirsty gardeners grow their database of plants, via an app developed by the University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institute and Columbia University. One for budding botanists, by all means.
3. My Soil
This app analyses your soil to work out its conditions and then give advice as to which plants will do best in your garden, ensuring perfect planting and full blooms every time. It’s an essential for novices, or anyone looking to plant a particular species but unsure how it will fare.
4. Garden Plan Pro
Anyone looking to grow their own vegetables, plant a herb garden or harvest some fruits should look to Garden Plan Pro; simply plot your garden into it and then you can start planning out the planting areas. The app gives top tips for crop rotation and analyses weather local to you for optimum planting and harvesting dates.
So you've planted your garden full of glorious flora and fauna – now what do you do? Enter Smartplant, an app that can help identify plants but more importantly, you can use it to create a care calendar for what’s in your garden, giving personalised advice on how to help everything flourish. Users can also chat with experts for further tips.
Channel your inner landscape gardener by using AR or uploading an image of your outdoor space and then visualising the end result by adding all the design elements from flowerbeds to paving and plants. A brilliant app for anyone wanting to DIY the garden renovation, or collaborating with a team as all the plans are shareable.
7. Home Outside
Better suited to those with a little more experience, Home Outside is an app which lets you mock up a design in the same way a professional would, using hand-drawn elements rather than augmented reality. It’s a brilliant tool and extremely useful when planning the colour you want to spread throughout your garden.
8. Home Design 3D Outdoor & Garden
Another good app for design planning, the clue to Home Design 3D is in the name – it lets you plot out the dimensions of your space and build from there, adding everything from sheds to plants and furniture. Be aware that the free version does not let you save designs, so it’s worth the in app purchases if you plan on creating your final design in it.
9. Garden Tags
Garden Tags is the app to use once your garden is planted. As well as plant identification, it has growing advice and plant care instructions so you can log every plant and be sure you’re caring for it properly. Think of it as a sort of planner and tracker for everything living in your garden – it’s as useful as it sounds.
If you're planning a garden from scratch, Smartdraw is the app to use. It has an intuitive, easy to use tool for drawing and mapping out your design. Choose from a blank garden or pre-designed and away you go, adding plants, paths and features to make your garden come to life. What's more, the live chat is really helpful for anything that stumps you in your planning journey.
Another handy garden planner app is Gardena, which allows you to choose your plot type and surface (soil, gravel, grass and so on) before adding in shrubs and plants galore to build it up. You'll need to measure your garden plot first though as it works best to scale.
This story originally appeared on House & Garden UK.