I do not belong to a garden club. If I did, I’d probably get kicked out, because most of my plants need to thrive on neglect in order to survive. The vegetable garden (which I’ve been know to raid for flower arrangement fillers) is an exception, but that’s just because it’s seasonal. I have time in the summer to tend it, and almost don’t know what to do when it actually produces something. So, no, I am not a good candidate for membership in a garden club, but I have a friend who is a member. She’s the one who introduced me to the PictureThis app. Here’s what happened.
The other day, my gardening friend was bursting with excitement, thrilled about a new free app she had found. This app, miraculously, was able to help her identify plants from pictures she uploaded from her phone. My friend hatched a plan to impress the other members of her garden club by having this app on hand at her next club meeting. Finally, she felt like she would have something valuable to contribute. I’ll let you know how that turned out at the end of this post.
Taking the PictureThis app for a test drive
I thought the app, called PictureThis, sounded too good to be true, so I downloaded it myself and put it to the test. That evening, I went outside with my phone and took a picture of a plant I could identify myself, a scarlet runner bean in the vegetable garden. I was skeptical, doubting that the app could identify it. Amazingly, the app gave me the correct answer. Here’s the way it works: After you upload a picture, the app analyzes it, then gives you some choices of different plants to select from. If you see a picture on the app that matches the plant you took a picture of, you select “Match” and the app adds it to your collection. Okay, so it worked with the scarlet runner bean, but what about a true mystery plant from the wildflower row?
Plant Mystery Solved
All summer long, I had been admiring a brilliant blueish-purple flower in the wildflower row, which was especially stunning in combination with nearby yellow poppies (I did know the name of at least one flower in the wildflower row). I wanted to solve the mystery of this bluish-purple (such a scientific term) blossom before it was finished blooming, and now I had my chance. I took my phone over, snapped a picture, and discovered I had rocket larkspur growing in my garden. The app also provides Latin names as well as common names, for those who are particular about using Latin names for plants.
Other Fun Features of PictureThis
I experimented with a few other perks of the app, including some graphic design elements. You can create inspirational sayings using your plant photos as backdrops, and you can also follow PictureThis on Facebook or Instagram. I haven’t signed up for an account (you can also access it through Facebook), because I think I have too many other social media activities going on right now, but there is that option. For now, the app just keeps referring to me as Smart Holly, which is kind of a cool name.
As it turns out, the app basically delivers on its claim to “Instantly identify your plants”. It’s easy and fun to use, plus it’s free. As for my friend and her plot to impress her fellow garden club members, it did not go as planned. Unfortunately, there was no wifi access where the club meeting was being held, so my friend will have to find another way (or another location) in which to impress the group.
Have You Tried the PictureThis app?
How about you? Have you tried PictureThis? Has it been incredibly helpful? Do you have other gardening apps to recommend? I’d enjoy reading your about them. If you liked what you read today, please consider subscribing to receive free printables for gardeners, including this 14-page yearly garden planner. Plan your garden tasks for every month, and take notes as well.
I used mine to keep track of the dahlias I planted, which I wrote about in another post. Happy plant identifying, and have fun amazing people with your garden knowledge!