If we can use facial recognition technology to identify people, why not use the same tech for plants? Or even butterflies? This is the idea behind Pl@ntNet, a botany-loving iOS and Android app which can identify plant species according to location-specific databases and your photos. Developed by French scientists and the Tela Botanica network, Pl@ntNet will bring your garden to life.


Harvesting your own backyard at mealtimes is an exciting idea, but figuring out if you want to go with traditional row planting, containers or raised beds, never mind the type of veggies you should grow, can get complicated. GrowVeg is a great garden planning app. Design your beds, learn when to plant (with personalised charts that link to intelligent climate predictions), watch videos and get expert advice.


Sometimes, being stuck in an office cubicle can be limiting… and distracting. Then there’s Forest, a quirky app for concentration. Use Forest to focus on a specific task and avoid mobile distractions. It’s simple: set a time limit, plant a virtual tree and watch your sapling grow into a lush forest. Leave the app to check Instagram or Facebook and your tree (and productivity) will die. What’s more, if you collect enough virtual coins within the app, you can use them to plant real trees with Forest’s partner, Trees for the Future. The app also works with Apple’s Health app if you’re looking for a way to track “mindful minutes”.

Living Seeds

According to Living Seeds, companion planting (in line with the biological phenomenon allelopathy) is based on the principle that certain plants can attract or repel insects, or provide beneficial support to other plants. If you’re into allelopathy and in need of a little assistance, Companion Planting is a simplified reference guide which will help you to understand which plants grow well together and which don’t.