This month’s featured design trend is a glimpse into the future of outdoor maintenance; behold, the innovative genius of smart gardens! Explore all the ways that technology can support your appreciation of the natural world, rather than compete with it.
1. Smart irrigation
Watering the garden can be a peaceful, meditative affair (especially with a refreshing beer in hand). However, it can also be a struggle to keep your gardens quenched when life gets busy or if you love weekend getaways!
Irrigation systems have long been a solution to time-efficient watering methods and water-wise practices during drought periods. But now, you can install smart irrigation systems that devise appropriate watering needs from weather forecasts, monitor soil dryness and even links to your phone! Certain apps will even allow you to manage your irrigation remotely and plan up to 10 different zones, all with individual schedules!
You can find more info on smart irrigation systems below:
- Smart irrigation by Reece
- WaterMe wireless irrigation control
- Holman Industries smart irrigation control
- Irrigation Australia apps
2. Robot lawn mowers
Robots are well and truly among us. You’ve surely seen the robotic vacuum cleaners that slowly creep across your home; now, it’s time to take it outside!
A robotic lawn mower moves around your yard, munching lawn to a preset height; if you’re ready to say goodbye to your back-braking lawn mower days, you can compare models here!
3. Gardening app
Green-thumbs have long since loved the challenge of keeping a healthy, thriving garden. However, different plants can require very different maintenance and care schedules; if you’re new to gardening or find you need help keeping track of all your plants, garden maintenance apps can be a huge help.
Features include plant suggestions for your climate and soil type, schedules for fertilising, pruning or bulbing, as well as troubleshooting and pest identification, if they’re looking a little worse for wear. Check out the below apps to see which is right for you!
4. Outdoor lighting & sound systems
Smart homes may have started with indoor living, but you can now control the elements of your outdoor atmosphere as well!
For instance, the Hue Bridge smart outdoor lighting system connects your outdoor lighting system to an app that you can access on your phone or tablet; from this app, you can remotely control the colour and timing of all your lights!
Furthermore, wireless and portable speakers, like the SoundLink Revolve system from Bose, make it easier than ever to control the playlist from afar. Ask Siri to start off with your Afternoon Chill playlist on Spotify, or to ask her to kick it up a notch with your Aussie Bangers playlist; all without leaving the pool!
5. Smart pools
We’ve come a long way since the invention of the creepy-crawly. Welcome to the smart pool; a self-diagnosing, self-cleaning pool system that takes the pain out of pool maintenance! In fact, there are even apps that let you control the pool temperature remotely, so you can come home to a pool that’s perfectly suited to the day’s weather.
6. WiFi hot tubs
If there are smart pools, why not smart hot tubs? In fact, these bad boys might even make more sense than a smart pool. You can remotely set up your hot tub ahead of time from the restaurant (or the couch!); perfect for date nights, outdoor entertaining or even just a solo spa experience!
7. Automated awnings & shades
As the sun tracks across the sky, the level of shade needed shifts with it. For instance, the morning sun can be a welcome warmth; however, it’s not long until the midday sun becomes too overpowering. On the other end of the spectrum, patches of sudden, on-and-off-again rain can threaten to steal the show if you’re entertaining outside.
8. Plant sensors
If you have a lot of pot plants or container gardens, it can be tricky to keep track of how they’re all doing; watering needs can be so dependent on location, type of pot and type of plant. If you’ve got those pesky pot plants that just don’t seem to want to thrive (thoughts turn to the maidenhair fern, the diva of all houseplants), why not try a plant sensor?
These clever tools connect to a phone app that reports on watering and fertilising needs, sun exposure and temperature, so that you can perfect even the finickiest of plant care needs!
9. Smart gardens & self-watering pots
The ‘original smart garden’ is, by far, still the most genius in terms of resourcefulness and sustainability; harness the power of nature with permaculture!
With an innate survival intelligence that has continuously evolved since the dawn of time, permaculture aims to create a totally self-sustaining ecosystem out of your average backyard garden. Learn about companion planting, micro-catchments, cyclical mulching and more in our guide to permaculture gardening practices!