My Story

I’m Rachel, a new home owner, new mom and daytime corporate lawyer living in Toronto, Ontario.

When we bought our house in 2015 we were cash-strapped and out of time but wanted to landscape so we could enjoy our small space with friends and family (and then a toddler).  Even if we had wanted to hire professional landscapers, we didn’t have the budget and needed to get things planted fast before the baby came and so they could mature.  We wanted to choose our own look and save on costs by doing the actual physical labour ourselves.  

We had spent a lot of our time in school and developing careers to pay for our house and didn’t have  experience as gardeners to rely on.   Without an app like this one, we spent a lot of time researching plants and relied heavily on friends and family for guidance.I want to take what we learned about the process and share it with all novice gardeners.  We can do so many things with technology — we shouldn’t need to rely on humans for this kind of research, cataloguing, and personalizing info about basic plants and design.

The App

Unless you have years of experience, it can be tricky to pick plants for your gardening project.  There is so much information out there and few people to help you navigate.This app synthesizes all of that information so that you don’t need to spend time Googling plants or trying to figure out whether two plants go together based on those tiny tags in their dirt.

  • Pickyourplants helps you determine and enter your garden’s location/sun/soil conditions
  • It enables you to search for plants that work in those conditions, based on your personal preferences (eg. colour, when it blooms).  There are many existing technologies that help you search for plants – this app offers a superior interface.  Its main goal is to simplify and synthesize information for people new to gardening.  You can “like” plants to look at later – refer to your selections later if you forget what you planted.

But what it does next really sets it apart :

  • Pickyourplants allows you to choose your preferred style (or no particular style)
  • It then guides you through a step-by-step process for selecting plants from (1) what works in your conditions, (2) for that style, based on some key design principles, and gives you feedback on your selections.

There are lots of gardening apps out there and this one is unlike all others.  This app does not help you identify plants.  It does not help you maintain plants (at least it won’t initially).  It does not tell you how to position your plants.  It does not help you visualize your selections superimposed on a photo of your empty garden, or sketch you a bird’s eye plan.  

What it does do, it does well. It simplifies the process of picking plants that work in your conditions, look good together, and reflect your personal style.  How you then arrange them or have the neighbourhood teenager dig the holes is up to you.

You can get started on your own space without paying a professional landscaper or relying on store clerks or experienced gardener friends to help.  When it comes to basic landscaping, you need to know your options and get good suggestions.  Save the experienced gardeners for the more difficult questions.

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