The Green-fingered Gardening app

With the weather hovering around the mid-twenties for weeks now, the garden’s been taking off like nobody’s business.

The buddleia is over head height, the rose bushes are huge and I’ve finally been successful at growing mint and lettuce.

I’ve been growing a few other new things in pots recently, and as they’ve thrived under the Fife sun I’ve had to repot them into bigger containers. It was a job I kept for a day off, and I’ve been deeply chuffed with their progress ever since. One “thing” (I’d lost the packet and couldn’t remember what it was) had doubled in size in just a week! I think they might have been wild strawberries. Or some kind of berry, at least.

Green fingers

I thought I’d killed the other “thing”, which I believed was catmint, but within two days it was growing and the leaves were open and following the sun through the day. Success! My clumsy repotting hadn’t bumped it off.

As more time passed, though, I wondered why they weren’t looking quite as I expected. To me, plants all look pretty similar to start with, but I thought the mint leaves should be looking a little rougher around the edges and the other thing – the berries – should be showing some sign of fruit or flower, surely?

Know your greens

Well, I’d just downloaded this plant identifying app on my phone, and had been using it to find out what stuff is growing around the house and in the countryside nearby. So far it had been brilliant at identifying things – you can take a picture and tell it whether it’s the leaf, the fruit or the flower and it’ll give you a few possible species.

With my wee potted projects not looking quite as expected, I took their photos and ran them through the app. Turns out that my seed planting must not have been that successful, because according to the app I’d spent the last 6 to 8 weeks giving some weeds the best possible start in life!

Remarkable weeds

Presumably, they’d blown in from somewhere else in the garden and occupied my pots, after which I’d been tending to them carefully and willing them to thrive. Which they had. I bet there’s not a weed around that’s been better treated.

Oh well, they seem happy. And if they do eventually flower then the bees will be pleased!

Download the plant identifying app here and shop for bulbs here


Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.