Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google Your Garden

Gardeners who have spent any significant amount of time in one place become intimately familiar with their plot of earth. The truly aware gardener knows minute details like which 5-foot area gets waterlogged after a rain or which area only gets sun during the hottest part of the day or where the shade from a younger tree falls throughout the day.

Gardeners know these things because they spend time walking around their yard, experiencing the garden at different times of the day and different times of the year. It is this awareness that helps them bond with their garden and become aware of what it needs and what it could do without.

But sometimes it helps to get a new perspective on something you get so close to. To quote Toad the Wet Sprocket’s song “Butterflies”: “You know how when you get so close to something that big you can’t see anything at all.” I think that’s how it is with gardening. We tend to get a little myopic about black spot on the roses or the floppiness of the nicotiana.

The easy solution is to invite someone over to take a look around and listen to their reactions. I was reminded, however, that technology can also provide a unique perspective. Google Maps have been around for several years and although I’ve checked out my house before I had never thought of how I could use it to improve my garden. So I checked it out again today . . . although nothing new has come to mind yet, it did reinforce some of the things that I’ve been thinking about. Namely, I need some privacy from the prying eyes of the 2-story house to the left of mine. And I still hate seed-happy palm trees.
Home is where the heart is.  On either side are prying eyes and an evil seed-dropping palm tree.

Google can be used for some other cool things related to the garden though. Check out what Genevieve Schmidt of North Coast Gardening discovered you can do with Google’s new image search by image feature.

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