Yesterday as I was touring Terre Bleu, a local lavender farm with my friend Signe, we came across a plant with dark berries climbing its way up through the trees among some wild grapes. None of us, including the farm’s owner Ian Baird, knew what it was, so I offered to snap a photo and submit it to an app I happened to have on my iPhone called Garden Compass.
I discovered this handy plant ID tool back in the winter when I was researching gardening apps for a magazine article. I had to test it out, so the first plant that I submitted was a cutting from my neighbour that I was nurturing on a windowsill. (It’s the main photo shown above.) Upon submitting my image, I received a message back telling me what number I was in the queue. Then a couple of days later, I received my answer. The mystery plant was a Plectranthus tomentosa.
If you go to the Garden Compass website, you’ll see that there is an advisory board. This means that when you ask a question, a real person is taking the time to answer you (as I scrolled through, I was surprised to see that I recognized the names of many well-known garden writers). It seems as though there is much demand for this app. Yesterday when I submitted my question, I received an email saying I was 292 in the queue, but this afternoon I received my answer (someone had a busy day!). I have displayed the response below.
Since I first downloaded the app, it seems there were some features added. You can also identify pest problems and shop for gardening supplies. I can see this app being really handy on a garden tour if there isn’t a gardener on hand to identify a plant for you. The app allows you to submit 20 photos a month, so if I come across anything else that stumps me, I’ll be sure to send it in!