It’s been almost four months now since we first started working on the BuildMyGarden Facebook app (previously known as the PlanetGarden project) and we’re getting to that stage of the project where we are almost ready for a beta release. This version will not have everything we ultimately plan to include in the app but I believe that it is at a level where we can get some valuable feedback from our audience. Here’s a flavour of what you can expect.
BuildMyGarden in a nutshell
The BuildMyGarden app brings garden planning into the digital age. Whether you have just rented an allotment for the year and are a bit unsure where to start or you are eyeing up that suntrap on your apartment balcony as the perfect spot for your first tomato crop, BuildMyGarden is the app for you. Plan, record and share all your work in the garden using one app.
Choosing which plants to grow
We now have access to a huge variety of plant species that we can grow in our gardens. That’s great but it can also make a garden’s organisation a bit of a challenge. BuildMyGarden simplifies the process by breaking plants down into categories that make sense. Are you adding a tree, a shrub, a bedding plant or a vegetable? What type of vegetable are you planting? Is it a member of the brassica family or perhaps it’s a type of legume? Once you’ve found your plant type, you’re ready to get going and plant it in your virtual garden.
Simple 3D user interface
What sets BuildMyGarden apart from its competitors is its use of an intuitive 3D gardening environment. We design, build and experience our gardens in three dimensions but up until now most garden planning apps have limited you to working in two. This makes it a lot more difficult to visualise how your garden is going to mature in the months ahead, which makes planning more of a challenge.
Once you have set out the parameters for your first BuildMyGarden garden, you are presented with a blank canvas on which to start locating your plants. Simply choose your plant type and then select where you want to plant it on the garden’s ground plan. Add some more plants and don’t worry if you don’t get the plan as you want it straightaway. The garden is saved to the cloud as you work and all of the garden objects can be resized, rotated or moved about the plan at a later stage by simply dragging and dropping them. Oh and did I mention that you can also add garden furniture, outhouses or greenhouses to your garden?
Keeping track of your work
BuildMyGarden enables you to easily keep track of where and when you planted each and every fruit bush, vegetable seed, bedding plant, tree or any other plant that you can think of. We know how important it is to remember when you last watered, fed or weeded a particular border or when you last applied an anti-slug treatment to your brassica patch. With BuildMyGarden, it’s as simple as selecting the object and adding an action that describes the work you did. And if you want to review an object’s gardening history, simply click on it again. It’s that straightforward. Forget about the frustrations of lost notebooks or tags chewed up by the dog; BuildMyGarden brings garden planning and recording together in a way that just makes sense.
Sharing your work
As BuildMyGarden is a Facebook app, it’s easy to share your work with all of your friends and family. You can post images of your virtual garden or photos of your real garden alongside a status update to your Facebook wall as you go. We gardeners are proud of our gardens and now BuildMyGarden allows us to show them off.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think of how the beta release of BuildMyGarden is shaping up. We want BuildMyGarden to be the app that makes your gardening life easier, more fun and more productive and so we want to hear your opinions. What do you think? Does BuildMyGarden sound like the app for you? Or perhaps you think that it’s missing a key feature? Whatever it is, let us know and we’ll see if we can include it in future releases. This is just the beginning of the BuildMyGarden adventure and there’s plenty more to come.
Dublin, January 2018