Your smart home may be able to unlock its own front door, turn on its lights, and let you know if the fridge needs restocking—but what about your garden? It should come as no surprise that a range of innovations are now on hand to help tend to your plants even if you’re miles away. And, given a survey by Axiom Marketing, which found that 86 percent of those who took up gardening during the 2020 lockdown plan to continue, this high-tech leap is very welcome.
One major proponent of embracing tech in gardening is David Hedges-Gower, a world-leading lawn care expert and founder of the United Kingdom’s Lawn Association. He believes that while this incursion of technology may once have been viewed as an invasion of nature, it’s now a much-needed collaboration.
Easily controlled by an app, the Stiga Stig robot mower also nurtures lawn health by leaving a minimum of five hours between mows, giving your grass plenty of time to seal in moisture and stay healthier, greener, and feeling softer underfoot.
As a fan of self-directing robotic mowers, sensors that analyze the soil, and smart sprinklers that know exactly how much water to dispense, Gower also praises hands-free grass care machines. “They show deep respect for how lawns naturally work, and how homeowners wish to enjoy them,” he says. “Designing ways to reduce the workload is easy, but making sure [gadgets] also improve growing conditions is not.”
Robots in the Rose Beds
Gower’s favorite robotic mower is the Stiga Stig, with ePower batteries enhancing its green credentials, while other gardening experts praise the state-of-the-art Husqvarna, equipped with tech such as GPS to detect borders, LEDs to light its way, and an app to facilitate remote operation. Robomow can decide, based on the prevailing humidity, whether it should mow in the rain, while the Yardroid intelligent landscape robot harnesses artificial intelligence to plot its route and kill any weeds it encounters as it cuts the grass. It can even distinguish pests from birds and chase them off the lawn with its water gun.
When it comes to watering, technology is enabling systems to think before they spray and use that intelligence to modify their output. “Automated hose timers have come a long way over the years,” says Kelly Gordon of Oregon-based Daisy Rain Garden Systems, the manufacturer of flowerpots that incorporate an integrated sprinkler.
Daisy Rain Sprinkler Pots can be attached to a standard garden hose to create an instant drip irrigation system, allowing you to add flowers or vegetables to any deck, patio, or driveway.
Gordon is referring not only to connectivity via WiFi or Bluetooth, which allows watering to be activated remotely, but extra features that make systems smart rather than merely automated. “Some, like Orbit’s B-hyve or Netro’s Pixie Smart Hose Faucet Timer, can consult weather data or a moisture probe in the soil in order to make sure they only turn on when conditions need it,” she explains.
“Designing ways to reduce the workload is easy, but making sure gadgets also improve growing conditions is not”—David Hedges-Gower
In Europe, such features are offered on a grand scale by Harvst, which offers complete self-watering greenhouses that can be activated remotely or, says founder Aron Wellband, smart tech that can be used by “to retrofit existing greenhouses and polytunnels.” Wellband’s systems also monitor temperature and light levels and offer zone control to make sure areas with different water requirements get only what they need.
These innovations are also available for your flower beds. The Netro Whisperer Smart Plant Sensor will monitor your individual plant specimens by measuring levels of sunlight, moisture, temperature, and fertilizers, and send a health report to your smart device via Bluetooth.
Harvst’s miniature polycarbonate greenhouses range in size from three to five feet high (90cm–1.5m) and automatically control growing conditions, so that your plants will thrive in any season.
A Helping Hand
All the gadgets in the world, however smart, can never replace the role of bees when it comes to pollination— and so the greatest game-changer of all may be the smart beehives developed by BeeHero.
This start-up, born in Israel and now also working in California and Italy, uses algorithms to track any scenarios—such as humidity, sound, and temperature, the onset of disease, and even the presence or absence of a queen—which can impact hive action. The company is now working with leading beekeepers across the U.S.A. to ensure that they don’t have to disturb a colony with a physical inspection until they get an alert the hive may be in trouble.
But not all smart products require an app or device to make a difference. To Gower, another top gardening advancement is thanks to new products that preserve the soil itself. “Polymer-coated fertilizers once seemed like a great idea, as they enabled a gradual release of nutrients. But they filled the soil with micro-plastic, harming the subterranean microbiology,” he explains.
BeeHero was founded by a team of veteran beekeepers, entrepreneurs, renowned biologists, and data scientists to provide real-time colony health insights and help boost the population of pollinators worldwide. Image: Courtesy BeeHero
Now he embraces ranges such True Garden, which is eco-friendly, organic, and specially developed—along with an online learning course for gardening enthusiasts—to deliver optimum nutrition without doing harm.
Because, as he points out, truly modern gardening solutions should be as friendly to the Earth as they are to our ease of living.
Just Listed on Lake Simcoe: 968 Degrassi Cove Pl W, Innisfil
This custom home direct waterfront home was built in 2000 by the current owner and has served as a sanctuary for family and friends. Over their 22 years of ownership, they have enjoyed the property during every season.
Degrassi Cove is a small and exclusive waterfront community and share the private road. The forested lands on the opposite side of the street provide great privacy. There is no vehicle traffic other than the neighbours, so it is very safe for kids.
Built as a 4-season home and located on the west-side of Lake Simcoe. You will enjoy north-west facing views of the lake and sunsets. There are no stairs to the water’s edge. The water table is level to the lot, which offers a beautiful beach area along the shoreline. There is great swimming and boating. The portable dock is 65 ft long with a 12’ x 12’ patio area. Boating enthusiasts can store their boat in the dry boathouse. Entertaining on the lake is so easy!
The home offers 2,700 sf on the main and upper level. The principal rooms offer generous space including a large private family room, formal dining room, large great room combined with the eat-in kitchen. In addition, there is 1,535 sf of finished space on the walk-out level. There are four generous size bedrooms. The primary bedroom is situated on the main level and overlooks the lake, and includes a five-piece ensuite, a walk-in closet and a garden door to the lakeside patio area. The three other bedrooms are located on the second floor.
The lower level includes a large recreation room with wood-burning fireplace and a walk-out to the lake. A large office with a built-in desk and bookcases can serve as a large 5th bedroom. The 3-piece bathroom is also equipped with a partially finished cedar-lined sauna. There is plenty of storage space on this level too.
Photography by @ishutterphoto
Staging by @chateau_designandstaging
This professionally designed custom-built home embodies a comfortable, vintage cottage feel built with energy efficient maintenance-free materials. This home offers a private park-like setting, with in- town conveniences. It’s a nature lover’s lot…a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. This one in in a million home was showcased in a 16-page spread in Cottages & Bungalows Magazine.
Shiplap walls and wood slat ceilings throughout impart a cabin-like coziness. The primary bedroom is secluded on the main floor overlooking a wooded area that surrounds the property. The front office duals as an additional main floor bedroom adjacent to a 3-piece bathroom. The upper level includes two additional bedrooms that provide enhanced privacy for guests. One of the bedrooms functions as a seating area with a Murphy bed and small kitchenette. It has been designed as a secure space for future rental opportunity.
Located in the charming lakeside village of Bayfield, this property is a stone-throw away from Lake Huron, a short walk to town, the fishing pier and marina, Pioneer Park and the Community playground. This spectacular property backs on to a designated environmental area and surrounded by trees makes it an ideal retreat for entertaining family and friends.
It’s no secret that green has been trending in a major way lately. Not only does the leafy shade conjure the sensation of being outdoors after two years cooped up at home, it also is a versatile (and welcome) alternative to traditional colors like white and gray.
Sweet 3 bedroom home that has a light and airy feel to the interior. Vaulted ceiling with open concept design creates a welcoming feel with plenty of natural sunlight all afternoon. Hardwood floors in bedrooms. Updated interior ready to be moved in to. It is a special place to call home or cottage.
Large wrap-around deck features West-facing views of 2-acre park of which you would be a 1/10th owner. Private dock for all park owners. Deeded Lake Simcoe access is rare to find. Very private setting with mature trees.
Message us today for more information or to book private showing.
staging by @chateau_designandstaging
photography by @ishutterphoto
20 Quiet Heights Lane, Georgina provides views of the lake from all spaces on the west side of them home, including the great room, kitchen, dining area, and primary bedroom.
You will enjoy the morning sunrise from the front covered porch and of course, sunset views from the lakeside. The natural sunlight fills the home with warmth and light all day long. It’s tranquil, serene, and welcoming.
In the design stages, the current owner had some important “must-have’s” including a Muskoka like feel, spaciousness, sun-filled rooms, and an “understated elegance“ carried throughout the home.
Some of the interior features include:
– 3 bedrooms on main level and 2 additional bedrooms on the lower level
– 3 full bathrooms plus powder room
– 10.9 ft ceiling height on the main level and 9 ft ceiling height on the lower level
– Great room includes custom millwork and 13 ft vaulted coffered ceiling
– Gourmet kitchen with upgraded appliances
– Spectacular light fixtures including ceiling fans in each bedroom
– Custom drapery and blinds
– Radiant heated floors in kitchen, primary ensuite and the entire lower level
– Surround sound system both indoors and outdoors
A full list of room features, additional images, virtual tour, and more can be found on our website (link in bio).
This listing is also available on realtor.ca (MLS# N5657656)
When you combine the attention to detail of a quality builder with the owner’s vision to create a sanctuary home, the result is spectacular.
This home offers a “Zen” feel immediately upon your arrival.
The landscaping is wonderfully appointed with a collection of perennial gardens, shrubs, mature trees and privacy hedges on both sides, which is home to many birds. There are several seating areas promote great conversation with family and friends or a place to enjoy some quiet time when you want to be alone and enjoy nature all around you.
This is a wonderful home to entertain in both indoors and outdoors. The raised balcony includes a covered area where you can enjoy a summer rain shower. The open area provides lots of space for your chaise loungers to get some sun and watch an array of boats on the lake.
The lower deck is covered and a perfect location for the 7-seater plus lounger hot tub along with another separate seating area to enjoy the lake views.
Listing Price: $1,935,000
DM us to book a private viewing.
The full listing can be found on our site & on realtor.ca (MLS# N5657656)