exploring curbside gardens with PlantNet
London is a city of parks, gardens and little squares of green. In spring and summer, there are flowers everywhere.
They overflow the plant beds and fences, growing right down to the street.
Every neighbourhood walk is a little botanical adventure. It reminds me of when I was small and knew the Latin names of the plants and trees in my hometown.
How did I forget them all? Now I can barely identify anything that isn’t a rose without running my pictures through reverse image search.
These days there’s an app for everything. PlantNet is a free app on iOS and Android run by the French organisation Pl@ntNet.org, a citizen science project researching global biodiversity through machine learning.
The app reads your camera pictures — you can narrow your search by leaf, flower, fruit or other parts — and matches them to others in your database to identify the tree or plant that caught your attention.
You can even read about the plant on Wikipedia or other places online.
I am one of those incurably curious people who never grew out of the “What is it?” phase. I love simply looking at flowers and plants, but there’s something satisfying in knowing what they are and where they come from.
Once in a while I find a striking flower with a surprising origin that sparks my imagination.
And of course, if you especially like them and want one of your own, now you know what to ask for at the plant nursery.
With an app like this in our pockets, we’re back to the days of amateur naturalists with our notebooks and pencils — only this time you don’t need drawing skill or the botanical encyclopaedia to satisfy your curiosity.
Originally published at https://wonderwanderwomen.blogspot.com.