Get your green thumb out with groNATIVE

Gardening in southeast Queensland has never been easier with the swipe of a finger — or green thumb.

The groNATIVE app – developed at Griffith University in partnership with Natura Pacific and funding from the State Government – includes profiles of more than 400 plants native to southeast Queensland.

The app intuitively helps you find the most suitable native flora for your suburb.

Since being launched, the free app for smartphones and tablets is already being used by more than 2000 people and Professor Catherine Pickering is encouraging even more to think about using it and getting out in their garden over the Easter break.

The botanist in Griffith’s Environmental Futures Research Institute says it’s a great time to revitalise the garden with some new plants, with April’s milder weather and moist soils creating perfect conditions. She says the days when native gardens might have looked a little drab are long gone.

“People can use local plants in their gardens for whatever garden style they want, with hundreds of native plants from our region available to choose from,” Professor Pickering says.

“You don’t need that traditional 1970s, slightly messy Eucalypt-dominated garden. If you want a Japanese garden, we can do it with natives. Same for rainforest, formal or a Hampton’s style, we can do it with natives — there’s that much choice.”

The app gives gardeners handy tips about what plants grow best in their area according to size, colour, whether it’s water wise, fast growing, robust or likes sun or shade. Professor Pickering says this means people without ‘green thumbs’ can’t go wrong because the plants will be appropriate to local conditions and will flourish.

There are stunning photos for all 400 plants and users can click on the details about each species and put together a personal ‘shopping’ list in the app before contacting listed suppliers to confirm they are in store.

Alex Jakimoff, president of the Friends of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, has many of the plants featured in the app in his own impressive garden in Currumbin Valley’s Ecovillage.

“What I love about the groNative app is I can come out in my garden and if there’s something I need to know, the information is there, just at the touch of the finger,” he says.

“Also if I want to design something and plant something new, or even grow something that would attract butterflies or birds, there are all these features I can use.

“I think gardeners have been crying out for information about southeast Queensland. So many gardening books, magazines and shows are about the other climates but not about our region”.