38 39 bhgrecollection.com | | THE DISTINCTIVE LIFE® Volume 10 LIFE & LEISURE mowing duties of up to 1.25 acres. The design is reminiscent of a sports car, and it is gaining a reputation for being able to work in tight spaces, handle obstacles, and survive even torrential downpours as it works. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home and effectively handles slopes and spiral cutting jobs. Of course, it’s also among the priciest landscaping robots (at approximately $4,000) available today, which probably is why it comes with built-in theft protection. WI-FI SPRINKLER SYSTEMS Smart sprinkler systems are ideal for anyone who works outside the home, travels, or wants to adjust their watering from their smartphone. It might sound like a dream, but Better Homes & Gardens' experts have already tested several systems and named the LinkTap Wireless Water Timer as the “Best Wi-Fi-Controlled Lawn Sprinkler.” The magazine loves it because “you can set a watering schedule that works best for your lawn, and even log into the app to cancel a watering session if you’re expecting rain.” It’s mid-range in terms of price and widely available. The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler is slightly more expensive but entices with the promise of adjusting watering schedules and amounts based on things like sun exposure and soil. The Rachio 3e can also be integrated with your existing systems, like the Google Nest or Alexa, making it a flexible garden tool that is simple to install and easy to use. SMART GARDEN PLANNING TOOLS An augmented reality app is waiting to revolutionize the way you plan your garden. The Connected Garden Super Sensor first grabbed attention at CES back in 2019, and it has continued to spark the imagination of seasoned garden designers and new home-growers alike. The sensor starts by analyzing your garden plot’s soil, sunlight, moisture, and other critical details before you ever get out your gloves. From there, things get very interesting. Better Homes & Gardens explains: “The synced app suggests plants that will thrive in the space where you put your sensor. Colored pins will be dropped at certain points in your garden: Each pin will indicate where your garden needs attention, i.e., the pH is too high, or the soil is soggy.” Another thing that makes this tool so unique is that it will also give you an augmented reality view of what your garden will look like once you’ve chosen where to stage your plants. Not only does this mean that your plants and flowers will take up residence in the optimal areas, but it allows you to shift design plans for things like fountains, pathways, seating, and entertainment areas before you make hard-to-reverse decisions. Having this advanced look at your new space undoubtedly will save you time and money while also producing a lush, envyinducing garden. SELF-WATERING PLANTERS Self-watering planters grabbed headlines as gardening enthusiasts sang their praises and magazines, like Southern Living, declared these tools their “new garden obsession.” The planters started fairly low-tech, but they brought much-needed assistance to everyone who wanted to start growing fresh herbs in their homes or greenhouses. As Southern Living explains, even their favorite “compact herb garden waters itself as needed, thanks to a water level indicator that lets you know when you need to refill it every couple of weeks.” It’s not a surprise that the planters took off and were quickly upgraded to feature Wi-Fienabled elements and even more ecofriendly technology. Enter the Dewplanter. This smart garden tool claims to provide a water generation system that essentially captures condensation out of the moisture in the air of your garden and turns it into a daily water drip. The predictability of the schedule that you can set makes it a treat for any gardener, but its patented energy- and water-efficient technology will make it one of the best garden tools available to people living in areas that see little rainfall.