Flower Garden: In case you forget to send real flowers

Spoiler alert! Three flower gardens including a greenhouse with dozens of digital seeds and none of the digging or weed yanking. No bugs to fend off with poisonous pesticides. If you ever wanted a garden but were too lazy to look for a spade, Flower Garden should suit you fine. Four stars.

I had to stop sending Carol flowers when she retired from work.

It wasn’t because we were poorer because she was forced into early retirement by a Republican legislature looking to clean out middle management human resources positions in a clear cost-cutting measure that allowed them to hire two upper managers at twice her salary. They did do this, and we were poorer because that’s what happens to middle class and poor people when Republicans are in power.

But that’s not the reason I stopped sending flowers.

I stopped sending flowers because she no longer had an office to keep them in. It seems that the survival span of flowers in a home full of Siamese Rescue foster cats is about fifteen minutes. And that’s when we’re keeping an eye on them.

This is also the survival rate of potpourri, lit or unlit candles, cute ceramic siamese figurines, unattended coffee mugs and just about anything else that sits on counters and shelves. Cats don’t know the difference between their prey and your personal possessions. And their prey is easier to get to when it’s broken and on the floor.

Flowers are the best prey of all (besides birds and mice) because cats can tear off the petals and scatter them around the floor, drop stalks in the toilet to clog the pipes and septic tanks, and spread the dirt so deep into the carpet that three steam cleanings won’t get it out.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to find Flower Garden in the app store. For a mere two dollars you can start filling up to twelve pots with flowers. Each time you successfully grow a new flower, the app unlocks the seeds to more flowers. You can also find a free set of bonus seeds.

The flower store allows you to buy additional seeds and gardens so you can cultivate dozens of beautiful digital flowers, up to three dozen at a time.

After that you have to pay. But even then, the cost is minimal. A dollar apiece for a greenhouse and shady garden, and another dollar for each additional seed set. Each flower requires different care or it will wither and die. The same is true of the gardens. The shady garden requires less watering, the greenhouse even more.

The flowers range in difficulty from easy to grow to constant care. You can add fertilizer to help them grow (that costs more) and some need to be watered at least twice a day. You can also overwater some plants so you need to be careful. Fortunately the app provides a convenient gauge to help you tell how well each plant is watered, and presents an alert badge when a plant needs care.

Flower Garden provides a gauge to help you keep track of how much care each flower needs. Some flowers need you to check in twice or more daily.

Some seeds grow six or more flowers, some only one at a time. Some plants grow overnight, some take days to bloom.

Each time you water a flower, you can also watch the buds grow if you’re willing to stick around. If you catch the right moment in the cycle, you can even see the flower come to full bloom. Once the flowers reach full bloom you can rotate the pot to see them from every angle.

Flower Garden doesn’t leave you to enjoy your garden in isolation on your iPad. You can also cut flowers and arrange them in a bouquet to send to your friends and loved ones through email or Facebook. This is the only feature that leaves me unhappy with the app. It took me forever to figure out how to cut a flower (you actually have to tap a blossom) because it isn’t mentioned in any of the documentation.

It would also be nice if Flower Garden started a web site similar to the site for Let’s Create! Pottery that allowed gamers to post images of their arrangements. Maybe this will come with time.

You can send digital flowers to your loved ones for no reason at all. It may seem easy, but trust me, when it takes a week to grow a half-dozen roses, watering them twice a day, you work at it.
At least worked hard in your mind.

Okay, the flowers are clearly digital and the graphics lack the feel of real flowers. But the app is only two dollars (free for a crippled trial version). If it truly is the thought that counts, your loved ones will appreciate the sentiment even if the flowers look cartoonish. If the thought doesn’t count, you need new loved ones.

Jenny Manytoes rates Flower Garden

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Flower Garden. Even if you don’t like gardening, you can fool yourself into believing you’re in touch with the digital earth for a couple of weeks of fun.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Entertainment, In-App Purchases, Virtual simulation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s