Plants and SunlightWe used to study at school that plants need water, air and sunlight in order to live and grow. This information was hardwired in my brain so that when I grew up I just figured out plants need direct sunlight and the more you provide it the better. I was later astonished to find the leaves of my young plants withering under the harsh sunlight of summer during noon in Egypt. I then realized that yes plants do need sunlight but that too much of it can actually harm them. Of course it depends on the type of plant as well as the developmental phase in which the plant is. Some plants tolerate higher intensities of sunlight than others. As a plant matures, it can also tolerate higher intensities of sunlight. [story]
Computer SimulationWhen designing a garden for landscaping purposes, it is essential to check out the incident light radiation at the location where the garden would exist. Using calculations from lat and long (gathered via GPS) as well as shade from existing structures (buildings) a computer simulation can tell us what kind of plants can be grown and where.
It would be interesting to devise a computer program, if such program does not already exist (which I doubt it does not), that would use artificial intelligence, perhaps a combination of genetic algorithms and neural networks, to propose some garden designs for a given location. You provide the program with the lat/long and altitude (GPS coordinates) of the location and a 3D sketch of the structures available in addition to some other variables related to preferences and constraints related to the desired garden and the program proposes to you a number of garden designs. The program can 'learn' by you feeding it with information about the various plants and their interactions with one another providing it with indigenous varieties to grow gardens in a permaculture way. It wold be interesting to design such program.
Such program would need the development of a computer model in order to simulate plant growth and interactions between plants. Such would be a very complex model. It can use neural networks in order to learn and develop such model or make it more accurate.
It would be nice if such program would also provide a maintenance plan for the garden providing instructions on how to care for it, when to water and so on. [do]