No rain? No problem

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Gardening technology can automate the watering of your garden and can even tell you when your plants need nutrients

When it comes to gardening, there are three kinds of people. First, there are those who have zero interest in getting their hands dirty. They wouldn’t know a hosta from a hydrangea, and are happy with a house full of artificial plants.

Then there are the hard-core green thumbs. They start flowers and vegetables indoors in March. Their favourite channel is HGTV, and they listen avidly to radio call-in shows whenever gardening is the topic. Their idea of a perfect winter afternoon is hanging out in a garden centre greenhouse.

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Roof Positive

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With a long list of ecological and economic benefits, green roofs are picking up in popularity

Imagine looking down on an urban centre from above and seeing nothing but verdant green. Stark rooftops are now overgrown with grasses, shrubs and trees. Here and there, sunlight glints off small ponds. The outlines of streets and roads are just visible through the greenery.

This may sound like a vision of a post-apocalyptic future in which nature is reclaiming abandoned cities. But in fact, it’s a modern technology that proponents of green roofing would love to see become a widespread reality. The sooner the better.

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It’s hot to be cool

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Ventless heat-pump dryers dry clothes more efficiently at cooler temperatures

It may seem like the last place in your house you’d look for cutting-edge technology, but the laundry room is a pretty cool spot these days. No, seriously.

An exciting innovation that’s reached our shores in recent years is the ventless heat-pump clothes dryer. They’ve been available since the 1990s in Europe, where the higher cost of electricity is a major incentive toward using less of it, but are just now developing a presence here.

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Sounds, smells & bells

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Every time you turn around, a new tech gadget hits the market.

Understandably, it’s hard to keep up. So, here’s a look at four of the coolest gadgets on the market right now, from an elegantly simple power-saving plug, to a funky retro telephone with high-tech innards. Every product featured in this story is available in Canada, either online, or at retail stores.

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