See your garden differently with these 3 cool smart cameras

Because pointing a security cam at your lawn is just too easy, here are some slightly more esoteric ways to look at birds, beasts, and encroaching weeds

Smart gardening cameras
(Image credit: Future)

Whether you're lucky enough to have palatial grounds or you're stuck with a three square-foot patch of gravel, keeping an eye on your outdoor space is important. But there's more to it than simply aiming a camera outdoors and calling it a day.

Take a slightly more sideways look at your lawn, and you'll learn a lot more about what's really happening, from the wildlife that's frequenting your patch to the way the green stuff changes over time.

Don't take these options as an excuse to not install one of the best outdoor security cameras, of course. You'll be glad to have non-frivolous evidence if someone trespasses in your garden.

See winged wonders with the Netvue Birdfy

Netvue Birdfy

(Image credit: Amazon)

Netvue's Birdfy combines a camera and a bird feeder, allowing you to tune in to the avian soap opera of your outdoor space and gawk at the goings-on of your favourite feathered friends. Alliterative descriptors aside, it's pretty neat: completely wireless so you can mount it wherever your garden birds happen to prefer, gravity fed so you don't need to fill it too often, and there's a solar option to prevent too much manual recharging.

Opt for the highest-end version and you get what might just be the pinnacle of garden AI: automatic bird identification. OK, maybe it's not the pinnacle – users suggest the Netvue Birdfy isn't always the most accurate at picking out individual species – but a ping on your phone and an automatically archived video of the visitor is nothing to sniff at.

Want to use your eyes instead? Here are the best binoculars for bird watching.

Inspect furry visitors with the Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow

Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow

(Image credit: Amazon)

There is absolutely no reason our pick of the best trail cameras has to stay on the trail. If you suspect your garden is playing host to wild animals (or even just next door's cat) then mounting the Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow low down gives you the opportunity to spy on exactly what they're doing.

The camouflage might not work so well against your fence, admittedly, but the sensor here can manage 4K video and 32MP images, with a 0.15-second trigger speed ensuring you won't miss even the most flighty of hedgehogs and glow-free IR LEDs helping it see in the dark.

Check out our full Bushnell Core DS-4K No Glow review to find out more about its features.

Watch the grass grow with the Brinno BCC300-M

Brinno BCC300-M

(Image credit: Brinno)

Ostensibly made for tracking construction projects but, frankly, nobody tells us what to do with our tech, the Brinno BCC300-M is the perfect way to record the state of your garden over the course of the entire summer season.

The BCC300 package includes the TLC300 camera, a waterproof housing, and a mounting bracket; four AA batteries gets you 66 days of 1080p HDR timelapse, taking one frame every five minutes, though you can speed up the frequency anywhere up to once a second if you want your time lapses to be really long.

Perfect for tracking the progress of your robot lawnmower, for example, or just a look back on the summer that was – and you can use it later in the year to track the snow, too.

Alex Cox

T3 magazine's own Gadget Guru is a 25-year veteran of the tech writing wars, and has the scars to prove it. He's written for the UK's biggest technology publications, and knows everything from smart doorbell voltage needs to how to bend Windows to his every whim.