Landscape Design forum: Computer programs for landscape design

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Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Organic Gardener Frogs and Toads Dog Lover
Birds Vegetable Grower Spiders! Hummingbirder Butterflies Critters Allowed
Mar 5, 2018 7:04 AM CST
I am curious to see what computer programs people are using to design? After looking at my chicken scratch notes and diagrams, I would love to create something more like this:

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Mar 7, 2018 10:13 AM CST
Well chicken scratches often represent what it will actually look like in the real word better.

Mar 9, 2018 5:18 PM CST
Have you tried Sketchup? 2D and 3D modelling software "for everyone"... Smiling
Omaha, Ne
Sep 8, 2018 7:20 AM CST
I visualize poorly, so I use an app. called 'TaDa', that is actually designed for wedding planning. It allows you to import a photo, (in my case, a photo of a yard), then lets you cut out plants/whatever from other photos and move them around. As an example, this house had a single shrub between the 2 windows, so I added the ornamental grass, the yellow daylilies, and the pink shrub.

Thumb of 2018-09-08/avianut/9b4779

[Last edited by avianut - Sep 8, 2018 7:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Cory Moore
Jan 15, 2019 2:50 PM CST
Hello Urban Wild, our company uses Autocad Lit. It is an extremely cheap design platform that allows us to design very fast and efficiently. The program has hatch pattern ability allowing you to add texture and colors. If you would like additional color as well you can save the drawing as a pdf and upload it into Photoshop or paint to add more color.
The picture you see 2/3rd's down our page is done on autocad lit. https://naplesluxurylandscaper...

Hope this is helpful!
East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 1, 2019 12:34 PM CST
I found a fantastic landscape design app for my Android phone called "Home Outside". It's totally free and also ad-free, too, which is an anomaly today. It functions as a bird's eye view planner and can either import a satellite image directly from Google Maps or from a captured photo image to use as a base, so your dimensions are accurate to start with. You can create in layers (base, grass, trees, hardscape, utilities, etc.) And either rearrange the layers at will (so that hardscape covers grass, furniture covers hardscape and so forth) or make a particular layer invisible (which I use to eliminate existing trees I had overlayed accurately on the base image, but which I plan to eventually cut). It has an admittedly limited but serviceable selection of objects such as trees, shrubs, flowers, stones, various paths, etc., that can be imported, sized, rotated, copied and grouped, and it's simply drag-and-drop, very easy. It also has a "draw" feature which I use for existing overhead powerlines and planned utilities for reference, and I make those layers invisible unless I need to know where they are.

Thumb of 2019-04-01/RadlyRootbound/1e09b2

Thumb of 2019-04-01/RadlyRootbound/895e39

The one peculiarity is that it doesn't have an in-program option for closing it, but I simply turn the screen off then on again, and use the briefly visible square on the bottom right to display all open programs and close that window. That's not a big issue for a program that is totally free and has no ads!

"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Taos, New Mexico (Zone 5b)
Crescit Eundo
Greenhouse Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Mexico
Apr 1, 2019 1:07 PM CST
Mother Earth News has a program, for both desktop and smartphone, that produces output similar to what you have linked. It's free for the first year, then ~$20 year after that.


I've used it and found it to be a good tool.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 1, 2019 2:17 PM CST
Found it in the App Store for apple, $2.99
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Taos, New Mexico (Zone 5b)
Crescit Eundo
Greenhouse Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Mexico
Apr 2, 2019 7:26 AM CST
I contacted the person who made the plans shown at the deepgreenpermaculture link in @Urbanwilds original post. Here is what he said:

"Thanks for your email! I used SmartDraw 2010 to draw up the garden design you were asking about at that time, that version wasn't very well designed for ease of use unfortunately! Hopefully the current versions work a lot better."

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