Garden Design Software : Free gardening and landscape design and planning software
We have been asked about garden design software a lot recently, home gardeners seem to be looking for a system of not only designing gardens and landscaping projects but also a way of recording their plantings and making notes on what grows well where it is and when to prune, divide, spray etc.
A number of ‘Gardening web Sites’ offer different packages if you join a club or similar, these packages are usually online, you need to log in to get access.
Garden Design Software and Landscape Design Software programs are available in a number of forms including:
- free online programs,
- 3D garden design and planning software programs for the home gardener
- fully functional commercial garden design software designed for Landscape Gardeners and architects.
Look for garden software that comes with a good library of plants and plant care information.
Be warned – most garden and landscape design software packages provide no or little information on plant suitability, you will still need to do the research.
With all of the online garden design software, planning, design and record keeping packages available we are yet to find one where you can transfere the records and design successfully to your own computer, so you are stuck with them, if they disappear or go to paid model, you could loose all of your records and design.
However this does not mean design software, something free and online that allows you to keep your own records, design and plan your garden online does not exist, we has just not found one yet.
We have also not been offered review copies of garden design software. We get lots of books to review, but no garden planning or design software, so reports are a little ‘second hand’, mostly from emails we have had regarding different software packages. We have trialled the two Google design products, and while not for everyone they are free and allow you to carry out garden design tasks relatively easily.
FREE GARDEN DESIGN SOFTWARE
Google Sketch Up
A free download and relatively easy to use. A 3D modeling tool and although it’s not designed specifically for home gardeners it does work well for landscapers and architects, and it will do the job and is FREE. Also available as Sketch Up Pro
http://sketchup.google.com/ Google Layout
LayOut is the 2D version of SketchUp Pro
COMMERCIAL GARDEN PLANNING and DESIGN SOFTWARE
Small Blueprinter Garden Planner (free trial version)
This one has a free online trial, it allows you yo quickly create an ariel or overhead view of a garden plan. It has a simple to use, drag and drop system. You can resize plants, add paving, fences and other objects. Easy to print and you can creat a custom library of plants if you wish to. Works on windows and Mac. Last price check was $34 US.
Garden Puzzle (free trial version and online trial)
If you are looking to see what plants will look like in front of a building, or in the landscape, Garden Puzzle has some easy to use features. You can import an image of your home, streetscape or a landscape and drag and drop plats trees and shrubs. Its easy to change the size of the plant to that you can visualise what the landscape will look like when the plants reach maturity. Last price check was $19 US
Broderbund 3d Home Landscape Designer Deluxe 5
Not trialled yet
This has a free download as well as a paid version. Not yet trialled
DiComp 3D Garden Composer’ garden design software
An Australian based program so has some relationship to plants and climatic conditions
Geoff Hamilton’s 3D Garden Designer
Comes with a plant Encyclopedia this 3D garden design program will actually let you see your plants ‘grow’.
Punch Master Landscape design software
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What is the best Garden Design Software, what do we recommend ?
Until we review some garden design software we really like, unless you are a professional landscaper or architect, stick with the free Google Software, or maybe try the free download of SmartDraw.
Or just keep a record of different plants on a word processing program or database such as Excell, you can download lots of free drawing programs in fact most word processing packages come with one.
You will not be able to ‘drop and drag’ plants from a library of images, but at least you will have a record of what is where, when you planted it and when to prune, fertilize etc.