If you want to design your own garden and foundation plantings, you may want to consider using a landscaping design computer program. A landscaping design computer program has several important benefits that make it a useful tool for garden lovers. You can use this type of software to plan out your garden on your home computer, so that you have color throughout the seasons, to preview the size and shape of garden beds, and even to see what hedges, patios, and pathways look like before you build them.
Before you select a landscaping design computer program, there are several important features you should look for. The first feature is the ability to import a photo of your home into the program. This allows you to see what different plants, materials, and garden shapes will really look like when they are placed in your yard. You will be able to see that a picket fence looks better than a vinyl fence before you buy the fencing and install it. You may also be able to avoid other design mistakes, such as planting a fast growing bush under a window or too close to your door.
The next feature you should look for in any landscaping design computer program is a large variety of plant and material graphics. After all, if you only have a few common plant graphics to work with, you will only be able to create a very limited garden design. If the program you are considering only offers a few basic choices, check to see if there is an add on graphic set available. These sets are often fairly inexpensive and include several hundred additional plant and material graphics.
The final feature any good landscaping design computer program should have is the ability to print out your finished landscaping plan. The plan should print out to scale, which means you should be able to measure out a one foot by one foot section of your garden and have it correspond to a one inch by one inch section of your plan. This enables you to easily put all of your hard work on your landscaping design into action in your yard.
These types of computer programs are known as CAD, for Computer Aided Design software. There are hundreds of programs available for all types for design applications, from landscape to automobile design to heavy-duty industrial installation engineering. But you do not need to be an engineer to use them. There is a good selection of 3D CAD programs aimed at homeowners, landscaping enthusiasts and gardeners.
Some of the more popular packages are:
- SmartDraw (Standard and Professional editions)
3D Home Landscape 5 Deluxe by Broderbund Software
Burpee 3D Garden Designer 3.0
Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer