Thursday, August 2, 2012

Landscape design software

Good landscaping design software is hard to find.

I spent part of my day yesterday downloading and playing with some of the options online, and was quite disappointed. 

The first one I tried was Garden Planner. Sounds simple enough, but the user interface was the least intuitive design and within an hour, I was frustrated by just trying to draw the outline of our property!

How can it be that difficult to draw straight lines? I have no idea, but they do!
This is their sample screen shot, but if the normal user is anything like me (and I like to think that I'm quick at picking up new software) this would have taken DAYS to design.


Next I tried the Better Homes and Gardens "Free" Interactive Plan-A-Garden.   Unfortunately, you have to use one of their 27 stock photos to design on (none of which looked similar to ours). Although you can upgrade for $9.99 and use a photo of your own house. Blegh, I hate paying for software.  But even if you use their stock photos, the perspective on items you insert into the landscape design aren't always the same.  And then half of the plants in the program aren't available without upgrading either. All in all sloppy.  Why not just do overhead planning? It's so much cleaner and simpler.  Everyone is obsessed with 3D this and 3D that, I want 2D!  Definitely less frustrating than Garden Planner, but still a fail.

Overall, pretty disappointing. And some of the other options on download.cnet.com although looking promising, were $99.95 for the full version (with 15 day trial). And for that kind of money, I think I'll just go down to Lowes, buy a ruler and some drafting paper, and draw it out myself!

Anyone else have recommendations?

2 comments:

Camila said...

Yeah, last year I looked into the free software stuff too, and didn't find anything that was any good. Sorry. I just took a picture of the house and glued photos of plants in front, which wasn't the best, but gave me some idea how things might look together.

Juan Chaparro said...

I always remember that the Constantinos had this architectural style blueprint of their landscaping. Ironic though that their landscaping was so boring...bush, another bush, grass, driveway.

But a blueprint style design will give me more of an idea of how much square footage we will actually need and how to work with the sprinkler system that's already in place (there are definitely a few dryer areas).