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Garden layout software

I am just moing to a property with around 2.5 acres of fruit trees and shrubs etc. I want to plan possible changes to the gargen (well it never stands still does it) and I was wondering whether there was any computer software that people had used to map their gardens and is it worth the effort?



  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 31,114

    I tried one years ago - think it came as a free software disk when I bought my first pc. In my opinion it was a waste of time but others may like stuff like that. I think its just as easy to draw a rough outline of the plot and then just draw on where you would like things. There are, however, lots of free garden design sites online.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,672

    I think some of the software is expensive and unless you're able to use it and think it's worth the expense, it may be a waste of resources. Paper and pencil for me. Get a decent tape measure - you need a proper one, not a little 10 metre one. Triangulate the boundaries accurately from fixed points on your house and draw up a plan to scale. Scale is the most important thing for any plan. 

    If that's not possible, take photos - as many as possible, and note the aspect and where anything else relevant will have impact, neighbouring trees and building for instance. Also, mark out areas on the ground with hosepipe or string, and when you know where you want things to go, use marker paint to mark the areas you want to cut out etc. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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  • Just to add, a handy trick - if you don't have the time/tools to scale the garden directly - zoom in as much as possible on googlemaps satellite image and print it out with even higher zoom. Trace your garden outline, and theres your scale plot

  • Richard168Richard168 Posts: 115

    Thanks everyone. I was willing to spend a few pounds if there was a worth while option but i think the message is there is not. My intent is to document what I have already as and when I identify each tree and plant. Thankfully the people we are buying from have a map of all the fruit trees. As to the rest of the trees we did a walk through last weekend where I was frantically writing down all the names of the trees he gave me.

    Paper based it will be then :)

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,645

    If you have a copy of Excel, you can use that.

    I done this plan in Excel using the drawing tool and it is almost to scale too.


    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Shoot Gardening is handy if you want to be organised with what you have and where - and produces a calendar for you. It does have a design plug in which has a 48hour free trial, but it is very basic

  • A decent piece of software would be great but I guess the variables involved make it prohibitively expensive for the amateur. I'd love to have a bit of software show me how the selected plants would look at various times of the season, or to be able to"walk-through" the garden.  I used something like "Alan Titchmarsh's 3d garden designer" for my previous garden and it did the latter, but was difficult to use and a bit creaky.

    After a bit of trial and error, my tips would be:

    2D plan on graph paper.  You can fairly easily run string between stakes in planting beds to mark out your metre squares for accurate planting - as long as they're touching the ground, you shouldn't trip over them!

    3D plan by taking a weekly photo of the garden from each angle you're interested in, so you've got a good idea how each plant / view looks throughout the year.  I've used these to design by superimposing images of possible plants on the top - relatively straightforward using a photo editor when you get the hang of it.

    IDing plants - I tend to get a response within 5 minutes whenever I post a pic on this forum!


    Last edited: 10 August 2016 19:55:09

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