Suggestions for landscaping software for the 'casual' user?

meadow_lark(7)February 2, 2010

I do not like drawing on graph paper, and most of the hand-drawn plans in my binder just are not working for me.

I would love suggestions on software for the casual user. I have Vista loaded, so it needs to be compatible.

I am good at navigation, so I'm not too worried about learning my way around a program. I would, however, like to find a program that can be edited fairly easily...

Thanks... Meadow Lark

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Try a search as this this question has been asked before.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 5:57PM
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IÂve already done a search, and found most posts that recommended software were 2008 and prior. Several suggestions are now "obsolete" software. I was hoping for something more recent.

I saw reviews of BH&G landscape software, as well as Landscape Vision, but both had mediocre reviews... I don't want to get something that's not going to work for me... Thanks. Meadow Lark

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 7:45AM
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Google sketchup? More of a generalist program not landscape specific, but free and flexible. Do the tutorials if you decide to try it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:33AM
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What would you like the program to do?

Is it drafting, or visualization of a completed design?

- Audric

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:45AM
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I guess I'm just looking for a way to put in some basic planting/hardscape designs... I've hand-drawn several gardens, but as we amend out property, there is plenty of room to add and/or change some of my previous ideas. I want to put my visions down, and then change them as I become more familiar with our property.... Meadow Lark

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 3:48PM
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You can use something as simple as microsoft "Paint" though a ful-featured photo editor is nice to have. Google sketchup appeals to those who like 3d. Almost any computer app gives you the chance to save at various stages and then later change the design.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple drawings done with Paint

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 5:02PM
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I use Ideaspectrum Architect2 I do mostly resd. design and some commercial. They have a smaller program called Landscaping Pro. I did not find it too expensive and my clients love it because of the visual. You can download it free for 30 days I think and give it a try. It has a pretty good plant library and you can design over a photo. You can design in plan, perspective and then see the overall in walkthrough. There are hardscaping features. I still have to take my plans to paper drawing but only because I don't have a scanner yet. It has paid for itself over and over. Also there are tutorials. It may be something you could use as you develop your property. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:11PM
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I just purchased this software and I love it. Watch the demo and see for yourself how easy it is. It is the best for designing your gardens, Life like plants too. You don't have to import your photos all the time either. I just created some beds by putting in grass area and shaped a mulched area and them put in the flowers and shrubs. It was so easy.

Its 65.00 with s/h and you can download it right then or wait for the disk.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 6:02PM
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abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

@stormz4 I'm considering picking up Realtime Landscaping Arch. 2 as well (the $250 version). Will it progress your plans through the seasons, or just lump everything in as if it were somehow "bloomtime" for everything at all times? Just curious if it would be "smart enough" to change the view/scene as the months/seasons change... TIA!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:46PM
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I like this as it has paid for itself. No it does not give the progression through the seasons. Wouldn't that be nice? However I have sold designs with this because people are visual and they like to see what they are getting. I like to get the plat plan of the area and I also like to use the pictures of the area to convey my thoughts. I don't have a scanner to give the client the actual dimention like a planned drawing, however this has not been a problem. It is powerful and can give you for the most part the tools you will need. I will be working with my local printer on the aspect of printing this out. In the mean time; my clients like the look and I do still have to go to paper drawing. So if you do try it and know how to scan the plan let me know! Totaly open to any help here. Also if you consider this; let me know your thoughts on the: Area grader and the sloping functions. I'm sure it is just me but I do struggle with this. Some designs are a no brainer but some leave me wondering. Over all it has paid for itself. I started with Pro and now have Arch. 2. Does the job for me! One thing to be alert to is if there is junk in the way the pictures taken I have not been too sucsessful in editng out this. But totally love being able to go to grid with the dimentions of the properties. You have walkthrough and can add many more ideas that just over a photo won,t give you. Not that the photo isn't good; it does help you as a designer get the look you want. When presenting to a potential client I like to have the actual grid drawing. Some clients don't care and like a quick draw over the photo so the sky is kind of the limit. Just me, but I like to have a nice finished product. LOL! If you use this or if it is helpful let me know!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 4:02AM
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