Software question

minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)April 23, 2012

I was wondering if there is any garden design software that is, at least in part, akin to a big old sheet of graph paper? I want to design and organize and keep track of what I have, and place things optimally....

We bought a house last July in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's flat (at least, where I'm doing anything it is). There's an asymmetrical fence line due to the fence marking the boundary between the flat and the vertical that goes down to the river. It's clay dirt, with a ton or so of nice black and white granite rock/gravel (3/4" or so) that covers the driveway but also goes into the general back yard area. There are redwood trees, a large propane tank, and other immobile things I can't move and must live with.

I'm USDA zone 9b, American Horticultural Heat zone 3,4 and Sunset zone 7.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use Maya software,just need some time to study it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

If I Google Maya software, I pull up a price of $1995.......?? I can't begin to afford that. If you are a landscape professional, I can certainly understand why you'd have such a full-service program, but it's both over my head, and (I'm guessing) overkill for my personal needs. Literally, computerized graph paper would do me, but I don't have that anymore on the Mac. I used to, on an older computer, but it's history now, darn it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes,it is very expensive and need long time to study.but it is a great software.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 12:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

Thanks for the suggestion. It's just more than I need, or can afford... For a hobby lightweight such as I, what do you know about or think of the Punch family of programs? I saw a landscaping one that was in the $50 range, which would suit my pocket nicely. Would it help me layout and organize my yard? I can always call the propane tank a rock... ;)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I only used Cad,photoshop,3dsmax software,they work too.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I learned design using pencil and paper. It's 100% intuitive. I've tried Autocad and low end design programs (though not Punch.) While a computer drawn plan CAN look slick, as others before me have said, it cannot help you design a landscape any more than Microsoft Word can help you write a novel. That comes from study and experience. In the beginning, rather than helping you draw, they inhibit your drawing. While the very basics might not be too bad to learn, some of the details can be maddening. When you can't find a way to accomplish some small task that prevents you from moving forward, it's frustrating. The other bad thing is that it can be very difficult to control the drawing the way that you want. I've seen computer drawn plans that look horrible and were barely readable because of being so cluttered with goofy plant symbols. If a low end program has a plant database, it will be woefully insufficient, especially if you're interested in unusual plants. To use a low end program, I find I must virtually ignore the plant database, and the symbols in order to create a drawing that is uncluttered and easy to read. Doing that makes it impossible to create a computer generated plant list so it's little better than pencil and paper to me.

There is one nice advantage to even a low-end program and that's the ability to help you figure out, draw and visualize nice site work. If you're trying to layout some hardscape features, the drawing is precise and clean. The 3-d and rendering capability can make it easier to visualize the end result.

I still like pencil and paper the best... except for the erasing. But throw-away tracing paper can eliminate a lot of that.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If I understand your question, you are looking to duplicate the graph paper / pen process on your computer. All you need to do that is a graphic file of a grid and software that allows you to draw lines on the grid graphic.

The software can be as simple as Microsoft Paint. I demonstrated this in a thread I will link below (Drawing the Plan. part 1)

A much more powerful graphic editor is available as an online application not requiring any download or installation at Find and store on your computer a suitable blank grid (you can use the one in my link below). Then browse to
Select "Open image from computer". Call in the blank grid and you are ready to draw. Don't forget to save your drawing often!

If you have trouble finding a suitable grid come back here for help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drawing the Plan. part 1

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

Yardvaark - "I still like pencil and paper the best... except for the erasing. But throw-away tracing paper can eliminate a lot of that." That is exactly how I do quilt design. But my lot is laid out so oddly that I thought, and still think, something on the computer would, in the long run, help me better than the paper method. I could so easily be nuts in this, I know....

pls8xx - that sounds like what I had in mind. Thank you so much, I'll give it a try.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As I pointed out, all that is needed to start drawing a plan over a grid, is the grid. There are some online grid generators. The one I like allows you to customize the grid by using up to 3 line spacings, with your choice of line weight/width and color. Mostly I only use two lines and clear the box for the third line. The link to the site is ...

The graphics below show the grid options available.

Download the grid and save it to your computer. Check to see that it is like what you wanted.

There is one small problem in using the above grid with the online graphics editor; the grid is in PDH format and the editor needs a jpg format. There is an online converter at ...

At this site browse to the grid you downloaded and click the box to convert. A new page will come up where you can download the converted grid in jpg format. Use the online editor in my post above to open and draw on the grid.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello Guyz ,
can anyone tell me that what is the freeware software for image editing with great features ??
searching for the light weight with good features photo editing software. if anyone know about it then let me know. I have already download many software for photo editing but thats all are not good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Software Company in Lucknow

This post was edited by Pavantaneja on Thu, Sep 11, 14 at 6:03

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hey Taneja............
I think i may help you to giving information about your recuirment...
first of all i want say there are many freeware software for picture editing, but the question is what type of features you want in softeare. Any ways, I want to suggest you a freeware image editing software, that name is "Serif Photo Plus". Serif Photo Plus Starter Edition as a free version of its software suite for users basic tools to edit your photos as well. The software has the base covered with resizing tools, filters and effects, and red-eye reduction, among other functions. Because it is not certain elements of the paid version (the goal is to make you pay to upgrade), and you get so far in your photo editing. however, provide tools in an easy to use, you can polish the photos in your album. i have use this software 2 months before. it has many features, I hope you may like this one. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Software Development Company New York

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice post and nice discussion too, I want to ask something from you all that what is the html editor software i can find on internet? Already using bash html editor but need some extra options. Unlike most HTML editors infant death his bloated and expensive, and has only a few features, Bash HTML Editor is designed Fully user friendly. Everything you need. To increase most visitors to your web page for a comfortable hand And contrary to the above mentioned program is what THAT Advocate General Control your HTML code and makes it unnecessarily complex, which is Bash HTML Editor. but i want some another one, please give suggestion to me for the suitable software.

Here is a link that might be useful: Software Company Lucknow

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
the bane of my existence - what to plant in driveway ribbon???
I live in a historic district... the board has to approve...
Please need help 100% blank slate both front and back
Hi guys glad I found this forum been reading alot of...
light green leaf tree
Looking for a bright green leaf small/medium sized...
Issue with Retainer Wall, fixable or redo?
Hi, first time posting here. I'm looking for advice...
John Turner
Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect?
Can anyone tell me what is the difference? I am considering...
Sponsored Products
Software - Satin Dark Gray Shade Ovo Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
AICO Furniture - Palais Royale Rectangular Dining Table in Rococo...
Great Furniture Deal
Henri De Rivel Memor-X Close Contact Saddle - 2050-W08P18
$595.00 | Hayneedle
Neptune I Bronze Blue Fusion Jack Mini Pendant
$223.20 | Bellacor
Software - Satin Teal Ovo Table Lamp with Color Finial
Lamps Plus
GCI Outdoor Everywhere Chair - 13012
$44.99 | Hayneedle
Jelly Blue Fusion Jack Bronze Mini Pendant
$234.72 | Bellacor
Zenna Home Cabinets 20 in. x 30 in. Frameless Oval Swing Door Surface-Mount
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™