any good landscape design software?
I met with a landscaper yesterday to talk about 3 jobs at our house:
prep front yard for grass (had a slew of trees taken out & have stump grindings & weeds everywhere)
Install gravel pad for shed in back yard
turn backyard into grass (had dozens of trees removed, saved the big ones, have dozens of stumps to grind & need loam to smooth out the grade)
When he saw the backyard we had this conversation:
Him: "Wow - this is a lot of yard, what are you going to do with all this?"
Me: "Ummm, make it grassy. And keep this area for a veggie garden, it's the only place that gets sun 10+ hours."
Him: "You could put in a pool, a fire pit - I mean, you have a lot of space. You just want grass?"
Me: "Well, eventually I want to do some understory shrubs & stuff along the back edge, like some mountain laurel & dogwoods. But yeah, grass. A firepit would be great, too."
So I realized that I don't have a friggin clue what I really want back there. I sort of figured we would get a lawn going & then I'd build from that. The lawn would be a blank canvas (as opposed to the mess of stumps, leaves, sticks, etc that is back there now). And the yard isn't that big, it's 125x125. Behind us is woods & then a farm, to the right is an abandoned property, and to the left is a wooded area that is a "paper road" that I don't think the town could put in now, since there is potential wetlands over there (definitely wetlands, just not registered yet). So it feels more private than it really should.
He gave me some good input on where to put the shed (we decided to go with a 10x10 so that our town setbacks will let us put it close to the fence, not 15' away).
But now I'm realizing I probably should have a plan for the end goal instead of taking it in stages -right?
My options are:
1) Buy some software & fuss around with it (cost would be $100 + 20 hours of my time)
2) Hire a landscape designer (I'm not sure of cost, but guessing $500 - $1000, maybe more)
Any recommendations? I've gardened before & done small landscaping on my own. I know what plants I like & what like the soil in my town (this is our 2nd house in this town). But, I've never done anything on this scale.
Thanks in advance!