Anyone have suggestions for websites that are interactive for planning my florida backyard design? I've only come up with software that needs to be purchased.
Well, if you had spend hundreds of hours designing such software, would you give it away?
Try searching something like "free landscape design ------", I think you WILL find something but it being as fancy as you want is another matter. In season you can find home landscape design software for lower prices at places like CostCo. Read online/print reviews of current products before purchasing. I thought the one or two I tried some years ago were terrible, even maddening to use with a mouse.
Things of value are rarely given away. There are free things out there that don't have any value. There are also things that have high prices that have little value, too.
Graph paper, a pencil with an eraser and a circle template all easily purchased at Staples for under $10.00 will do the trick. You can get fancy across the aisle with a pkg. of colored pencils.
Simply asked a question, especially since there are plenty of FREE sites available for furniture/room designs.
Wow...go plant some seeds or something & thanks for your help.
Furniture and room design has manufactured products that are associated with them that allow such websites to promote products that directly results in sales. Plants are available from multiple producers, so direct profit is not so easily realized by having free things available.
It is also clear that almost any room of a certain size is the same as another. Templates work. They can be applied effectively making them of value.
A landscape has endless variables making templates far less succesful. That is why I believe that they are of little value.
I don't think it is wrong to look for these. I don't think it hurts the industry if they exist in great numbers. I am just offering an explanation of why they are harder to find than furniture/room designs and why I think they are of little value.
It is not hard to find a room design for an 18' x 14' room with a door in one corner and a picture window on a wall. Almost everything within that space can be changed to fit the template.
It would be very difficult to find a template that takes into account the style of house, the terrain, the color, the neighboring properties, the climate, how much maintenance you are willing to do, .....Few of these can be changed to support the template. That is why there is little benefit to using them.
You've been given some excellent advice here, maja127; I hope you're still reading.
A Google search will turn up a number of free sites that offer assistance in developing a landscape design, but that is a bit different from a template - you still have to go through the basic design process, measuring the site, evaluating same, analyzing your needs, etc. A template assumes you can just overlay the packaged plan on your site and off you go - doesn't work like that for any number of reasons, many of which laag alluded to. You can also find a wide assortment of planting plans, typically for perennial gardens. These are generally provided by mail order nurseries interested in you purchasing their plants and presuppose a planting area of specific size in a specific light condition, but can be modified to fit different sizes and situations. You will find it more difficult to locate packaged plans for trees and shrubs as the wide range of climate conditions and plant choices suited for them complicate matters considerably.
And you should be aware that there is a very big difference between a product that can be termed a "landscape design template" (if such a thing even exists) and these packaged planting plans.
I appreciate everyone's help. I do understand the value of creating the software... I have 2 sons in the software business & know the time & effort put into these programs.
I guess I didn't post clearly enough. I am not living in Florida f/t yet, so I don't have the benefit of sitting in the yard & visualizing. I've got the measurements here at home & I've drawn the area & have worked with paper & pencil. I was looking for a site that I could move things around to get an idea of where to situate plantings.
I found Lowe's Garden planner which I'm finding a little frustrating to learn, but helpful.
Since I'm new at this, I suppose a website showing landscaping photos (especially of palms) would be what I'm really looking for.
See if this helps-
Here is a link that might be useful: Floridata
My post wasn't meant to be snotty. It's easy to change your mind with graph paper, tracing paper and pencil. The learning curve is less, the results the same--sometimes better.
Many pros, myself included, use pencil & paper as well as digital design tools.
This is not exactly what you asked for, but here are a few pix of an especially nice south Forida property.
Here is a link that might be useful: Palm lined entry
maja127, thanks for getting me thinking that I could use just such a program. I've done the graph paper layout but this could help visualize it better.
Here are a couple of links that might be helpful.
The first link is to a site that has review info on a number of software programs with ratings for ease of use, etc.
The live link at the bottom is to the website of the program I downloaded. It is a free, limited version of the second ranked program. Unless you want to do a professional layout, it might meet your needs. I'll have a better idea as to how helpful it will be when I get a chance to play with it tomorrow.
1st link: http://landscaping-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
Here is a link that might be useful: Free Version
I do what miss rumphius does--oversized graph paper overlayed with pre-blocked vellum paper. From there I use a circle template, a flexible curve thing (how's that for a technical term), and Prismacolor watercolor markers.
I've started experimenting in Photoshop; I downloaded some photos of a client's house and used a pencil tool to "draw" on the photo. it's where I experiment with plant shapes and forms before I commit to it on paper. I just bought a stylus to help with the drawing.
HI - This may be after the fact but here is a helpful link to landscape planning/design. http://www.the-landscape-design-site.com/landscapeplanning.html
Years ago, when I was planning my first new construction garden, I found an Ortho type book with a lot of landscape plans for front and back yards. I gave it away, unfortunatly. It had great ideas to get the ball rolling. I haven't been able to find it since. It was inexpensive, too. anyone remeber it or seen it? Check out your local library. I found that to be the most helpful. I could check out dozens of books and peruse them.
The book you are remembering might be the Creative Homeowner series called Home Landscaping. There are 5 books in the series for different US regions. I bought mine for the Northeast, including Southeast Canada, at Home Depot. It has many design ideas for the most common homeowner situations. There is one for the Southeast Region that might be useful.
BBC's gardening site has a very basic design tool that you can use.
Also you can download a 30 day free trial of ConceptDraw which is a professional level tool.
Hope that helps.
Why is it that on this forum in particular you always get two snotty answers for every helpful one? Don't find that in other areas of GardenWeb. It's a shame, really. Why even bother posting if all you intend to do is chastise the OP?
Why is it that on this forum in particular you always get two snotty answers for every helpful one?
Or hardly any answers at all. I was about to start a post asking what the designers on this site consider an appropriate request and something they would respond to. I posted a request asking for feedback and only two people were so kind as to respond (they have my heartfelt appreciation!).
PS: cdjr. I have been totally unsuccessful at getting the software you suggested to install - I tried it on my home computer and work computer and couldn't get it to work either time. Is there anything special you remember doing?
I don't think there are many professional designers on this site at the present time, partly because this is a busy time of year for them, and partly because of the type of dissatisfaction expressed above, and other factors. Some people get bored and move on, but others arrive eventually. At least you got some good feedback. Audric had already said what I was going to say about the little half circles, and I'm no designer anyway...please post 'in-progress pics' of your little garden, I'm a fan of small spaces.
Thanks, catkim. That makes me feel better. I thought perhaps the design was horrible (and maybe it is, lol) and no one wanted to comment!
I had my landscaping done by a landscape co and hate it. You my want to drive around your area and if you see something you like snap a picture. My landscaping looks good but has heavy maintenance...clipping, trimming, spraying, mulching..yuck! I would have been happy with some ferns, grasses and flowing trees.
While not a specific "landscaping design" program Sketchup has potential and is free:
Best of luck,
Here is a link that might be useful: Sketchup
Just a note to this periodic topic. None of the software programs listed in http://landscaping-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ is identified as supported on Mac computers. Some of them may be but the review does not list any Mac programs. From someone who has been searching for same. I tried google sketchup and could not work it. I just want to create a plan of a large demo garden with various types of beds. Those with small gardens may like the bhg.com garden planner. Free!