With many of us using our gardens as an extension of our homes, it’s more important than ever to enhance them in terms of style and utility. However, if you’re at a loss for how to plan a garden, we’ve rounded up the best online garden planning tools to help.
“We now want to use and enjoy our gardens 365 days a year – a fall for those who are locked in when gardens are seen as an essential safe haven even in the colder months,” says the award-winning garden designer. Kate Gold.
But the renovation of the garden is not cheap and while there are a lot of changes for the home in all media (and to steal hacks!) From, gardens are not as many.
Help is at hand even and without the cost of a landscaper or garden designer. There are plenty of (cheap or free) garden planning tools online – and as apps – that will bring the ideas in your head to spring life as a virtual image (or a physical one if you print it out!).
If design is not your forte, they always provide templates and preconceived ideas, to help you ignite creativity.
We’ve tried a variety of garden planning tools and picked out the ones that stand out for their ease of use or unique features, whether it’s the viewing angles they offer or the option to see your garden in the future, but they all have one thing in common. Common – they are free!
online garden planning tool, smartdraw.com, allows you to choose a blank or pre-designed garden template (you need to create a label first). And not just for gardens! There are also templates for decks, decks and decks, even swimming pools if you’re up for it.
If you fall for a pre-designed template, you can easily drag and drop items as well as delete items entirely or cut and paste to produce duplicates. For example, this is handy if you want a whole row of trees in your design instead of just one. Every decision you make is automatically saved, but can be quickly undone if you change your mind.
The SmartPanel on the left lets you choose from hundreds of symbols, from palm trees to birdbaths and everything in between. They appear in black and white but once you drag them into your design, they change to color and are great for resizing and positioning.
There is help in the form of tutorials that you can watch and there is also live chat. A warning that your design cannot be printed, sent or shared unless you pay, but always screenshot it.
We went out again and were happy to see that our design had settled.
Try it now: www.smartdraw.com
Gardena.com It is primarily a garden care and irrigation company, but the garden planner tool is a great tool that can be used only for garden design and planning garden layout ideas.
You start by selecting your plot type (soil, grass, gravel, etc.) and using the pointer to measure it (so you’ll need the size of your garden first). Once you double-click to lock it, you’ll be free to add shrubs, patios, trampolines, and once you’re done, you can share your garden design via a link.
If you need more inspiration, there’s an option to choose a ready-made design that you can easily edit. Everything is from a bird’s-eye view, with vibrant colors and an animated style, so it’s fun to use, and it’s especially special as accessories include things like a kids’ soccer goal, a clothes dryer and a playhouse. A great planning tool for designing family garden ideas.
Try it now: www.gardena.com/uk/garden-life/garden-planner/
3. Marshalls garden view
After you create an account to use this free garden planning tool, you’ll be prompted to enter the size of your garden. And then the fun begins! This planner uses 3D technology so you can see your garden creations from all angles. Even better, you can upload a picture of your home’s exterior (or use a stock of them) to let you see how your front garden ideas or backyard look in context.
There aren’t oodles of options when it comes to adding features (there are only four tree types to choose from and no ponds), but when you can upload your own images, the bottom line is that your design looks more realistic.
The navigation can take a little getting used to – and I had to use Chrome instead of Safari to get the software to work well – but stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with a free PDF of your design and a list of all the products you used in it, which you can buy from Marshalls if you want. There is even an option for them to find an authorized installer for you.
Try it now: www.marshalls.co.uk/garden-visualiser/
If you like the look of plants and flowers but don’t know how to help them thrive, a professional gardener can help, but of course, you have to pay!
Instead, the experts behind the online planning tool at muddytrowel.com can advise you for free based on the results of your design survey. It takes the form of a four-minute questionnaire that is difficult to complete. You will be asked to upload pictures of your garden and answer questions about your postcode (so you know what type of soil your garden will have) and your garden will respond to the type of garden you like and the type of design you like. as a. It is very visual as it is very easy to click on images that create happiness for you.
Next, a designer will select seasonal plants and accessories (based on your budget) and send you a mood board for your space. Note that there is a £30 fee when you submit your enquiry, but this is paid on the plants they send you (and some – or indeed all – may be returned if they don’t work for you or exchanged for free).
‘Designing a garden and finding the right plants for your space can be expensive and complicated,’ says Jack Shealy, head of plants at muddytrowel.com.
Clients just need to fill out a simple questionnaire and provide photographs of the space and we can match them with the perfect designer from our network of experts (including Chelsea Flower Show winners!). Their designs suggest the perfect plants to transform the space, where to place them and how to care for them to keep them growing year after year.’
Try it now: www.muddytrowel.com/design
5. Garden Planner from smallblueprinter.com
of Garden Planner is a garden design toolIt allows you to see what your planted garden will look like in a few years – after the plants have grown and the trees have grown. Another important feature is that it allows you to print not only your final design, but also a list of the things you need to buy for it with quantities, so you will have an accurate idea of how much it will all cost.
It’s easy to use, and allows for more detail and accuracy, but the downside is that you have to install the software (it can be downloaded on Windows and Mac), which is always a bit tedious. Another aspect to consider is that although the service is free, it is only for 15 days and you can print your design, it does not save it, so it is good to set aside a good amount of time to get it. It was designed in one trip.
Try it now: www.smallblueprinter.com/garden/
Is there a free app for landscape design?
Yes! garden design app, Icecap It is available on the Apple App Store and is free for the basic package.
It’s a garden planning tool with intuitive navigation, speed, great graphics and an impressive database. Take a picture of your garden (or use one from the app’s library that looks like yours the most) and then use the menu to add your favorite.
It gets high marks for ease of use (just drag, drop and slide to scale) but also because of the additional information it provides. When choosing a tree, useful intel is given, such as when it blooms and what soil it should be planted in. Plus, all the images are photographs, creating an accurate picture of what your garden will look like. Not the cartoon version of him.
The upgraded, paid version of this app is a popular choice for professional garden designers as it includes 3D technology and an extended image library.
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