Saturday, February 3, 2007

Do-It-YourSelf-Hack A Garden Design

Ever wanted to someone to design your garden or to see what something you're imagining for your garden would look like but you can't draw a box to save your life? On my other blog I made an entry about Virtual Garden and how easy and kinda fun it was to work with. Even if you're not computer savvy I think you could use this tool to help you map out what your garden could look like without the expense of hiring a designer or landscape architect right away. The program comes with a tutorial to help you become familiar with the program.

It really couldn't be easier. Start a new garden and choose your measurements. Then with your mouse you plot out the shape of your garden by clicking and dragging your mouse. The little points on the screen are reminiscent of graphing paper. If you look at the screen capture above you can see I chose a simple shape just to show you how you I got started.

Once you choose the shape of your garden the default ground cover will be grass and your square will be green.From the right hand side you can choose to draw in dirt areas or paths or decking. I left most of it grass and only drew the brown "L" shape path you see and chose a cobble surface. The perimeter of your garden is automatically a fence but if you click on a line you can turn it into brick, stone or a hedge. I put in a pot in the lower right with a fountain. I added a table and chairs and a greenhouse in the upper left hand corner. A bench that faces the pot and a couple of trellises at one end of my path and an arch at the other.

Once I had that done I started placing plants around to give you an idea. You choose the plants from the button on the upper right hand corner. The plant selection isn't very extensive but you get a good amount of plants From Trees to annuals. You can always add or remove plants or objects you place by toggling back and forth between the buttons above. You can also switch to the 3D view and take a stroll through your garden. Below is a screen capture of this particular garden design.

For two of the four boundries of my garden I chose the brick wall to simulate a house. While you're working on your design you can switch from the overhead view to the 3D view to see how things look as you plant up your garden. When you're done or while your working you can take a stroll through your garden by toggling up, down, left and right. You can zoom all the way out or zoom in to see how something looks up close and see how your garden is going.

I'm sure there are powerful programs that do the same and an even better job than this but this one is free and pretty easy and it didn't strain the resources of my 4 year old computer. If you're looking for free garden design or would like to see how easy Do-It-Yourself garden design can be give this a try. You can use it on the BBC.CO.UK website or download it to your computer where you can save your designs.


rees cowden said...

Thanks for the tip to the virtual designer site. I have never been on to suggest spending much money on th ecanned software packages but this looks like a good option to fool around with.
Rees Cowden
No Brown Thumbs

Landscape Designer said...

Hey that was really awesome. I'm a landscape designer and your virtual design is one thing that I can really make use of. Thanks.

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