Buying software programs to design your garden for you can be a costly mistake if you choose the wrong thing for your needs. To begin with, let’s take a look at your needs and expectations of any garden design software you may need to purchase.
The first mistake a lot of people make is to think that garden design software will do the design for them. This is simply not the case. Whilst a lot of design software will have some ready-made designs that you can adjust, unless you know the principles of designing your garden, it is very difficult to achieve good results.
It’s a bit like someone giving you the components to a super fast car engine. If you don’t know anything about mechanics, the chances of you producing an engine that really works and delivers what you want it to are very slim. The same is true to designing a garden. Unless you know how it works, all the templates in the world cannot help you achieve the results you want.
Learning the seven most important garden design principles first will enable you to use garden designing software as the tool that it was designed to be.
Pros of Garden Design Software
No drawing required. You can produce a color plan, 3-D views and the best part is it is very easy to make changes.
It can be time-consuming to learn how to use the software before you even start the design. You are limited to using the materials in the template chooser. The program doesn’t design a garden for you!
Best Option for Planning Your Garden
The best of both worlds would be to do a rough draft of your ideas on paper and then once you think you have a design you like, use a garden design software to draw up a proper plan and give you a 3D view of it.
One thing that is critical to success, though, is the initial survey. Guessing the size and shape of your garden is the worst mistake you can make. You may produce a superb design, but unless it fits, it will be a complete waste of your time.
In a good design, everything links together and functions as one whole entity. So if one part has to change, it has a knock-on effect to everything else in the garden. It’s a bit like having jigsaw pieces that don’t quite fit – it will never work!
Before you buy any software to help you design your garden I would strongly recommend that you do two things. Firstly, learn the principles of garden design; without them you’re wasting your time. Secondly, practice on free software like Google sketch up, to see if you like using a computer to help you design.