Monday, October 22, 2018

What Is The Best Landscape Design Software?

Landscape design is like painting, except the paint never dries, it grows. It continues to transform as the seasons change. As flowers blossom and leaves fall, the colour palette changes. Expert garden designers use an ever changing canvass to create memorable outdoor spaces that continue to evolve and grow.

“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.” - Lindon Leader

Both amateur garden designers and professional landscape architects utilise various tools to produce highly-detailed landscape plans. These intricate garden plans are essential not only for projecting an inspired design into a 2D or 3D plan for contractors to bring to life, but also for council submission and project approval with developers.
“Make it simple, but significant.” –Don Draper
If you are searching for what is the best landscape design software currently on the market there is no shortage of programs that generally fall into one of three categories:
  • Free online programs
  • 3D Garden design programs for amateur garden planners
  • Full feature landscape design packages for industry professionals
How can you identify which is the right option for you? The major differences in the various programs are features and price.

The Best Free Garden Design Software

SketchUp - A free package that is often used by students in all fields of building design and architecture before progressing to professional software packages. With a focus on providing an easy-to-use platform for 3D drawing, SketchUp is a great option for exploring and communicating ideas with simple sharing options. Not specifically designed for landscape architecture, but offers suitable usability for low to zero budget projects. There is a massive range of landscape design plugins that can be installed to provide further customisation.

PRO Landscape Home – Offering photo imaging, CAD, 3D rendering and photo imaging features, PRO Landscape home provides a surprisingly comprehensive feature list for a free software offering. While the free package offers limitations, such as not providing the option to edit hardscape plans or create 3D files, the Pro Landscape Home ticks a lot of boxes for a free package.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” –Leonardo da Vinci

The Best Garden Design Programs For Amateur Garden Planners

Small Blueprinter Garden Planner – Simple 2D garden plans can be created using this flash software. While this simple flash software offers only limited garden design features, it does provide a simple means of quickly editing paving, paths, fences, plants and trees and offers customised printing options. Drag and drop tree and plant layouts options. The free online planner allows you to edit and print designs, but if you want to save plans then you will need to download the free trial version which is available for both Mac and Windows. If you only need to create a very basic garden plan, this may just be suitable for you.

Garden Puzzle – This one stands out from the crowd as it is not only desktop software but is also a mobile app. If you are searching for an affordable program that is extremely easy to use but still produces attractive garden plans, you are going to love the Garden Puzzle app. The simple and attractive designs means that there is limited customisation available and only a small plant library. If a quick “tap and create” program that you can take out with you in your back garden is what you are looking for, Puzzle Garden offers impressive features that you can keep in your pocket for when inspiration strikes.

The Best Professional Landscape Design Software

AutoCAD - For a long time, AutoCAD has set the standard for design professionals for decades. Offering a comprehensive suite of versatile landscape design features, AutoCAD is used extensively by professional landscape architects all over the world. Due to the extensive features and capabilities of AutoCAD, it takes a significant investment in time and effort to learn the design process and understand the finer details. While there are online guides and videos, undertaking an official course is the quickest way of getting up to speed on using AutoCAD. Apple has recently announced that the newest models of the iPad Pro will be able to run full versions of AutoCAD, but this will not be available until 2019.

Vectorworks Landmark - The other big player in the design software industry, Vectorworks Landmark is growing in popularity in the landscape design community. Offering both 2D and 3D design options, there is a seamless import and export file system that allows you to collaborate with AutoCAD, SketchUp and other industry standard programs. With planting and hardscape plans, irrigation systems and graphics presentation, Vectorworks Landmark is a revolutionary comprehensive option that even offers AR/VR capabilities. Offering a flexible solution for the entire design process, Vectorworks is available for both Mac and Windows. But all of these capabilities don't come cheap! The 2019 Professional Landmark License starts at $3000.

So what options are available if you need a technical landscape plan without blowing your budget?

Dapple Landscape Design is a landscape architectural consultancy based in Western Sydney that provides creative garden plans from as low as $400. When you consider the exquisite workmanship of the plans, the tailored designs and hassle-free service, it should come as no surprise that Dapple Landscape Design has a 100% satisfaction rate.

“Leave it better than you found it.” –Bruce A. Nordstrom

With a complete range of services that includes professionally drafted hardscape plans, planting plans, 3D modelling and DA landscape plans, Dapple Landscape Design offers a convenient and cost-effective solution.

One of the reasons why many home owners research what is the best landscape design software is because they are not satisfied with a stock-standard garden plan straight out of the catalogue that many landscape planners provide. Dapple Landscape Design offers a refreshingly creative approach that ensures that your dream garden is brought to life before your eyes with the creative expertise of Julian Saw and his multi-skilled team.

If you compare the lack of features and inability to save projects in the majority of free landscape design software and the expansive purchase rights to premium quality software, the competitive rates and custom service of Dapple Landscape Design actually offers exceptional value for money. Additionally, instead of having to spend countless hours researching which plants, trees and shrubs will work in which locations, Dapple Landscape Design creates gardens that are designed to thrive year after year. The company website offers a wealth of helpful resources to help keep your garden in tip-top condition.

If you decide that working alongside one of Sydney's most respected garden design firms is the best option for your requirements and budget, come and explore the services the team provides on the landscape architects Sydney website today.

Dapple Landscape Design
Address: Ellison Rd, Springwood NSW 2777
Phone: 0406 825 430


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