The majority of homeowners want to create a professional looking landscaped property, but most end up scratching their heads trying to figure out exactly how to get the process started. Since many people feel the pinch of a limited budget, they might be hesitant to incur a large financial burden by hiring a landscape consultant to design the entire layout. Perhaps you intend to use a professional landscape company for performing the work, but for the initial stages, you would prefer to keep the budget under control. This is where landscape-design software can help you create your perfect setting, and you can do it without leaving your chair.

Landscape design software is a tried and true solution that you should seriously consider. It gives homeowners a great opportunity to view in advance what they would like to achieve as the end result for the landscape layout and setting. When you work with a landscape design software program, you can easily figure out potential problems that you might encounter before you begin the work or before a contractor is hired to complete the design.

It is an increasingly popular method for people to utilize for creating lovely designs and garden spots around their home. Although growing in popularity, many average homeowners wrongly assume that the programs are out of their reach for two reasons. First, these folks believe that the programs are way too expensive to purchase and second, they conclude the programs are too complicated to use. There are, of course, several high-end programs for landscape professionals that require significant investment. These programs are complex and require a good knowledge of their operation. However, in the past decade, a new generation of programs has been created with the consumer in mind.

As a result, most landscape design programs on the market today for homeowners are reliable, economical, easy to use and built with the do-it-yourselfers in mind. The programs are generated to allow a person with only rudimentary computer skills that ability to design truly attractive and visually appealing landscaping schemes.

You can purchase these user-friendly software programs from a variety of different outlets.

An ever increasing number of garden supply and garden centers now stock tried and tested landscape design software programs in their inventory. Some retail merchandiser in the home improvement industry offer their customers classes and training in the use of landscape design software. Naturally, the Internet is a tremendous source for discovering such items and it’s only a click away. For example, has a free landscape design program that lets you sketch out landscape plans such as flowerbeds, trees, shrubs and structures. You can easily arrange it on your computer screen in many different ways and save it for future reference.

Click here to go to Plan-a-Garden.

Choosing a Program

When scouting around for the various landscape design programs, look for a program that guides you through a survey of your property. It should let you define a mapped site for the yard. It’s also helpful to find a program that provides a tutorial that provides you with instruction during this process.

Many of the software programs are very versatile and offer lots of options for you to be creative. You can scan a photo of your property and drag and drop foliage, garden plants and structure into the image, creating a digital version of it. Some other programs allow you to design an electronic base map where you can make infinite changes to the plants, trees and shrubs that you choose and their potential destination in the gardens.

These programs may also include a growth feature that shows what the plants will look like as they mature. Some software suites even provide a “shadow caster” that illustrates where tree and building shadows fall any time of the day throughout the year. This feature is particularly helpful for determining where shadow casting occurs near decks and swimming pools. Another feature that you might find interesting in your software program is the three-dimensional viewing application. This software application not only gives you a real-life view of the landscape, but it even takes you on a virtual tour. For the budget minded individual, a cost-estimating feature in the program can help you plan and track costs at every stage, whether it’s for garden décor, pavers, pool decks, stone pathways, water features or retaining wall.

There are new software packages that come on the market regularly and some of the older versions are even updated. Keep current with what is on the market and read online reviews for any of the programs that you’re considering. You may even find a free trial offer for one of these programs, which is a great way to give it a test run and get the feel for how they operate.

Cons of Designing your Own Garden

While Designing your own garden can be fun and can help you understand what you want, if your goals are elaborate and lofty, having a professional evaluate your design can save you a lot of stress and money.

Proper Sunlight

When you’ve been building and designing gardens for years like Evergreen has, you know where plants should be planted in order to thrive and grow. Certain plants will burn up in the afternoon sun, while others will fail to grow should there be not enough sun.


Garden design programs aren’t smart enough to calculate proper irrigation just yet. You’ll need a keen eye and experience to design a garden so every plant receives the right amount of water.


Depending on where you live in Burlington, Hamilton or Milton, your soil can vastly vary. Some plants have deep roots, and they won’t grow very well if you are near the escarpment where it is quite rocky. Other plants may not have deep roots and be ripped out during the first wind storm as your lawn might be too sandy and loose.

Future Proof your Landscape

A garden you design might look amazing the first couple years, but later down the road it could cause you problems. A tree, for example might block your view, or cause structural damage to your house (roots that damage pipes, or fallen limbs that wreak havoc on your shingles). Certain plants might cause pest problems, such as flowerbeds that are planted too close to your home, or certain flowers near your driveway may attract bees (which make getting in and out of your car an adventure).

Landscape Design Software Conclusions

Landscape design software is a great way to get connected to your property and give yourself a general idea of what you want. If you have no experience with landscaping, and you’re making minor changes, such as planting a flower garden in the backyard, the software can come in handy. If, however, you are making expensive changes, such as putting in stone steps, planting a lavish garden, or adding a waterfall, it’s best to run your plans past an expert first. A garden is an organic biosphere, and without an experts eye, it’s easy to make mistakes that can turn your paradise into a bedraggled wasteland.