There are many design programs available for do-it-yourself garden designers. Some are quite complex whereas others are so simple that they lack the flexibility to get anything useful accomplished. There are expensive programs and inexpensive programs. You can even find landscape design software for free. A number of paid landscape design software programs offer free trial periods. Make sure you can use whatever you create before you consider one of these programs to be truly 'free'. On the other hand, you may discover that the trial is so successful that it really is worth buying the software. Keep in mind that you will always get what you pay for â more or less. Free programs will not give you the flexibility or features you will find in purchased software. But for some people, the right free program will offer all they need. If you are looking to hire help with your landscaping you may want to present your contractor or designer with a visual guide of what you want. The more detailed and exact your plans, the better your communications will be. Here is a list of some of the better rated free landscape software design programs. Check them out and see if any of them is right for you.
'Virtual Garden Design' is produced by the BBC and offers a chance to create a basic virtual look at how the garden will look.
Better Homes and Gardens offers 'Plan a Garden' landscape software with drag and drop plants, foliage, patios, ponds and other features.
Google Sketch-Up has produced a 3D modeling program. This one is quite impressive for a free program though it is only the basics of Sketch-Up's retail professional program.
Smart Draw Landscape Design Software has a free software-based program based on templates. It contains the bare bones of their more professional software.
Design Workshop Lite is another simplified 3D version of their more professional programs offered for sale.
On a different tack, the free software program offered by Show Off works
with a picture of your property. You
plug the features into the format while you are connected directly onto the
Another click and drag software, Garden Planner 2.3 from Artifact Interactive has a free 15-day trial of its wizard-driven format. Although the software isn't actually free, it retails for only around $20.
Most programs can be downloaded directly from the internet. You can also try out many excellent software programs for free test periods to help you decide if you want to buy them. Read the terms carefully as these are not necessarily a way to create designs for free.
These free landscape design software programs can give you the fundamentals for putting together a garden plan. Each has weak points and strong points. None offer a lot of detail or flexibility, but all of them will give you a chance to do a basic garden design for a price you can't beat!