Widely heralded by garden writers and software reviewers nationwide as the leading landscaping program, Complete LandDesigner 3D Design Collection continues its run as the all-time best-selling gardening software. Six programs are included in the new … see full wiki
SIERRA LandDesign - Put a little circle next to a big circle
Nov 16, 2000
Pros: Easy and informative
Actually, LandDesigner by Sierra, including White Flower Farms, is probably a nice base unit for most homeowners. Of course, since this IS my business, I prefer you use a professional but these days a lot of people like to putter around on their own. LandDesigner is a good vehicle for this purpose, as well as gathering your thoughts before contacting a professional.
Landscaping your home, unlike painting walls or buying furniture or a sundry of other chores around the home, is generally a one or two in a life-time thing you do. It is a huge expense and the upkeep and maintenance of your landscape can be both a burden and a relief. Some people like to play in the dirt, some don't.
Before consulting a professional, or before making that trip to your local garden store, try using LandDesigner to get your thoughts and ideas together. If you are fortunate enough to have a scanner and/or digital camera, you can actually take pictures of your own home and download them into the LandDesigner package. This affords you the opportunity to view YOUR home with YOUR ideas - not a picture of a home with your ideas.
With the LandDesigner you can place any number or shrubs and trees, offered by White Flower Farm, that are specific to your area. In this way you are not longing for that beautiful Camellia bush in your front yard when you actually live in Maine and it is not possible for you to have the durn thing as a permanent feature in your landscape. The landscape software also offers structures, pools, statues, turf, fences and just about anything else you require for a nice frame for your home.
You do not have to be a software expert to use this package, although I do suggest you thoroughly review the entire package before starting. It has a few quirks that can aggravate you just when you think you have it all laid out and find something does not fit properly. The package I suggest for beginners and home owners is not the LandDesigner Complete, but just the basic. I believe it only runs around $20-$25 ... a nice investment that can save in the long run.
If you cannot download a picture of your own home, there are several basic home templates offered in the package. With these in mind, you can design what you would like around the basic principle of your home and off to the garden store with your plans in hand. Of course, as I said, I prefer you use a professional, but if all you are looking for is a spruce up, by all means do it on your own.
If you are planning a major project - like the whole friggin yard - why not try laying out everything that interests you. There are so many options in this package! Then, with these ideas available, when you consult a professional you will find your expenses are cut way down because you have the basics in mind already.
Landscaping is not just slapping a bush in the ground you know. There are many other aspects to be considered - site elevation, water run-off, local ordinances, rules and regulations. Color specific flow and layout are also important.
I also use the Planix Landscape Autodesk, a Cad program, that not only allows me to download pictures of customers homes into my software but also lets me remove existing landscaping and insert the new landscaping. That is one of the drawbacks of the LandDesigner. You cannot remove any landscaping that is existing on the picture but simply insert the new scaping over it. Sometimes there is bleed through from the old landscape and it can get confusing. With the Planix you are able to clone areas and create a blank screen to work with. Frankly, it isn't expensive either, around $30-$50 and has a few other features the LandDesigner does not.
I like to use the LandDesigner for my flat surface site layout and the Planix for my 3-D picture layout.
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