Mac application to assist with landscape design?
December 30, 2003 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for an OS X application that assists with landscape design. Something with a very good plant database that is also relatively easy to use and not too pricey is preferable. [more inside...]

I have tried searching Apple's "Made for Mac" section, and with its help, found "Mums the Word" (US$95) and "bel Terre pro" (US$295), both of which are made by Terrace Software. Both are probably more than I want to spend, but I am thinking of trying my hand at this art and will pay a fair price if the product really shines.

So, any MeFites have some first hand experience. ... or at least some good juicy third-hand hearsay they wish to share?
posted by terrapin to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
There are some comments in this thread about architecture software, which may permit landscape design, either through built-in modules, community add-ons, or user ingenuity. The programs mentioned are SketchUp and Abracadata. In this thread PowerCadd, is mentioned as being used for landscapes.

You'll always do better searching for software on MacUpdate and VersionTracker than you will on Apple's site. Also try HyperJeff's list, which, while not as complete, has more Unix-y software.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:57 PM on December 30, 2003

OmniGraffle has a "Gardening" stencil, though I doubt it is very extensive...
posted by sad_otter at 5:00 PM on December 30, 2003

I've used a cheap PC app someone bought me at Costco, and it was pretty weak. The plant database was photos of trees and shrubs cut out of other photos, and when you plotted your yard onto a photograph, it didn't automatically create a garden plan or anything.

I used it mostly for visuals when I was shopping around for landscape guys to do my hardscaping.
posted by mathowie at 8:12 PM on December 30, 2003

$95.00 is more than you want to spend? What is it exactly that you want to do with this software?

If you're working on your home garden, then by all means save that $95.00 and start reading -- your local library will have all the books you need. Make friends with a neighbor who has a garden you like. Mostly, don't fall into the trap of conventionality or needing to think that you need to do everything at once. A garden is not only organic but calls for a long term organic process. Design software, regardless of the item being designed, is no magic bullet. (Much in the same way a word processor does not a writer make.)

If your not working on your home garden, then... er, what was the question?
posted by Dick Paris at 5:08 AM on December 31, 2003

I am working on my home garden, and I am learning about plants all the time (buying and borrowing books). However, I want a CAD app to help me visualise hardscaping and landscaping, and I want the ability to pick and choose plants from a database that has information about planting zones, seasonal colouring, etc.

I didn't say that $95 was too much. But it is a lot of money to spend on an app that may be only a hobby software. I have found since we bought our house that I not only like gardening, and garden design, but that I have a knack for it. I have friends who work for nurseries and run their own landscaping companies and they too think I have good ideas, and aptitude. And they have offered to bring me on board, if I desire. So, I want to use our garden as a way of learning about plants that can thrive in our region. In addition, I would like to try and apply my design skills (web, etc) to gardening. I feel comfortable in a computer-design environment (more than my rusting drawing skills), and so I want to see if someone can suggest an application that will help me.

Also, the 2 products I mentioned are not OS X apps, so no use spending $US95. ;)
posted by terrapin at 7:26 AM on December 31, 2003

Terrapin, let us know what you settle on. I see this question a lot and would like to have a ready answer for others.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:05 PM on December 31, 2003

I shall Mo, but I have a feeling that as soon as this thread is pushed off the front green it will die. :(
posted by terrapin at 12:11 PM on December 31, 2003

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