Search
  • Reva Saksena

What do you need to start planning and designing your garden?

Updated: Jul 4


Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

For starters, hold your hoses!


Too often, homeowners plant before they plan. It is sure enough that the sapling you just bought from the nursery motivated you to grow a beautiful garden in your backyard. Or perhaps that piece of décor you picked up last week needs a place to flaunt. What better than a backdrop of pretty dahlias behind it? But can Dahlias really thrive in your region and climate?


Before you begin to list down what you want in your garden, it’s best to assess what you already have. Careful planning will help you avoid errors that may interfere with your final landscape design, such as improper plant selection or placement. We had briefly discussed some basics of landscape and garden design last week.


It is often best to start with drawing a base plan of your land parcel. It will help you become familiar with all its existing features. You may find the following items handy while drawing a plan:

  1. Large white paper (or)

  2. 1/10- or 1/8-inch Graph paper (easier to use)

  3. Solid table or board to draw on

  4. Masking tape to hold the paper in place

  5. Ruler or scale marked in eighths or tenths of an inch

  6. Lead pencil

  7. Eraser

  8. Lightweight, “see-through” tracing paper

  9. T-square, triangle, circle template, and compass

If you find the old-school approach of manual drawing tedious, you could plan things digitally. With increasing digitisation in architecture, allied fields like landscape design are catching up. These days, software applications that specialise in Landscape Design have opened new doors for designers and enthusiasts alike. Here are some popular software apps you can use to plan and design your garden.


Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad
Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

1. Garden Planner

A highly user-friendly accessible garden and landscaping design tool. It has an easy drag-and-drop interface and access to a comprehensive library. The latest version has a 3D view feature, but all planning is in 2D. The app does not offer photo-real rendering or light calculations. The simple app is best for producing a plan to consult with a designer. It is available for both Windows PC and Apple Mac. The pricing is reasonable with a one-off fee with no subscriptions and no in-app purchases.


2. PRO Landscape

PRO Landscape is a very basic tool for exploring landscaping ideas. It starts with the user clicking pictures of the land parcel. Subsequently, plants, grass, pavers, furniture, etc. can be placed into the scene. The app is free to install but access to extended library components needs to be purchased. Available on iOS, Android, and Kindle.


Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

3. iScape

This is an iOS application that gathers data about the existing space and uses Augmented Reality (AR) to overlay the existing features with the designed new ones. The app has a huge library of pick-drop elements. A virtual tour allows viewing the garden from different points. This tool is free and easy to use, provided you have an Apple device.


4. Lands Design

This is a sophisticated application most suitable for professionals. This requires prior knowledge of design tools like AutoCAD and Rhinoceros. As a plugin of Rhino, it includes freeform landscape modelling, a database of more than 1800 plant species, an urban furniture library, and both 2D and 3D representations. It can also generate virtual tours. The finished designs can be exported.


5. Realtime Landscaping

This is the ultimate digital tool for Landscape Design. It offers a variety of professional solutions that enable designers and homeowners to create an accurate model of a house and its surrounding area. The changes are then designed. It enables a landscape gardener to present ideas for approval, accurate costings and even generates an invoice once the work is complete. Landscape lighting and other conditions can be well simulated. Realtime Landscaping has four versions meant for specific sectors. It has Architect, for those that work with CAD, Pro and Plus that are meant for designers, and a basic tool called Photo.


(All information on apps from TechRadar)

Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

The benefits of designing a garden digitally are many. For one, it is very easy to digitally edit, add or update your base plan. These digital operations are user-friendly and efficient. On the professional front, accurate plans make for accurate pricing. This is essential for having a working idea of costs and effort put into the design. Most software apps have involved features to determine an accurate cost estimate. Digital planning allows for modelling the location, documenting the amendments, and visually realising the finished product. This can have a significant improvement on the schedule, planning, construction time, and budget of the project.

Reva Saksena, Srishti Mehta, Ipsita Choudhury, Architects, Architecting, Architecture, Architectural, Landscape, Garden, Design, Planning, Sustainable, Green, Landscaping, Sustainability, Greenery, Gardening, Landscaped, Gardened, Zeyka, Zeyka India, Architecture, Interior Design, Home Renovation, Construction, Tech, Design, Project Management Consulting, Architect, Architects, Interior, Interiors, Interior Designer, Interior Designers, Modular Wardrobe, Modular Bathroom, Modular Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom, Kid's Room, Pooja Room, Garden Design, Landscape Design, False Ceiling, Balcony, New Delhi, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad

While planning digitally may be more efficient, planning manually on a sheet of paper has its own benefits. Manual drawing allows you to achieve more clarity since all shapes, objects, and elements on site are visible together on a single sheet. Also, no training or proficiency in software is required. It is a cost-efficient method since most equipment is commonly available with the house.


Eventually, both the manual and digital approaches are equally valid. It is best to use one you are most comfortable and familiar with. Gear up with all your tools as we proceed to the first step setting out: how to draw a base plan for a garden.




* * *



About the Writer

Reva Saksena is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She has experience working at SiteLens Cultural Research Division of India Lost and Found (ILF) by Amit Pasricha. She is the winner of the "2021 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition.”


About the Editor

Srishti Mehta is the author of "From the Land of Mist and Snow: Haikus from Antarctica". She is a creative writer, editor and publisher. She is the Editor-in-Chief at Zeyka. She is a graduate of the St. Xavier College, Ahmedabad, and the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, University of Mumbai (MU). She has been the India Ambassador of the International Antarctica Expedition (2018) with 2041 Foundation. She has diverse volunteer experience in natural field studies, explorations, and journalism with numerous organisations including the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai.


About the Illustrator

Ipsita Choudhury is an undergraduate architecture student at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She is a writer, artist, illustrator and graphic designer. She is an Observation and Action Network (OAN) Fellow 2020 for The Centre for The Living City, UDC and NASA. She was a semi-finalist in the “2019 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition.”

59 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All