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See your garden plan virtually before you plant! 5 online resources for spring gardening

Make a garden plan online before you head to the nursery.

There’s an app for everything, including garden and landscape design! Whether you’re planning your first garden or adding plants to your existing landscape, there are lots of high-tech design resources to help you with your project.

Cynthia Bee, a sustainable landscapes expert, shared a few resources that make project planning easier.


The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a great app that, while national, has localized features.

“You can go right to your local area and actually pinpoint other gardens. People can put their notes in so you can see how someone a mile or two away from you actually planted their yard, what they did, and what they worked with in their gardens,” Cynthia explained.

It’s a great place to start if you’re planning a vegetable garden. Cynthia said the graphics are a bit cheesy, but the information is functional.


Localscapes is a statewide landscape style created just for Utah. They offer free Park Strip designs, which you can download from their website. You can also visit the Conservation Garden Park website to see those plants in an actual garden.

“All the plants they’re showing on that website have been installed at the garden, so you can experience it before you choose it,” Cynthia said.

Some areas may not allow you to have lawn in your park strip, but there are plants you can add instead.

“Anyone in Utah can flip a park strip, no matter what your HOA might say about it. But, we still want you to do it in a way that generates a beautiful outcome,” Cynthia clarified.

Most of the plants that are downloadable are specifically for northern Utah, so for our southern Utah friends, Cynthia recommends working through Red Desert Hills Garden.

“They’ll show you more of the plants for that area,” she said.

Plant Select

For those planning a full planting bed area, Plant Select is a plant brand that develops plants for our climate.

“If you look in your nursery and see a plant with the Plant Select tag, you’ll know that it works in our climate,” Cynthia explained.

They offer preplanned gardens online designed by top designers. You can download these plans and tweak them to fit your space.

“You’ll know how to layer those plants together in a way that looks really good, and it’s a really good place to start if you’re new,” Cynthia emphasized.


Simplyscapes is a Utah-based company that creates photo design software. You can upload a photo of your house and start playing with plants to see what it would look like in your own landscape.

“They’re working with designers to create some pre-designed combos, and you can get a pretty accurate picture of what your yard will look like,” Cynthia said.

The software is designed for homeowners and is intended to be simple.

“Because it’s designed for homeowners, you just pay by the design. You can try it for free, and then if you want to do something more complex, you can go back in and update for about ten bucks,” Cynthia explained.

Progressive Plants

For larger landscape projects, Progressive Plants, a wholesale grower out of Copperton, can help. They deliver all over the state and have created online tools to help you select your plants. You can order them online and see if they’re available.

“You can learn more about what works and what doesn’t. You can pre-select things and then if they don’t have it in stock, you can sign up to be notified when they do,” Cynthia said.

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