The Best in Landscape Design Software

Jessica Foust from TopTenREVIEWS explains their top three picks for landscaping software and why you should try it.

Getting the yard ready for summer can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Landscape design software will help you plan and even see how the finished yard will look before spending a dime or picking up a shovel.

Landscape design software will help you map out your property so you have an exact view that will enable you to plan more accurately. You can do this by importing a picture of your house or using one of many house and yard templates.

Once you’ve got a good view of your yard it’s time to design features to go with your house. This is where you add flowers, trees, and even decks, pools, and sandboxes. Most landscaping software includes hardiness zone maps to help you choose the right plants for your area, climate, and even soil type. Once you’ve sketched, drawn and tweaked your layout, you can use the software to see how your landscape matures and see what it will look like five, ten, or twenty years from now.

TopTenREVIEWS has compared landscaping software based on ease of use, ability to visualize the yard, and features. After reviewing the software, TopTenREVIEWS recommends these top three products as the best in landscaping software:

1. IDEA Spectrum’s Realtime Landscaping Plus:

The software is truly easy to use and the landscapes we created were vivid and precise. In no other software we tested could we create such beautiful designs in so little time. All of the designs are done in real time and in 3D.

Anyone can use this product and make their yard look fantastic. Once you’ve mapped out your yard, Realtime has over 7,600 3D plants and objects to drag and drop right into your yard. When you’re finished designing your landscape, you can view it in a 3D panorama walkthrough. It’s easy to create and you don’t need a heavy-duty computer to watch it like you would with the #2 and #3 products.

2. Punch! Software’s Home and Landscape Design:

Visually the landscape designs in this software are among the best. They’re not quite as clean and vivid as found in Realtime Landscaping Plus, but there is plenty to help turn your yard into a great escape.

It takes a little time to learn how to design landscapes with Home and Landscape Design. There are terms, tools, and concepts that may be challenging. Luckily, they’ve included helpful tutorials to help you get started.
The object library is huge. It has objects from trellises, shrubs, and pools. But because it’s literally two products in one with landscape and home design it also has kitchen cabinets, interior furniture, bathroom fixtures and more.

3. Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer:

This program has great visual aesthetics, is user friendly, and has detailed documentation. The interface is a little hard to get used to and it’s hard to find some templates. Landscaping and Deck Designer doesn’t have nearly as many library objects as other programs. However, there are still plenty of trees, plants, and flowers to add to your landscape.

This is a great product for the average home user and even landscaping pros. We would have rated it higher if it had as many tools as Home and Landscape Design or was as easy to use as Realtime Landscaping Plus.

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