Winter Planning For Landscaping
It’s Winter…Time For Some Virtual Landscaping!
Online Resources Make Planning Your Spring Landscaping or Patio Project Easier
Over the winter, landscaping and patio construction are about the last things on most homeowners’ to do lists. But winter is a great time to snuggle in with a sketchpad (or iPad) and start roughing out ideas for that landscaping project you’ve had in the back of your mind.
In the “old days,” you’d pick up a few books on landscaping at the local library as idea starters. Today, you can find plenty of inspiration online. Besides thousands upon thousands of photos, there are also apps for planning and designing a landscaping project. These apps are great because they allow you to show us more or less exactly what you have in mind. We can then add our suggestions and give you a detailed estimate on what the project will cost.
There are apps for both landscaping professionals and for homeowners. As you can imagine, the ones intended for landscaping pros have considerably more capabilities than the ones intended for homeowners. They can also be pretty costly. As a homeowner, though, it’s worth considering some of the free apps available for both Apple and Android devices.
We’ve put together a list of what we consider the top 4 online landscaping apps…that are free. If you haven’t tried out any of these out yet, now’s the time.
Four FREE online landscape planning tools
1. iScape (for Apple devices)
iScape bills itself as “the easiest and best mobile gardening app available in todays market.” It has an easy-to-use format and is stocked with hundreds of photos of plants and hardscapes to provide a realistic rendering.
Operating the program is pretty intuitive. You start by snapping a photo of your home and landscape, then just drag and drop different ‘scapes’ into your design. Save what you like, or discard any versions that don't work for you.
iScape can be downloaded for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. A more feature-rich version is also available for an additional cost. At the time of this writing, there is only a Lite version available for Android. Plans are to release a full featured version for Android at some point.
Learn more about iScape and download the free version here.
2. Landscaping Design Ideas (for Apple devices)
Landscaping Design Ideas is a great collection of landscaping photos that can help give you ideas for your own landscaping project. There’s everything from planting and edging ideas to garden ponds and garden structures. There are also tips for the DIY’er.
The app lets you save images to your phone or iPad so you can easily show them to a landscape contractor (hopefully us!) to better communicate what it is you envision for your project. So, while not a design tool like some of the other apps, this one is great for inspiration and for explaining what you have in mind. Plus, you can’t beat the price!
Learn more about Landscape Design Ideas and download it for free.
3. Patio Designs (for Android devices)
Patio Designs is a lot like the Landscape Design Ideas app in that it is has a huge database of images that are great for inspiration or to help communicate to a contractor what you have in mind. Unlike the Landscape Design Ideas app, though, this one is available only for Android smartphones.
You can save images you like to your phone or tablet, so you have them handy when discussing a project with a contractor. Anything that helps you narrow down your options before meeting with a contractor is always a great idea. Two thumbs up from our patio design and installation crew!
Learn more about Patio Designs app and download it here.
4. Garden Design Ideas (for Android)
As this app’s name suggests, Garden Design Ideas is all about gardens. Loaded with thousands of gorgeous garden images, this app is a great place to go for inspiration if a new or revamped garden is on your wish list.
Garden Design Ideas has a very user-friendly interface and it’s easy to share images and save them to your phone so you can bring them up quickly when you’re meeting with a landscaper. Most reviewers give it high marks, us included.
Learn more or download Garden Design Ideas.
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"The owner truly cared about creating an authentic plan for my yard. I utilize the patio more than I ever expected to. The job took an extra week to finish, but the quality of the work and materials were worth it. Meticulous work."
– Cindy, Green Bay
“You did a great job, Tim, we could not be happier. We also enjoyed working with such a nice and professional person.”
– Michael, Fox Point
“Thank you for the beautiful landscaping job! So many people have commented on how nice it looks.”
– Marie, Wauwatosa
“Thank you for all your hard work on our project. We are thrilled with our patio and are very excited to complete the backyard landscaping this spring.”
– Jay, Fox Point