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Plant planning software ?

(17 Posts)
TheDogsMother Mon 27-Feb-17 12:44:17

We moved to our house a couple of years ago and the garden was extremely neglected. After much ripping out of Ivy and straggly shrubs/grasses etc we're left with a lovely walled space over two levels. I have managed to plant a couple of areas which look great for the duration of flowering (May/June). Does anyone know of software or an app which would help me plan types of plant for flowering and colour throughout the summer ? I can research what plant flowers when but it would be great to be able to plan it all out in a virtual garden. Any ideas would be much appreciated

shovetheholly Tue 28-Feb-17 07:20:52

I tend to use a pen and pad for plant choices, and a combination of lists and rough sketches. So watching with interest to see if there is a better technological solution! Whatever you use, I'd start with the structure - where do you want high things, how do you want the garden to flow etc.

TheDogsMother Tue 28-Feb-17 09:36:39

Thanks shovetheholly, I think that's probably the way to go. I've got some tracing paper which I could overlay onto a drawn plan. Broadly speaking the beds are there and probably just need a bit of reshaping. I need to think about what flowers when and if its suitable for that particular place in the garden (sun/shade etc). I have one raised bed I cleared and planted up two years ago with a Sarah Raven 'planting pack' and it is so lovely but only really in flower from late April to early June so I need to achieve the same success in other places for the other months. If you are planning a veg bed though I can recommend Garden Plan Pro.

shovetheholly Tue 28-Feb-17 11:37:36

I make a list. (Regulars will be fed up of me banging on about this). Months of the year down one side, aspect, conditions, colour scheme at the top, then your choices besides each! It really helps to focus the mind on parts of the year that you otherwise forget. It's hard to remember January in August! Designing from nothing is hard work- getting in your feature plants then working our what to plant at around 1m, 50cm and below 30 cm can be useful. I still haven't managed to get a bed in so that I haven't had to move multiple things though!!

TheDogsMother Tue 28-Feb-17 12:50:32

That sounds like a good, organised approach. So I guess I should do one of these for each area I plan to plant (or re-plant). I have some plants on order now and some I intend to look out for. I need to be a bit flexible so I can take advantage of cuttings/freebies to keep the cost down a bit. Thank you for providing me with a bit of focus !

shovetheholly Tue 28-Feb-17 17:37:27

Yes - one for each area, because differences in aspect and site mean conditions vary. I have a tiny suburban garden, but even then the left and right sides of it are very different!

Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons are brilliant for cheap plants! And growing from seed when you need a lot of repeat plants is cheap and relatively easy for some things.

TheDogsMother Tue 28-Feb-17 18:52:22

Thank you ! Off to get planning

TheDogsMother Wed 01-Mar-17 17:28:49

shove I thought I'd have a little look online anyway and found this

shovetheholly Thu 02-Mar-17 07:42:39

I've never heard of this - would be really interested to hear about your experience of using it! It does look good.

AstrantiaMajor Thu 02-Mar-17 08:34:55

I am no good with apps but I did google garden designs for how to go about it. I bought a pad wih squared paper and, using enough to redesign Kew Gardens, I stared with big shapes.

S, Z, T, upside down and side or side. Then I did big zig-zags, triangles, big rectangles and big circles and semi- cirlcles. I did all that before I put in plant ideas. I was trying to create a woodland walk feel even though my garden is tiny. I and ended up with an upside down Z over 3 levels.

After that I divided up 4 height levels of plants. More paper, another pad and finally got down to planning by season, colour and aspect.

TheDogsMother Thu 02-Mar-17 11:32:55

Wow Astrantia, what a great effort. It sounds really lovely. shove I watched the 10 minute demo and it looks great. It takes into account soil, positioning etc etc. You choose colours, contracts, styles. You can add in your existing plants and it comes up with a plan to take in the seasons. You can take out any plants you don't like and plan in others instead and it shows a photo of each plant and plant care details. After each change it will replan and show you a season by season layout. It takes in walls, fences etc and whether you want to grow things up them too. I think I'm going to take the plunge because I don't think I am as talented as you two smile

AstrantiaMajor Thu 02-Mar-17 12:41:45

In my case, definitely not talented. The landscaper suggested using a designer, but I did not want to do that until I had a clear idea of what I wanted. After weeks and weeks of drawings I kept coming back to the same plan. I also put my ideas on MN and got some great resoonses. I was really nervous about meeting the designer and showing her my bits of paper. I was very lucky that she immediately understood what I was saying and trying to achieve. She took my basic idea and added in 3 split levels and made areas wider . What she and the landscaper produced far exceeded my expectations.

shovetheholly Thu 02-Mar-17 13:29:47

dogs -you can see Astrantia's wonderful garden in her thread (called 'The landscapers have arrived'). She's done a magnificent job!

I am impressed by the season-by-season functionality on the software. I can see that being really useful! I think anything that gives people confidence in the garden is a great tool!

TheDogsMother Thu 02-Mar-17 14:34:40

Unfortunately I can't seem to find that thread but it sounds like it is very lovely. All that research and planning will really pay off. Astrantia do you get to sit back and enjoy your efforts this year smile

shovetheholly Thu 02-Mar-17 14:59:57

That's because I'm an idiot and I got the title wrong. Here you go:

AstrantiaMajor Thu 02-Mar-17 15:09:20

It is under my old name of Pithivier. Thank god for gardening threads on MN as I am terrified of boring people to death with it in real life.

TheDogsMother Thu 02-Mar-17 15:23:41

Astrantia that is gorgeous, such a transformation and I love the lighting. I am a big fan of Acers and grasses too. I have an Acer in a huge pot which has cracked. I'm going to have to replant it and was hoping to put i directly into the garden rather than another pot. I found a fabulous place for grasses at a little nursery that does mainly wholesale and they were cheap as chips so I have put several into a little space at the front. They look lovely blowing about in the wind.

Thanks Shove and Astrantia, I'm feeling inspired.

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