Best landscaping software in 2021: free and paid, for Windows, Mac, Linux and online


The best landscaping software makes designing outdoor spaces simple and easy.

The best landscaping software

Gone are the days of paper-based landscaping, as software makes garden design much easier. The ability to digitally edit and add to your plans to update them is more user-friendly and efficient.

This especially becomes the case once you start getting into professional landscaping gardening, where precise plans allow for accurate pricing, which is essential for getting a clear idea of ​​costs and effort.

By using a software package to model the location, document changes, and visually achieve the finished product, the chances of it arriving on time and on budget are dramatically improved.

Since it is much easier to change things on the computer than to move a dug hole in the wrong place for a swimming pool or to place a tree which obscures an unobstructed view.

But the layout is only part of what a good landscaping software can offer, as some contain expertise in planting, water feature design, and a host of other features. useful.

Here are the best landscaping software platforms that can put you on the right track.


(Image credit: Lands Design)

1. Land design

Ambitious landscaping software

Reasons to buy

+2D and 3D output+Interfaces to AutoCAD

Reasons to avoid

He needs Rhino

The site for Land design describes its product as a ‘work in progress’, but it is much more sophisticated than this label might suggest. Lands Design first appeared in 2012, and the ninth beta was made available in July 2019.

Where this product is different from the others is that it is not a standalone tool, but a plugin for the Rhino 3D modeling tool. Therefore, using Lands Design requires a Rhino version, although it can also be used with AutoCAD.

If you have Rhino, this is a remarkably powerful solution that includes free-form landscape modeling, a database of over 1,800 plant species, a library of street furniture, and 2D and 3D representations.

Using Rhino’s renderers, it can turn a design into a photo-real representation, and it can also generate walkthroughs. Buildings and furniture can also be imported from AutoCAD and finished designs exported to this platform if required.

With all the power of Rhino beneath the surface, this solution is not for those tinkering with landscape gardening, but for professionals who are likely to work with architects.


(Image credit: iScape)


Landscaping in augmented reality

Reasons to buy

+Easy to use+Augmented reality+Free for home use

Reasons to avoid

Apple devices only Does not export designs

Say you bought a new house and you were trying to decide how the garden could be redeveloped, then iScape could be for you.

This software uses an Apple iPhone or iPad to collect data on existing space and then, using augmented reality, overlay those existing features with new ones.

The beauty of this solution is that you can walk around with the phone and see what the new garden will look like from different points of view, and adjust if a tree is blocking the view, or the like.

iScape has a huge selection of trees, plants, fences and other garden accessories that you can drop in the virtual garden and then move to the exact location where you want this functionality.

And, to speed up the process, items can be mirrored, copied, and cloned.

It’s not a CAD tool for creating exact models, but it does provide a great method for trying out the options and getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

Our only caveat is that you need to own an Apple phone or tablet to use it, with developers ignoring the much larger Android market.

This tool is free, but you can upgrade to a Pro version designed for landscaping professionals to use it to promote their services.


(Image credit: little blue printer)

3. Garden planner

A cheap and cheerful tool

Reasons to buy

+Very user friendly+Plant customization

Reasons to avoid

Maybe too basic for some

Garden planner by Small Blue Printer is an accessible garden and landscaping design tool that is available for both Windows PC and Apple Mac. On either platform, it’s a drag-and-drop interface where objects are selected from an extensive library and simply added to the design.

Once the placement of plants, furniture, and items is complete, Garden Planner will create a selection of notes including a list of everything added and any notes you created while working on the project.

New in version 3.7 concerns 3D views, but all planning is in 2D. The representation of plants and paving is very stylized, and it does not offer photo-real rendering or light calculations. What it does have is the ability to add your own plants and control their appearance.

Overall, this is a straightforward tool with limited purposes. But, if these are to produce a map of a garden with modifications to give to a landscaper, then this might be ideal.

The price of Garden Planner is very simple; one-time fees with no subscription or in-app purchase. Site licenses are also available, as well as educational offerings for up to 500 computers.


(Image credit: PRO Landscape)

4. Landscape PRO

Landscaping in figures

Reasons to buy

+Simple+Works on iOS, Android and Kindle+To free

Reasons to avoid

May have stability issues

Landscape PRO has an interesting approach to landscaping that starts with using a phone or tablet to take photos of the area you want to redevelop.

Using the image as a starting point, plants, grass, mulch, pavers, furniture, etc. can be placed in the scene

This product is funded by in-app purchases. The product is free to download and install, but you pay to access the extensive library of plants, pavers, and more.

It also contains advertisements that may direct you to the local landscaping service and dealers. These are useful, but the selection of free plants is very limited and does not take into account the user’s location and their garden.

PRO Landscape is a very basic product for exploring landscaping ideas. If you want to produce blueprints or detailed instructions for a landscaper to follow, this probably isn’t the tool for you.


(Image credit: Idea Spectrum)

5. Real-time landscaping

The ultimate digital excavator

Reasons to buy

+Powerful modeler+Massive library of objects and plants+Costing and invoicing

Reasons to avoid

Great facility

Some landscaping products are intended for home use and have limited functionality, but Real-time landscaping is not one of them.

What it offers is a variety of different professional solutions, which allow designers and homeowners to create an accurate model of a house and its surroundings and then design modifications.

It allows a landscaper to present ideas for approval along with specific costs to the homeowner, and even invoice once the work is completed.

The images created by the system are stylized, look very professional and what is depicted is very clear. You can simulate landscape lighting if that’s part of your project, and the system can handle elevation changes and curved property lines.

The creators, Idea Spectrum, have four different versions of Realtime Landscaping aimed at specific industries. It has Architect, for those who work with CAD, and Pro and Plus which are aimed at designers, and a basic Photo tool.

The main difference between Plus and Pro is that the latter has water features (ponds, streams, waterfalls, and fountains) and custom pools.

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