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Garden Design groups & software

Hello lovely fellow designers, I’m looking for some garden design advice from you. I’m in Yorkshire in the UK (photo of mine of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales), and I’m about to start my own garden design business up but I don’t seem to be able to find much in the way of relevant groups or forums, other than here obviously, to share ideas and get support and advice, do you know of any? Also I’m particularly interested in getting other garden designers input on design software like AutoCAD, Vectorworks or Photoshop, Lumion etc, which do you use, which do you like/not like and why?
Many thanks in advance
Karen Crawshaw



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    Have you tried the my garden design co Karen who are members on LJN ? I noticed an interesting article on here at the weekend . 

    Sounds like a very useful service when it comes to garden design .




  • The article John mentions was an interesting enough read. 

    My wife is the garden design side of the business, she subscribes to the journal of the society of garden designers, again it's an interesting enough read. Might be worth a look. Also the sgd have their own website so probably a forum on there too. 

  • Hi Karen,

    I use many different products but the main one for garden design is sketchup Pro. Combined with Layout I create 3D designs and translate them into 2D masterplans, planting plans, and 3D visualisations. There is a learning curve. The process that I developed takes me from survey through to finished plans. It allows me to create scaled and accurate technical drawings and accommodate the falls across the site.

    Once I have created the design  I create 3D renders and video walkthroughs to help my clients understand the design. I use Twinmotion for render but have used a couple of different products in the past including Enscape and Twilight Render.

    Here is a link to my youtube channel with a couple of designs that I have completed.



    I even create renders of my planting plans so that clients can see what their garden will look like. I would like to take it to the next level using VR.at some stage.



    There is a tough learning curve but I think it is worth it so if you head down this path stick with it. I find it reduces issues with landscapers as they can see what is required and helps clients to understand the design.

    You could do this without paying too much for software. There is a free version of Sketchup and Twilight Render for rendering.  You will also need photoshop and a PBR material package such as Materialize.

    Hope this helps.

    I am offering this as a service to other none IT capable garden designers.



    • Looks good Graeme, I've been trying to persuade Liz to give sketchup a try, but she's arty and likes doing her drawings. 

      • Hi Glen,

        I draw designs and hand rendered for years. Making changes was time consuming and technical drawings took forever. It is also very difficult to take the contours of a site into account accurately. Now everything is drawn to scale and changes are much easier to make. It is still just as creative. I still hand sketch my designs before translating them into a 3D model.

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