What computer program will help me do a drawing like this?

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

The attached photo is from Tips for Designing Perennial Beds and Borders by Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/tips-for-designing-perennial-beds-and-borders.html). I am designing a new very large bed, and I have pre-purchased hundreds of plants for it already. I tried using a landscape program (Realtime Landscaping Plus 2012 Trial), but I found it hard to use (admittedly, I wasn't willing to give much time to learning it, but I plan to use it only once), and all I really need is to be able to place and move around plants on a grid, taking into account their mature width and height. (I'm not doing any hardscaping.) Ideally I'd like each disk to represent the plant's mature width, and for each plant to be labeled with its name and mature height, since I'd like tall plants in the back and short plants in the front.

Writing it on pencil on graph paper will be a nightmare, once I start rearranging. I'd prefer to do it on the computer, but I don't know what program to use.

Any suggestions?

Thumbnail by happy_macomb
Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

As my grandson would say "I have NO idea"............but from the diagram, it will look really nice. Good luck.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

LOL -- that's not my design! But I need to map out something. At this point, I think I'll just use pen and paper.... I haven't found software that is easy enough to do what I need -- I don't want to learn to use something that is more sophisticated than I need....

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

MS paint (once you build a shape you can simply copy and paste as many of them as you need) is included in every instance of windows.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Dyson; that could be perfect. I'll look for a tutorial on-line. I've not used it before.

Found it! http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows-vista/Using-Paint.

So I just draw out the shapes I want on some portion of the screen, and then copy-and-paste the shapes over to my working drawing?

This message was edited Sep 11, 2012 2:34 PM

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Believe it or not I have used this program to do complicated electronics schematics. Once you have a "library" of drawn shapes in one file you can copy and paste them to your working drawing. The older versions of windows does seem to be more user friendly (though I have copies of newer I am still using XP).

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Dyson: That's what I can't figure out -- how to develop a library of drawn shapes. I also can't figure out how to make things a particular size -- for example, what if I want all lines to be 1" long, and all circles 1" in diameter (in relationship to markings on a graph). I don't know how to control for that. I can do it approximately, but can I force a particular size?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Take a look at Open office, which is now Libre Office. It has a suite of basic drawing tools and you have rulers along the edge to help size and position things. This is a drawing I made quickly. The blue shape is stock at two different sizes and copied so that they are all the same size. The aqua one is one I drew freehand and then copied.

I exported it as a PDF and then imported it into GIMP so that I could save it as a jpeg to attach here. None of that is necessary to use it for what you want. I assume Open Office has the same functions in windows as it does in Linux. It is a free download.

Thumbnail by Doug9345
Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Open the paint program draw the shape that you want, draw the next shape., etc save file. When you need a shape open file secect (W/box tool) copy open working drawing paste.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh, ok; so nothing special? Just the way I might save paragraphs of text to a Word file and cut and paste from them as needed? I thought there was a special "library" I was supposed to save to.

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

Nope - You just build your own "paint" file copy from it to your working file.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I use Visio which is in the Microsoft Office package. It has a planting "shapes" tab with a variety of simplified shapes.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I don't see Visio in my Office package....

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I seem to have it in my MS Office 2007 edition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Visio

Rocky Mount, VA(Zone 7a)

I have a copy of viso around here somewheres I'll have to check that out.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I don't see it in my version of Office 2010.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

It may be part of the Office suite of products, but I think you have to have one of the high end expensive versions of Office to get it included. I've never had it in any version of Office that I've had either at home or at work so I don't think it's part of the standard package.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks -- that makes sense. I probably could use a version of Visio on my computer at work (I'm guessing we have it there), but I don't need (or want) a program with a lot of options to learn, so I'll be fine with paint or the like (once I figure out how to use it).

Washington, MO(Zone 6a)

If you've "pre-purchased hundreds of plants" already, isn't it a BIT late to start the design process?

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

LOL! Well, I need to make sure the tall ones go in the back, and the short ones in the front, and that I leave enough space around the ones that will grow really large, etc. And I need to space them well enough that I don't run out of plants. It would have been easier to work the other direction, but I was grabbing at plant sales all summer because I knew this would be my big autumn project....

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