Backyard Designs - Easy with Landscape Design Software


Patios, shrubs, trees, vines, hedges, paths and garden furniture transform ordinary backyards into miniature landscaped estates that successfully conceal unattractive storage areas and provide outdoor seclusion to homeowners. A successful yard design can be made with best landscape design online software for all of your project needs from tree planting, patio design, irrigation systems and more. Don’t forget the critical hidden aspects of well-designed backyard designs.



There are many free trial backyard designs software programs that help homeowners design their ideal backyard space. Many landscaping design tools feature thousands of hardscape graphics such as brick and stone patterns for patio design and walkways; tree and plant graphics such as groundcovers, plantings, trees, shrubs, and flowers; plus backyard deck designs and irrigation system components.


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Landscaping apps make backyard design with walkway and flower beds
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To begin to understand how to design a backyard landscape, first make a sketch of the lot with its neighboring space and pinpoint the house in its relative position. Rows of coniferous trees, such as pines, spruces, and firs, can be planted as landscape edging to screen unpleasant views of sheds, garages, telephone poles and other tall and imposing features found in neighboring yards and alleys. Moreover, colorful rock and wall gardens can be erected and planted to sufficient heights to hide garbage pails and HVAC outdoor units. Landscape design software is indispensable for this first step in that it allows you to customize all aspects of your backyard designs so that it is personalized all the way down to where you have each individual sprinkler head.

A sunny spot in a backyard design and flower garden


This ability to create a custom landscaping plan is one of the reasons that make backyard planning software so valuable for homeowners. The best 3D landscape design software will have numerous tools to visualize your outdoor space. You should look for a backyard design tool that offers real-time walkthroughs of your landscape so that you can envision exactly what your design of backyard will look like. This feature creates a three dimensional representation of any backyard landscaping you design and shows what the space would look like if you were walking through at the time. 

With the landscape design software program, determine the location of the landscaping areas to be screened from everyday view and define the placement of the outstanding bright spot in the outdoor decorative scheme that will be seen from vantage points in the house and in the street. Paths leading from the house to the pool, or patio to the garden, should be laid out to wind naturally through the planning and to command its most effective views. Many landscaping software for backyard patio design ideas showcase an image database with an extensive range of landscaping hardscape features including architecture, stone and retention walls, walkways and steps, pavers and patios, landscape rocks, wood fences, wrought iron fences, water features, outdoor lighting, and outdoor furniture.


It is important to consider the critical hidden aspects of well-designed backyard designs. Water supply pipes for pools, fountains and irrigating systems, as well as drainage, should be planned from the start. Drainage is provided by removing any clay top soil and spading in a layer of course gravel or cinders. After placing large foundation rocks, build up the desired elevation, allowing ample space between rocks for root growth and drainage. Fertile soil should be filled in between the vertical rows of rocks. The outside or protruding stones should be of irregular shape and arranged so that they form pockets to catch and hold water for the plants. Irregularity in placing these rocks, as well as those around the base of the mound, will give the backyard garden a natural appearance. A few large rocks are better than many small ones, and flat stones are rather ineffective. There are several great 3D landscape design software products available, most begin with a free trial download to examine the software. More advanced software downloads will include the opportunity to lay out a virtual irrigation system or pool filter pipe plan before the trees and shrubs design begins.


The months of April and August are usually best for establishing a rock garden, one of the most popular backyard landscaping design ideas, when designing a backyard. An effective procedure is to survey the garden carefully before planting and try to visualize an effective arrangement of rocks, shrubs and plants. Group similar vegetation of parallel growing habits into colonies. Take into account the original habitat of each plant and strive to duplicate natural conditions. Position the plants that want sunshine on the south slope. If you choose Alpine poppies, provide the things they want – sun, wind, and a well-drained soil. Those that bloom at off seasons will keep the backyard rock garden interesting and full of color many months of the year. Some landscape design software incorporates an aging feature that projects plant growth; a shadow casting feature indicating where shadows will fall throughout the day and the changing seasons; and a cost estimate and material list generator. Such a backyard design program is indispensable for this step of backyard landscaping.



A running water feature adds activity to a backyard rock garden. The water supply may be tapped in at the basement or crawlspace and fed to a waterfall from beneath a top rock. Realistic fake or artificial boulders and rock covers will adequately conceal the supply pipe. An informal water feature pond, made by excavating a depression much like a natural pond, is the center of interest around which the design is laid out. The basin may be of clay, although concrete is more permanent. Many stores carry a large selection of container fountains and pond kits for the DIY landscaper.

Landscaper’s Companion App is a top gardening app.

A water garden can be created in the pond, where various species of water plants native to your locality can be planted. Cattails, water tulips, hyacinths and water lilies are the most common wetland plants.  Three or four lily pots will take care of the main varieties and colors. Because of the large leaf spread, it is best to have a separate container for each lily and to keep them 3 to 5 feet apart. Stones can be used to hold the containers up to the correct height for starting young plants. Shallow water plants, or aquatics, should be planted in containers separate from the lilies. Oxygenating plants in the pond can be relied upon to keep the water pure and clear. Landscaper’s Companion App is a top gardening app that provides, at your fingertips, a comprehensive plant encyclopedia with more than 26,000 plants and vegetables, alphabetized and separated into 16 categories including houseplants and vegetables plus 21,000 color photos. Each plant page includes a profile with the plant’s zone, growth rate, water and sun requirements, color and typical height and width. 


Better Homes and Gardens free garden planner for backyard designs.

A sunny spot in backyard designs is best for the flower garden. If a spot where water tends to settle must be used in order to carry out the garden as planned, drainage can be provided by removing both top and subsoil to a depth required for the particular flowers to be grown. In the bottom, place a layer of scrap rocks and old bricks and cover with good soil. The best free backyard landscape design software will provide an extensive plant library with information about each plant, symbols to add water features, and templates for decks and patios to help you visualize and plan your exterior landscaping and garden spaces.  It is easy to design your own backyard garden — flower, vegetable or rock garden — online with the help of free garden planners like the Better Homes & Gardens Plan-A-Garden. Before you venture outside with your shovel, visit one of several virtual gardens websites with a free online garden planner and landscape design online solutions to design the flower garden in the center of your backyard landscape - quickly, easily and online. 

Watering of the new backyard lawn and garden can be made easy by providing enough outlets so that a hose can be attached at convenient places, or by installing an irrigation system fed from pipes laid above or under the ground. Watering is usually most beneficial in the early morning or late afternoon and evening. A thorough watering once a week is more advisable than a light sprinkling daily. Professional landscape design software, such as Realtime Landscaping Architect by IdeaSpectrum, offers detailed 2D and 3D landscape designs plus ability to plan irrigation systems. For the backyard landscape, it is easy to add sprinklers, piping, and other symbols and set the coverage angle and radius of each sprinkler head as needed. Many different types of backyard designs are available in Realtime Landscaping Architect through large libraries of symbols, color washes, hatch patterns, gradients, and more.

Pictures of Backyard Designs





If an irrigation system is not practical, it is possible to grow flowers, such as saxifrage, columbine and fleabane in dry soil where artificial watering is unworkable. Vines are valuable for their many characteristics and qualities. They add vertical mass to the garden as well as fruit, foliage or flowers, depending on the kinds selected. Vines can be made to hide ugly architecture and, when trained on posts, fences or trellised will screen off objectionable views.

Rapid climbers are available for quick covering. With a free online gardening app you can leave the heavy plant and flower reference book on your desk and just bring along a lightweight tablet with an app to identify plants, their ornamental characteristics, propagation tips, culture requirements, and suggested uses for backyard outdoor ideas. In addition to each plant's physical description, there is also an expansion of details regarding hardiness, growth rate, diseases, and insects.


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