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The 8 Best Free Online Landscape and Garden Design Tools

While you could plan your garden or landscape design just by using your own imagination, visualizing it on paper or on a design software usually yields better results. You don’t have to spend money on expensive software to plan out a patio, deck, or garden—you can access plenty of free tools right from your browser. That way, you can focus your expenditures on plants and accessories for your yard.

Are you ready to give your backyard a makeover? Check out these free landscape design software that you can access online.



BHG Plan-a-Garden

If you’re looking to beautify your backyard, Better Homes & Gardens’ Plan-a-Garden is a great way to bring your vision to life. You simply have to sign up for an account, and then you’ll gain access to the drag and drop backyard design tool.

Upon opening the tool, you’ll be presented with a sketch of a home. You can click Change Background to change the image to any of the other sketches listed here, which consist of various styles of homes and yards. If you can’t find one that’s similar to your own home, you can even upload your own picture.

Once you’ve chosen an image, you can sift through the elements on the left side of the screen. In the Plants section, you’ll find trees, bushes, and vegetables that you can drag and drop into your design. The Structures tab houses a variety of lawn decor that you can drop in to your yard, while Textures lets you “paint” in a lawn or patio.

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Unfortunately, some of the elements are locked behind a paywall, but there are still plenty of free plants, structures, and textures to choose from.


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The Gardena myGarden tool is very handy, especially if you’re looking to install a smart sprinkler system. You can start out by drawing the shape of your garden and yard, or by choosing a pre-made garden template.

Once you create the plot of land, you can add houses, trees, fences, furniture, ponds, pools, and more to make the drawing resemble your yard. Since this tool is more focused on landscaping, it won’t provide you with an extensive amount of information about different plants and vegetables.

If you’re thinking about a sprinkler system, simply navigate to the Sprinkler Plan tab on the left-hand menu. You don’t need to use any complex calculations to place your sprinklers or pipeline, as Gardena will automatically do that for you based on the size of your yard.

To visualize this season’s crops, register for an account on VegPlotter and design your garden. It’s one of the best gardening sites for beginners. Start out by dragging and dropping garden plots under the Add Beds tab to mimic your actual (or potential) garden arrangement.

Navigate to the Plant This Month tab to add plants to your garden. VegPlotter automatically filters out any plants that aren’t in season. If you want to plan, you can adjust the season by changing the month at the top of the screen.

VegPlotter allows you to play around with your overall landscape as well. Head to the Add Structures section to place anything from beehives, brick walls, fences, sheds, greenhouses, and pavement to your yard.

If you like VegPlotter, you may also enjoy our round-up of the best mobile apps to help with planting.


timbertech deck designer

Are you considering installing a deck in your backyard? In this case, the TimberTech Deck Designer is your go-to tool for visualizing your new addition. You can choose from and customize several templates, or you can start from scratch if you’d like.

For a head start, click View Inspiration. This function lets you view a 3D rendition of your dream deck and change the color of the deck and railings. If you want to work with a specific deck size and style, select View Templates from the main menu. Alternatively, hit Build Your Own if you want full control over your deck’s layout.

The TimberTech Deck Designer gives you a ton of customization options. Not only can you change the deck width, colors, and type, but you can also add doors, pools, railings, and even change the surrounding environment.


Marshalls Paver Design Planner Tool

A stone patio is a beautiful addition to any backyard—these fun spaces allow you to relax during hot days and maybe even have a barbecue. After you sign up for an account, you can access the planner. This tool provides you with a clean-cut blueprint to inspire your design ideas.

When you start a new project, you’ll have to input the length and width of your paving area. Click Draw your paving area, and the planner will generate a preliminary plan.

In order to customize the shape of your patio, click Change Shape. You can decide on a square, rectangle, L-shape, circle, or semicircle paving area. Bring your blueprint to life by adding a border and changing your desired pavement type. You can incorporate some charming paving circles into your design as well.


SmartDraw landscape design

SmartDraw is a handy tool that you can use to create flowcharts, floor plans, organizational charts, and diagrams. In addition to all this good stuff, it also offers a free landscape design software directly on its website.

The best part of SmartDraw’s tool is that you don’t have to start from scratch. You can browse through several templates to find the blueprint that looks most like the yard you’ve been dreaming of.

Once you select a template, you’ll get to take advantage of the wide array of design tools offered by SmartDraw—drag and drop landscape furniture, greenery, and even a pool into your drawing. This easy-to-use, yet powerful tool can also rearrange each of these elements, as well as change their size.


Lowe's Deck Design tool

Lowe’s Deck Designer can help you find a vision for your new deck. When you start up the tool, you can draw your own deck or use a sample as a base design.

Either way, the deck designer gives you the ability to customize the decking, railings, and substructure sizes. Any time you want to get technical with your 3D deck design, hit the Modify Layout button in the top-right corner of the screen to edit the deck’s blueprint.

The deck elements you include in your design are all available for purchase through Lowe’s. When you’re done building your deck, select Product List at the bottom of the left sidebar—this gives you a rundown of your future deck’s cost.


homebyme

HomeByMe is a powerful home design tool that gives you an in-depth look at your next backyard project. Not only does the HomeByMe design planner let you design the interior of your home, but it also comes equipped with a comprehensive landscape design tool.

When you start designing your backyard, you can easily incorporate a garden, patio, and driveway of different shapes and sizes. This is in addition to the variety of outdoor furniture and decorations you can include as well.

In case you need some inspiration for your design, you can head to the site’s Inspiration tab to see backyard designs created by other users.

Just keep in mind that the free version of HomeByMe only allows you to have three saved projects at once, and only allows you to create three realistic renderings. That said, the free version is still worth a shot.

Fortunately, you don’t have to invest tons of time and money in a high-tech program to envision your ideal backyard. These free landscape design software allow you to construct decks, patios, and gardens right from your browser.


Better yet, none of these free tools require extensive design skills. All you require is some creativity and a sense of what you want your yard or garden to look like.


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