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Top 10 Free Landscape Design Software Tools for Creating Your Dream Garden

August 12, 2022
6.7K Views

computer design software


There are a plethora of landscape design software programs available online, and some can even be used directly in a web browser without downloading any software to your PC. However, most of them may collect user information or contain malware or other malicious software that could compromise the security of computers.

So, the question is, which of these software programs are worth using and can be downloaded from online sources without compromising your privacy and security? That’s what we will discuss and answer in this article.

In this article, we'll look at the best free landscape design software on the market, so you can start designing your garden right away.

1. SketchUp Free

Sketchup homepage


SketchUp is one of the best tools to be used for 3D modeling software on the web — no strings attached. Using this software website version, you can bring your 3D design to life and have your SketchUp files and projects with you wherever you go. This program allows you to design your landscape in the best way possible.

So, whether you build a better landscape or want to design buildings architecture, SketchUp free will help you visualize your ideas.

Features:

  • SketchUp for Web: SketchUp’s core 3D modeler runs right in your web browser without downloading any software tool.

  • Cloud storage: You will be given Trimble Connect storage of 10GB on the cloud. This storage can be used to share your projects and collaborate with your teammates.  

  • Mobile model viewing: View 3D models on your mobile device with the SketchUp Viewer app.

  • Interoperability: Import SKP, JPG, and PNG file types and export SKP, PNG, and STL file types.

  • 3D Warehouse: Access user-generated and manufacturer-produced models to give the context and life of your project.

  • Free: The platform is completely free to use. All you need is an internet connection. No credit card is required.

Pros:

  • Best for practicing

  • Basic usage and features

  • Simple-to-use interface and tools

Cons:

  1. Lots of "bug splat" crashes;

  2. Can't always create complex geometries without plug-ins;

  3. Only one employee can work in the model at once, so there is no collaboration feature.                  

2. WPS Office

WPS homepage


WPS Office Suite is a complete all-in-one business management software suite that helps you manage your office, personal, and education tasks successfully. You can use it for making landscape designs and using these designs to share them across online platforms in document format using the built-in Word, PDF, and presentation features.

Features:

This tool is a multi-functional tool. You can draw your design very easily. You’ll get a lot of design and editing options that can assist you in generating a perfect Backyard design. Moreover, you can then share and collaborate on design files within the WPS software suite.

Pros:

  • WPS acts as a cross-platform software tool, including multiple software programs that can be used both on mobile devices, including Android and iPhone, and computer devices, such as PC, Mac, and Linux desktop computers.

  • WPS Office includes multiple editions, including free and paid ones. However, the free one is economical to use where you can access all the basic features of the product.

Cons:

The visualization sector is poor and needs a bit of improvement

3.SmartDraw

smartdraw flowchart window

SmartDraw is a flowchart and landscape design software product that helps you create detailed floor plans and diagrams. Moreover, you can also create organizational charts for corporate organizations by using this tool.

This tool will help you design your landscape and backyard as you want to design it according to your preferences.

Features:

  • Intelligent formatting based on the ML algorithm

  • Multiple templates available on the website

  • Smart diagrams

  • Collaborate

  • Enterprise administration

  • Third-party integrations

Pros:

  • Easy to use interface and features in both web portal and installed software

  • Customizable templates

  • Blueprints

Cons:

  • Learning curve

  • You will have to install the software on your computer in order to use it.  

4.  Garden Planner

gardena planner homepage

Known by the name Gardena, this tool is used to plan your garden in the way you want. Whether you want to add a sprinkler system or want to keep it simple and classic, this tool will help you design your outdoor landscape by using its simple-to-use interface and help guides available on the website.

Moreover, this Garden Planner is a free tool for simple and creative garden planning. And the good news is both new users and experienced designers can use this tool with equal ease.

Features:

  • Very easy-to-use interface

  • Produce a professional-looking printout of your plan with additional elements.

Pros:

  • Very easy to make changes

Cons:

  • You can only use the materials that are available in the template gallery of the web application.

5. Plan-a-Garden

garden design homepage window

Plan-a-garden tool is a tool provided by Better homes and Gardens. Using this tool, you can design your dream garden and see how you can design the landscape structure of the backyard of your home. Whether you are creating a design plan for a patio or a welcoming front walk, this software tool can help you put the shapes and structures together.

Also, you can use additional elements, such as swings, garden gnomes, and playing areas. In short, it is a complete tool for creating and editing designs of multiple types of surfaces and structures.

Features:

On this platform, you have the facility to choose from over 1000 different plants to decorate your garden. Moreover, you can choose from different structures, including sheds, gates, and benches, that will provide structure to your landscape.

Pros:

  • The app fits every home situation, and there are different housing types, too,

Cons:

  • The planner is not super realistic and there will be many limitations to the design.

6. iScape

iScapse designer for landscape

iScape is an iPad and iPhone landscape design app with a free plan for the hobbyist or DIY landscape design and a pro plan for professional landscapers. Using this tool, you can design your landscape by adding different elements and structures, such as plants, benches, and landscapes.

Features:

  • The iScape app offers 2D & 3D design tools that enable users to design and explore landscape structures in the real time by using visual aids. Using this app, they can collaborate with their teammates and share ideas.

  • You can use this app on your mobile device and use it to plan your backyard in the best way you can.

Pros:

  • Free basic download

  • Tiered subscription options

Cons:

  • Mobile devices only

  • Limited functionality

7. PRO Landscape Home

Landscape pro designer

PRO Landscape is a cloud-based garden and landscaping tool that helps you create computer-aided design (CAD) drawings for large commercial projects. You just have to start with a picture of your home, and you will be directed to plan the landscape based on the structure of your house and the plot area it is built on.

You can use this app on your Android, iPhone, and other mobile devices to design your dream garden just as you want it.

Features:

  • Photo Imaging

  • Computer-Aided Design

  • Landscape Design Using Apps on Mobile and Tablet

  • 3D Rendering

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and use

  • Professional Product

Cons:

  • Hardscape and some plant selection are not very good depictions.

8. Home Outside

Landscape designer powered by AI

The landscape app provided by Home Outside is an easy-to-use alternative to other apps that are highly technical with and include CAD-integrations. You can simply use their tool to explore and use 3D plant collections for your landscape. The tool provides you with the facility of augmented reality to see the 3D imagery of the landscapes and their structure.

Moreover, it features over 700 hand-drawn elements that homeowners and design professionals can use to create a simple property plan or garden layout for absolutely nothing.

Pros:

  • 700+ Elements

  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • Limited customization options

  • Limited plant library

9. Sketch Garden

Garden sketching website

Sketch-Garden.com is a web-based tool that allows users to create digital artwork and share it with others in a collaborative, social environment. This tool is best for budding artists because it provides simple line sketching to design and create your garden

Features:

Sketch-Garden.com provides a variety of features for creating and sharing digital drawings, sketches, and illustrations. You can also share your artwork and collaborate with other artists to get a real-time experience.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly Interface

  • variety of drawing tools

Cons:

  • No Offline Capability

  • Limited Sharing Options

10. Garden Visualizer

garden planning using garden visualizer

Marshalls is the leading supplier of landscaping and garden materials. One tool provided by Marshals is the Garden Visualizer, which is used to help you design your outdoor spaces, including patios, gardens, and outdoor landscapes. Using this tool, you can create 3D visualization in real time and paste garden structures in a way that is in the best of your interests.

Features:

  • You can create realistic 3D visualization of the whole garden

  • Customizable garden shapes are available for you to choose from.

Pros:

  • Easy Sharing and Printing of designed landscapes and backyards.

  • Easy to Use and user-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Limited Product Selection

  • Limited Plant Selection

FAQs about free landscape design software

Q1: Which software is commonly used for landscape design?

Below are some of the best landscape software tools according to their best features:

Best Landscape Design Software of 2023:

  • Best Overall: SmartDraw

  • Best for Decks & Patios: Chief Architect Home Designer Software

  • Best for iOS Devices: iScape

  • Best 3D Visuals: VizTerra

  • Best Photo Features: PRO Landscape

Q2: What is the difference between free and paid landscape design software?

Free programs can help you see the overall layout of your backyard or landscape but may not include a library where you can customize your space completely. This way, you might not be able to avail full functionality that you might need in designing your landscape or backyard.

Paid landscape design software programs, on the other hand, offer the widest array of functions, such as customizable features, a thoughtfully designed interface, and expansive item, material, and plant libraries.

Summary

In the above paragraphs, we talked about the types of free landscape design software tools and how you can use them to design your landscape and backyard according to the building and home structure you have got. However, there are limitations to each of them, and you can’t use one software to meet all your needs.

For example, you may be able to use a software tool to design and create your backyard layout, but when it comes to sharing the design and collaborating on it, there aren’t many tools that can help you with that. For this purpose, WPS Office Suite is the best thing you’ve got on your hand.

By using WPS Office suite applications, you can create, design, edit, and share landscape design files in the form of PDFs, presentations, or any format you need to work with. The best part is that the WPS Office Suite is completely free to use and available to download on the WPS website.  


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.