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Re: Easy to Use Garden Design Software

  • Subject: [cg] Re: Easy to Use Garden Design Software
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 11:45:45 -0500


This is a link to some garden, design software programs that I've looked at and one or two that I've "played around with, to see if they might be fun to play with, during the deep of winter. 


I know that some professional landscapers use more sophisticated architectural, graphics programs, like CAD with some success.

While it was the Dutch who created and experience the dot.com-like "Tulipmania," experience of the 17th Century, ( http://slate.msn.com/id/2103985/ ) and remain the world's premier Tulip plantsmen,  I remember seeing an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of architectural Parisian garden plans from the 19th century, where the placement of huge monochromic, or designed pattern of tulips were first laid out, in that city's large public gardens and swathes of open green space. 

A stunning show, akin to creating a festival event, it's public gardening by professionals, and not by individual gardeners - the Emperor Louis Napoleon says, "let there be flowers!" 

Then, there are the wonderful English garden designs from Inigo Jones onwards - creating nobleman's "parks." 

As I'm not a garden administrator, but a hands-on volunteer gardener, the most I even use is a piece of paper, and maybe colored pencils or a watercolor box.  And that is planning a garden bed, when there's snow on the ground, and the act of  creating this "vision," with one's hands is comforting. 

For me, as a volunteer gardener, and not an adminstrator with several gardens to make suggestions about, and as a Luddite, who was taught to draw as part of the old educational model, I find the electronic design softwares to be "distancing."  

Most of my best gardening design seems to come from having my hands in the dirt, a few pails of bulbs, seeds, or later in the season, started plants, and using a garden plot as a kind of canvas - preparing the soil over days and years, knowing where your perennials are, in the fall, where the bulbs and crocuses from last spring are, or should be, having areas for annuals, thinking of color - and placing plants , bending, digging, drinking coffee, thinking of the change of the show of color throughout the seasons ---and then seeing where the lucky mistakes, and the gift of flowers exceeds what your hands and mind set themselves to do. 

But the thing that makes our thing, "community gardening," so wonderful, is that we do that with others, in public, the designs cast aside, and with some gardeners placing and moving plants, or sharing plants, or putting the remaining left over bulbs in the ground at the end of a cold fall day, so as "not to waste them - they'll do something," creating an effect of not one mind, with hands that follow a centrally planned patern, but the human activity of gardening that seems to naturally evolve. 

Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden, NYC

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