'Selling' a concept

Here we will describe the use of GardenCAD to 'sell' a concept for the landscaping at the rear of a terrace house. The southern hemisphere site faces north and measures 7.0 meters wide by 17.2 meters deep. After a site visit and discussions with the client, it was agreed that the design called for a number of features:

  • An outdoor entertaining area for adults,
  • A water feature,
  • The installation of some type of garden sculpture,
  • Treatment for the rather tired boundary fences,
  • Lighting,
  • An underground tank for water storage and the installation of an automatic sub-surface irrigation system.

Our client was not adept at reading 2-D plans, so the first step was to develop a hand sketch of our design ideas. Using a low cost multi-function printer/scanner we scanned (copied) the sketch [and placed it in a named folder in the GardenCAD Jobs folder].

 Concept Sketch

Then, some images of the plants that might be used in the design and examples of commissioned garden art to show our client were collected.

 Agapanthus Cassia Tree Fern

Glory Vine Portulaca Ruby Saltbush

And some images of suitable garden art and water features.

Water feature

Water Feature

Gathering the above did not take long - most were on file in our photolibrary. The hand sketch above is crude and took less than an hour to complete. Then it was time to start GardenCAD and assemble the above images on a page, along with our logo and site information. We prepared this on an A1 size sheet .

The figure below shows a hand sketch of the design ideas in the center of the sheet and some photos of plants that we think that the client might like to have in his garden scattered around the outside.


Sheet 1 (the partly finished design concept)

Fisrt sheet

Preparing this sheet took no time at all, we simply used the insert raster feature in GardenCAD to place the relevant pieces of information (the sketch and image files).

Because everything in GardenCAD is in digital form, we were able to print the sheet to a PDF file and email it to the client. The only paper used was the piece of paper from our sketch book. We are thus a considerable way down the track to reducing our carbon footprint. 

We gained approval from the client and were able to move to preparing a detailed design using GardenCAD.

The figure below (Sheet 2) shows the GardenCAD layout for the design at the bottom and illustrations about construction and planting details at the top; some created as separate GardenCAD drawings and others as image files. Both sheets have been produced using Garden CAD and ancillary software; there has not been any hand cutting and pasting onto sheets. Again, we have been able to print the designs to PDF files from GardenCAD, thus fulfilling our aim of complete digital delivery of our work. 

For economy of space here, we have put the design and examples of other information (how to plant and advanced tree etc.) on a single sheet. This has the effect of reducing the space available for the actual design. In the 'real world', we would use at least 3 sheets to show our ideas. Since we print to PDF, there is no additional cost involved in delivering multiple sheets to the client.


Sheet 2 (proposed design)

Sheet 2


The figure below shows a close up of part of the design in the GardenCAD environment. Note that we prefer to design with a black screen background to GardenCAD. When the design is plotted to PDF (above) the background changes to white.


Detail Design


A1 Sheet

Carbon Neutral Download link to the GardenCAD file of the finished design.


Tip: If you visit the How To movies link on this web site, you can watch as we lay out the site and create the design.