GardenCAD Version History

GardenCAD is user driven software. The initial demand for it came from garden and landscape design students studying at a local horticulture college. These students found learning conventional CAD software tools such as AutoCAD and IntelliCAD to create landscape drawings much too difficult. Landscape designers wanted an easy-to-use software tool which mimicked as far as possible the manner in which plans were produced by hand.

Every effort has been made to create a CAD program with those characteristics. GardenCAD is 'mouse driven' with the tools necessary to create plans selected from menus which pop up at left and right mouse clicks, depending what is selected. Viewing - zooming in and out - is controlled by the wheel of the mouse. We have made the interface as clean and uncluttered as possible and provided a complete set of pre-drawn landscape symbols for you to use. You can of course create your own symbols and store those for later re-use. We also add new symbols to this web site from time to time.

As each new version of GardenCAD emerges, it contains new features. The development and addition of features is driven by feedback from users. Please add your contribution by requesting a feature.

The first version of GardenCAD was released in 2006.
GardenCAD v 1.5 followed in 2007
GardenCAD v 1.7 (2008)
GardenCAD v 1.8 (2009)
GardenCAD v 2.0 (2010) (a major release)
GardenCAD v 2.1 (2011)
GardenCAD v 2.2 (2013) (added templates and DXF capability)
GardenCAD 3.1 (2013)
GardenCAD 3.2 (2013)
GardenCAD 3.3 (2014)
GardenCAD 3.4 (2014)
GardenCAD 3.5 (2014) Plant tagging and automated plant lists.
GardenCAD 3.6 (2015)
GardenCAD 3.7 (2015)
GardenCAD 3.8 (2015)

We welcome suggestions for improvements to GardenCAD. Some of the suggestions we have received thus far are given below - it's the wish list for future versions!

Contact: for more information or to add your comments.
Recent changes to GardenCAD
  • GardenCAD now allows several drawings to be open at the same time, users can cut and paste via the clipboard from one drawing to another operation for rapid drafting.

  • A wide selection of linetypes are pre-loaded  - dot dash, log dash etc., thus avoiding the need to load a extra linetype patterns.

  • We have redesigned the help facility with links to a support site for the core software in GardenCAD. We have decided to establish a web site with links to movies offering detailed explanation of special techniques used in GardenCAD drawings. For example, scaling at ISO approved scale factors [1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, 1:500 etc.] when creating views on pages sheets is not a trivial task and we provide links to comprehensive movies showing how this is done.

  • A major change will be made to the plant symbol selector. A larger snapshot of the intended symbol is available before insertion. 

  • We have increased the number of symbols, both planting and details. Groups of plants with canopy diameter scaled appropriately have been added:

Tall Trees [3.0 meter diameter]

Small trees [2.5 meter diameter]

Large Shrubs [2.0 meter diameter]

Medium Shrubs [1.5 meter diameter]

Small Shrubs [1.0 meter diameter]

Mini shrubs [0.3 meter diameter]

Ground Covers


These symbols will become increasing dense as they progress down in size. So, if trees and taller shrub species are placed, they will be lightly drawn such that other symbols representing plants in the understory can be seen through it.

This is a versatile system because a concept drawing can be produced, one where the 'bones' of the design are seen to dominate rather than being obliterated by the planting. Understory plants (mini shrubs and ground cover) can be placed once a concept plan has been agreed.

  • We have had added many more block symbols, especially those such as north points, section indicators, scale bars, paving detail, bush planting, staking trees, setting up irrigation systems etc.

  • Several dimension styles have been created and pre-set in the default drawing. These will be suitable (and can be chosen) for different plot scales.

  • A link to an explanation of the use of the various entity snaps has been built in as has more explanation about the best way to do hatching.

  • We have provided a tool to output the base site plan from a GardenCAD drawing to a DXF file for importation into 3-D modelling tools such as SketchUp.

  • A tool to enable entities to be tagged and selectively displayed as in GIS software will be developed.

  • We have introduced a colour map with set of custom colours more in tune with colours required for landscape design.

  • We have added some pre-drawn legend blocks.

  • A tool to generate a legend that displays square meters of paving, turf, mulched beds, etc. has been added.

  • Additional hatch patterns have been included.

  • A wider range of file types supported by the raster import tool.

  • The ability to work with Windows text fonts has been implemented.
  • Your (new) drawing file option loads a pre-set group of new layers, each conforming to international layer naming conventions. It also loads an appropriate set of linetype and hatch styles.
  • A pointstyle command has been implemented.
  • There are links to two Excel sheets - one to calculate the sustainability rating of your designed site and the other to manage plant lists.
  • We have created 5 new hand lettered fonts. One of these has been set as the default text style.