Garden Planner is a simple, inexpensive program that lets you design a basic yard plan. The software is simple compared to other programs we reviewed, but the 2D overhead views can still be useful. The plants you can choose from with this landscape design software for Mac are generic compared to the competition's vast digital libraries. That is generally a bad thing, but if you are looking to just map out your yard this can be a benefit. If you want to start from scratch with your yard and designate what will become a garden area and what will become hardscape, and so on, Garden Planner is perfect.
The plants and objects in the digital library are limited compared to that of most other programs we compared, and the choices are more generic. Where other landscaping software for Mac would have a collection of different daisies, pine trees, lilacs and much more, Garden Planner has options like "dense shrub," "leafy shrub" and "simple shrub" or "rose bush" and "flowers." General planning can be right for some projects, though. The objects look very unrealistic and cartoonish, however.
This is the type of landscaping software Mac users could potentially benefit from if they just constructed a home and have a blank slate to work with. The only view in this software is 2D from the top down. This makes it easy to use, but it is also very limiting and only lets you create one type of design. Topography is not possible with this software because you can only design flat landscapes. Hills, dales and varying elevation would be lost in a 2D top-down view. If you need a program with varied elevation, you’ll have to find a more multifaceted one.
Since this garden design software for Mac does not have any 3D planning capability, you will not be able to get the feeling of walking through your virtual yard. But if you just want to map things out in general this tool is fine.
One of the biggest strengths of this software is its drag and drop capabilities and how easy it is to access objects and drag them into your design. You can drag and drop hardscapes, trees and plants into place, viewing it all from above. Objects, plants and structures are easy to access from a side bar on the left of the screen. You just click and drop them into the main grid area for your design. Everything is controlled through drag and drop functionality: ground coverings, lawn, sand and plants. The interface is clean and well-organized with only the buttons you need, and it’s very easy to navigate.
Help and support options are also simplistic with this program. You can get answers to question through the website’s FAQ section, but if you have additional questions the only option is email since there is no phone support.
The simplicity of this program is a blessing and a curse. You will be designing your virtual yard within minutes of download, but the visuals are not realistic and can’t really create the contours of your yard's unique layout with this program. You can drag and drop all the objects from a side bar menu into your design, and the interface is clean and easy to use.