In our testing, we found that Punch Home Design Studio for Mac is a great tool for designing landscape projects. With a sizeable selection of plants and trees as well as growth simulation and lighting recreations, you get a clear idea of how each tree, bush and hedge would look now and far into the future. It’s the most comprehensive Mac landscaping software we reviewed, but it’s also the most expensive.
This landscape software for Mac has so many tools and features, including indoor and outdoor design elements, that it can be a little intimidating to learn. However, once you familiarize yourself with its tools and capabilities, you’ll be comfortable maneuvering your way through the landscape designing process.
Once learned, navigating this software is simple since there are only a few buttons to use. The setup is quite direct with the various types of views on the right pane and the tools on the left, and you can easily toggle between 2D and 3D viewing modes.
You can get your digital yard going with the software’s topography tools. Once you establish where all the hills and dips are in your yard, you can start to examine what objects – benches, garden beds, patios and so on – you want to incorporate and where they should go.
Advanced tools like a cost estimator help you know what sort of investment you will need to make to carry out your plan. This software keeps a running list of materials you will need for whatever you add to your design and provides estimates for material costs. Though the numbers are not exact, it is helpful to know approximately what to budget for trees, pavers and other elements you want.
You can design your new landscape in 3D mode, which lets you add objects and preview what your design looks like from several angles. You can also go into more detail with your design in 2D, and you need to use this mode for your design tasks except dragging and dropping objects. When you use the 3D view, you can only add objects and preview the design from various angles.
This software includes thousands of different trees, flowers and shrubs that you can drag and drop into your plan. You can use a search window to help find exactly the right plant for each spot in the yard. If you are stuck for ideas, you can always use the included sample designs as a basis for your own garden bed, hedgerow or other landscape features, or you can use a sample to get your creativity to kick into high gear and then create your own yard design.
You also get vital information about each plant and tree you want to incorporate into your landscaping plan. For example, you can find out whether a particular plant can thrive in your climate zone. A growth simulation tool shows you how your trees and flowers will look in 10, 15 or 20 years. Lighting simulation features show you where shadows from each tree fall, during different times of the day and year.
This software is far more than just landscaping, it’s a full home design toolkit, so it costs a lot – almost $150. If you’re looking for a more focused landscaping solution, this program’s little sister, Punch Landscape Design for Mac, is worth considering. And it costs about $90 less.
Whether you are ready to add something big and splashy such as a full outdoor kitchen or if you are simply in the mood to put in a few new flower beds, Punch Home Design Studio is a great place to start. This software lets you plan a backyard oasis or a front yard showpiece that you can enjoy for years.