C.A.D. simplifies landscape design

You gaze out into the yard from the new deck you put in two years ago. The golden spirea looks pretty good lined up in front of the house and the gladiolas pop up every year and add a splash of color to the side. The perennials and the spiera were put in with the deck and so far, that’s been it.

Now, looking around, other projects pass through your mind. That flower garden and pond flash in and out again, the oriental garden, the hedgerow for the back and others drift by for a glimpse before retiring to the deck again. Making the usual vow you add the usual excuses.

“No time,” you say. “Don’t know exactly where I want the flowers, the pond or the hedgerow.”

If you could just see how it looks before you do the job!

Now, with the advent of desktop publishing, the services of CAD or Computer Aided Drafting has entered the world of the layman. You can easily design, layout, change design, move in different color schemes and even get a 3-D look at what the end result will be without even leaving the living room.

Sound intriguing?

With some basic computer skills and an off-the-shelf design program you can do just that.

Ranging in price from $70 to several hundred dollars, a design program can be had these days at a reasonable cost. All you need is a desktop computer with the capabilities to load a CD rom and your off and running.

Just remember to check the box to see if your computer can run the software you select. If you have an older model and are not sure what its specifications are just bring the owners manual with you. Can’t find the book? That’s OK, just write the model number down and bring it with you. Most good software stores have the capability of checking to see if your model is compatible. If you have a computer that’s six years or more in age, it’s probably not a pentium and runs at a clock speed of 66 to 100 megahertz.

Once you load the design program onto your hardware, it’s a breeze to design your own layouts. There are many advantages to designing your landscaping first on computer. It can save you time for one thing. Now you don’t have to be outside to get an idea of what an addition will look like. If your computer is a laptop model, design work can be done just about anywhere from the living room to the office - on a break of course!

Another big plus is you don’t have to make costly mistakes finding out the cactus doesn’t really look as good as you thought along the driveway before you bring it home in the truck.

The more designing you do, the more you’ll like it and who knows - you might find landscaping is easier than first thought.