Free Resources for Planning a Landscape Design

By J.W. Carpenter , last updated April 6, 2011

Whether you’re building a new home or have just decided to re-landscape your current yard, there are a lot of free resources to help you plan your landscape design. Though it may seem daunting, designing your own landscaping can be educational and fun, as well as a great source of pride. You’ll also be able to save some money because you won’t be hiring a designer.

There are a variety of free resources available to the interested homeowner. These resources will help you get a grasp on good design techniques, the variety of common residential landscaping styles, common landscaping plants and plant combinations, and, finally, how to bring your design into reality. Following is a brief guide to free landscape design resources.

Your Local Library

Local libraries are usually wonderful sources of how-to books, manuals, and magazines, especially for home landscapers and gardeners. In a decent size library, you should be able to find books detailing basic landscaping concepts and styles and reference books on plants common to home landscaping. Don’t forget a few landscaping picture books, which are excellent sources of information and, most importantly, inspiration.

Local Gardening Clubs

Many cities and towns have at least one gardening club, full of garden and landscaping enthusiasts who love to share advice. Local clubs are an especially good source of information on plant selection, as local gardeners know exactly what plants grow best in the local climate. Often, gardening clubs hold seasonal landscaping and gardening workshops that are great for developing landscaping plans and learning about new techniques and designs. Don’t miss this wonderful source of free, personalized landscaping advice.

Online Resources

Free online landscaping resources are widespread and exhaustive, though you will not have a librarian or local enthusiast to guide you. In addition to informational resources, there are several free online tools that will help you put your landscaping ideas into visual form. For example, the BBC maintains a set of garden and landscaping design tools that allow you to create plans suitable to your own yard. Many other free tools are available from numerous providers.

Resources and References
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