By Christina VanGinkel
When you think of gardening, most people would not think of the computer, but the two have come together in some surprising ways to benefit the gardener both during the off-season and year round for that matter. There are some splendid programs that are available that can benefit both the gardener in general and those looking for some help planning their landscape.
One of my favorite uses for garden software is to plan where I am going to plant future flowers, which brings me to my favorite software program, 3D garden Composer. 3D Garden Composer will not only let me view flowers, it comes complete with 800 fully 3D plant objects, 400 3D pre-designed objects, and an additional 100 material textures to allow the most detailed planning that a user could ask for in a gardening program. This is coupled with numerous other features that make this one of my all time favorite garden programs, including a plant encyclopedia that has listings for 15,000 plants, including trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. The plant encyclopedia is complete with 22,500 images. When I think about why I like this program so much, part of it is the uses for the garden, but I will admit that we have also used the program as a homework aid when my children had to do a detailed report on trees that grow naturally in our area. It was indispensable for this fact alone, not to mention the reason we bought it in the first place, for the garden.
With so many of us using our digital cameras in ways we never thought of before it was so easy to snap and download them to our computers, the intuitive interface of this program also allows the user to use their photos to help design a plan based on these very photos. Digital images are also included to get you designing right out of the box. If all of this sounds too complicated, no worries there either, as the program comes complete with three hours of detailed video for an animated tutorial to get you using and understanding all the available and built in features, because what good will it all do the user, if they cannot understand how to use it.
This program goes far beyond the design stage too, with an included guide to the prevention of 370 garden pests. Incorporated into the program is how to deal with, and treat them, if they do land in the middle of all your hard work. Six hundred and fifty illustrated images of plant diseases will also allow you to diagnose and better treat any ailments that happen.
For those who just do not know where to start designing a garden, the makers of this program have even thought of you, and included more than 30 pre-designed garden plans. In addition, for the garden newbie his or her self, they have included 100 animations for how to care for your plants once you take the big step of actually planting your first plants.
If you are wondering how one program could fit all of this into a single program, consider that this is not even every feature. They have coupled all of this with the ability to view a garden design throughout different seasons, and to see the growth of different plants and trees over the span of years, showing their average growth to give you an idea of how certain planting will fill in and mature through the oncoming years. This program includes a look at features also incorporated oftentimes into gardens, such as fences, arbors, walkways, and more. If you are an individual, business, or group looking for help in planning and building a garden, whether for personal or public display, this may be just the program you are looking for, as it will help from the very beginning of any planning all the way to helping you care for it in the coming years. With its easy to learn interface and the built in tutorial I mentioned earlier, this truly is a software title that anyone can learn to use, and one that you will find yourself going back to time and again for all of the useful and included information.