Virtual backyard blitz: 3D Home Landscape Designer Deluxe 5

A chance to try out 3D Home Land­scape Designer Deluxe 5 was a wish come true for someone with a backyard like mine. 3D Home Landscape Designer Deluxe 5 lets you set up the natural environment of your yard (slopes and grades, orientation, etc.) so you can use the product to add decks, retaining walls, water features and loads of other details to your design, and then view it in 3D — and it’s fast and easy to change between views as you add components.

The Plant Encyclopedia includes around 7500 items (including some Australian) and there are over 300 3D garden objects. You can even set up a maintenance plan to look after your garden once it’s complete.

As you’ve probably guessed, I was looking for some quick answers, but as with any 3D software it takes time to come to grips with the many powerful tools. To understand how to use these features you’ll need to read (not skim) the manual before taking the plunge (see here for a screenshot).

Just think of all the hours of hard yakka actually needed to create the garden, and you should find the patience to deal with the learning curve required to get the most out of this application. Alternatively, if you’ve just got a simple plan in mind you’re probably better off spending the time with pen and some grid paper.

In brief: Broderbund 3D Home Landscape Designer Deluxe 5
This 3D landscape software has loads of powerful tools but a steep learning curve that may put off weekend and beginner gardeners.
Price: $99.95
Distributor: Atari Australia
Phone: 1800 060 605
URL: www.atari.com.au; www.broderbund.com

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