The use of modern computer software has revolutionized the way in which landscape plans can be developed and interpreted. We would like to start this landscape course by encouraging you to look at examples of the way in which applications can be used to change the way you work.

Module 1:

Please click on the image below to load a PDF document for some preliminary reading. It's a relatively large PDF file so please be patient while it loads.

About landscape CAD

Take home lessons

Not only is it possible to deliver a classic design plan with a border, title block, north point, scale bar plotted to a scale just like you would do if drafting by hand, much additional non-graphic information can be included in the drawing file. For example:

  • Site location data, perhaps using Google Maps or other similar services
  • Images (photos) illustrating species used or 'hardscape' elements such as seating specified in the design
  • Details of construction techniques
  • Contour information
  • Sections and elevations
  • Irrigation and lighting information
  • Setout data points for the use of construction teams
  • Costing and quantity information for planting and paving
  • Extended entity information such as the contact details of the manufacturer of a piece of furniture
  • Designs for artwork for a laser cutting service etc.


Note that CAD software allows the generation of many layout sheets of different sizes that can be printed from the one drawing (model) of the site. Importantly, the whole design series can be emailed to a client as a Portable Document File (PDF). 

Tip: CAD is not the only software used by modern landscaper designers. All types of software applications can assist designers - plant databases can be called on to aid plant selection, project management software can be used to schedule construction work, and spreadsheets can be used for many purposes such as analyzing designs in terms of sustainability and for preparing accurate costing/quotation.

Test Revision questions


Landscape software in action

Lesson 01 Click the movie icon to watch gCADPlus landscape software in action.

We start the application, open a new drawing using a template, insert a design from a library of designs and and edit it to create a new landscape plan.

Start gCADPlus and try the exercise for yourself.

Test Revision questions


Extra reading

Turbocharged landscape design - how to make landscape design pay.

Site visits and The art of landscape design

Theory of CAD what makes CAD special?

Using CAD for landscape design