I tried a garden planning app… and I can’t wait to start planting!

Why you should use a garden planning app to design your outdoor space

Garden planning apps
(Image credit: Anthony Wade / Pexels)

Nowadays, it seems like there’s an app for everything, including apps for your garden. Whether you’re planting vegetables or sketching out an idea for a new lawn feature, you guessed it – there’s an app for that!

Gardening apps are incredibly helpful for both green-thumbed experts and gardening beginners alike. Depending on the app you choose, you can use them to check the quality of your soil to determine what you should grow, identify different plants you see while out and about, and map out how you want your garden to look.

I’m about to move soon and it’s the first time I’ve ever had a garden of my own. With this in mind (and as it’s T3’s Garden Tech Month), I decided to download a garden planning app. After all, before I start firing up the best garden shredder and installing the best outdoor lights, it’s probably best to try out a few garden design ideas in 2D before starting to mess up the place.

After much research, I found the most recommended garden design apps were iScape and Home Outside. As a gardening newbie, iScape was probably more my pace as it’s definitely designed for beginners and smaller design tasks, as it doesn’t take into account any exact measurements.

Alternatively, Home Outside is a much more advanced app which is definitely tailored for the professionals and architects among us. The landscape design app can create a full garden layout, plot your property and you can even plan events. Home Outside also has margin rulers so you can make sure everything is the right size to fit into the dimensions of your garden and there are plenty of design elements to choose from.

Depending on the garden planning app you choose, they’re easy to download to your phone or iPad and are mostly free to use. Although if you’re planning a full project or want to progress further than a few selection of trees and plants, you might want to pay for a subscription as it will unlock more features.

iScape app

Garden plan example on the iScape website

(Image credit: iScape)

After uploading a camera roll or live photo of your garden, you can start designing how you want your outdoor space to look. In addition to planting and positioning different trees, shrubs, plants and furniture, you can also add in different types of flooring. I was seriously impressed that you could actually mulch different areas as well as lay down pavers, gravel and stone walls.

Overall, I enjoyed using a garden planning app and found it very handy to map out a project to get a real idea of how it will look before you start digging or demolishing. It felt almost like a cartoon art project and also gave me plenty of ideas to try in my new garden once I move in.

I must say that depending on the type of project you want to undertake, you’ll need to consider which app is best for you. As a gardening novice, I didn’t need anything too fancy as I just wanted to see what things would look like in certain positions. But for someone planning a full garden renovation, you’re going to want to pick an app that properly considers sizing, dimensions and has an extensive selection of elements to choose from.

As an average at best (and that’s putting it nicely) drawer, I definitely found using an app for these plans the best choice, especially as you can easily erase any mistakes and look at your garden from different angles. Being able to save designs and use the same photo again and again, you can also make multiple layout options which I enjoyed as I’m fairly indecisive. All in all, I can’t wait to start planting and pruning!

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!