2014-08-25 at 9:50 pm #52936
Does anyone have any recommendations on what software to use for your site design? I may be able to help you with what not to use. I am still trying to figure out the best way other than a hand drawing.2014-08-25 at 10:00 pm #52937
I am working on a site design for a PDC as well. I would like to share ideas of what software to use for site designs. Or, is it better to hand draw? I may be able to help with the mistakes I made.2014-08-26 at 11:42 pm #52949
YES! we got approved today to convert 28 parks in Sparks & Reno Nevada to pesticide free.
Our first park, Idlewild Terrace has 10k feet of park to work with. The main flower box has an array of existing perennials as well as native plants, but also has Elm tree suckers throughout the whole flower bed.
Is there a safe way to discourage growth? Mulching? any ideas are welcomed.
http://www.BeeHabitat.com2014-08-29 at 2:32 pm #52969
RWahl, I am learning Inkscape and QGIS both are free and opensource. I have some background in GIS but all in larger site work. My project is my yard of less than an acre. GIS has a tremendous amount of information freely available in the US – not sure about other places. Inkscape is rated highly by many as the best alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Hope this helps.2014-09-16 at 7:28 am #53506
Congrats Sandy! Excellent question. I see there aren’t any replies to that yet. The only thought I am having currently is to remove the perennials and extensively rehab the bed with sheet mulching or other permie method, then reinstall the perennials. Are there alot of elms growing around the bed? If so, they will just continue to come back most likely, no matter what you do to get rid of the existing suckers. Is it possible they are seedlings rather than suckers? I have seen alot of lacebark elm seedlings in some of the beds I’ve had experience with. If you catch them early, they pull right out – after a good rain – but if allowed to take root, they are much harder to deal with. Not sure if that is helpful…2014-10-06 at 9:01 pm #53997
I spent WAY too much time struggling with what software to use for the design – and everything seems to have its pros & cons. With all the time I’ve spent, I really think I could have done better with pencil & paper and a scanner.
Google maps of our property gave good perspectives in detail from the camera view, and I was able to use these as a base layer over which I could trace the layout of buildings and key features. The topography views were inaccurate at the level for our individual property. I also went into USGS and local county maps, but for our place at least, these did not help either. Seems like the more time I spent trying to make this accurate and “easier,” the more I realized it is sometimes better to just step outside your front door and draw what you see!
On an iPad, I have tried Skitch, Paper, SketchBookX, Penultimate, Inspire Pro, and Procreate. Many of these programs were able to import a Google map image. I like the iPad because it is convenient to pack around in the field, but it complicated things in other ways.
Skitch was good for drawing features such as a tree, shrub, spiral, and then saving as a picture – but it was rather time consuming and not very convenient.
SketchbookX: I used this to draw details of my layout over the Google map, but it was limited in the number of layers. There are undoubtedly more capabilities if you buy the Pro version.
Penultimate: you can import photos and create drawings, but it didn’t really work for me for this purpose.
Procreate: I used this program exclusively for mapping the sun and shadows at varying times of day throughout the year. I imported a Google map as a base layer, drew over the buildings and main vegetation, and then added layers and drew the shadows with different colors for different times of day. Great selection of brushes, colors, patterns; does not have a good way to write text. Can be exported as a jpg file.
For the computer:
Inkscape: This has been my go-to program for my computer (an older Mac). It takes a little getting used to, but I am trying to keep things simple. I have been able to import the Google map and then create an assortment of layers for the buildings, water, sectors, zones, gardens, and various phases of my project. I was also able to import from Sketchbook. Unlike the iPad programs I tried, it has a good text feature. In my opinion, you could do everything with this – and I think it was created for PCs, so it probably works better there. A warning, though: the export feature (if you want to create a jpg or pdf file for uploading to a website) is a little tricky. I almost deleted everything the other day. Be sure to create a backup! Erik Lee’s tutorials on mapping and working with Inkscape have been a huge help: http://human20project.com/
Sketchup & Gimp: I have limited experience with both of these in the past – and I have seen some great layouts in Sketchup – but once I started working with Inkscape, I decided to just stick with it. It seemed simpler to me.
In the end…I’m a bit old school. I still like paper and pencil – but I have to say, being able to create layers, make changes, move things around, illustrate time lapse, and end up with something halfway professional looking that can easily be uploaded to the web is pretty cool.
Best of luck everyone! I would love to hear what has worked best for you.2014-10-07 at 9:01 am #54008
Thanks Blythe! Since I posted that comment, I have found one called garden planner at http://smallblueprinter.com/garden/planner.html It’s pretty basic, not a professional look, but fun to work with, easy to learn and inexpensive. You can download a 15 day free trial version to see if you like it and to purchase it’s only $35. the folks are really easy to work with as well. I worked on a design, put several hours into it and was worried that the trial time would expire before I had the extra cash to purchase it (yes, I’m that poor right now). I was having trouble printing it and emailed the contact person. he was very helpful and even gave me a temporary access code to use until I could make the purchase. He also directed me to an updated version that would let me print and email my plan as well as displayed the entire plant list, something I had trouble with at first. So highly recommended if anyone wants to check it out, even if it’s just for ease of moving things around to get the placement you want. I may go ahead and draw out my final design if I have time. I am also old school and enjoy the hand drawing but wanted to get the base elements down quickly and be able to move them easily. I sent an early version of this to Slav, once I was able to save a jpg and he said it really didn’t matter as long as all the design specs were included. Something to check out. Happy designing!2014-11-09 at 12:20 pm #54522
Hi! I want to start working on my desin progect. Can anybody give me a link? thanks!2014-12-03 at 2:33 pm #55032
Just finished my project! Hooray! Actually, it is an on-going thing – but I met the requirements for the PDC, got approval on the project, & passed the test. Check it out: http://barbolian.com/permaculture-journey/ I will continue adding information, particularly to the pages on garden guilds and plants – and I will be picking the blog back up again soon.2014-12-03 at 3:01 pm #55033
Thanks, Mary Ann, for the tip on the Garden Planner software. I played with it a bit and I like how it is basic and easy & colorful. It has a nice collection of graphics to just put wherever you want. The price is right on the Garden Planner, for sure – it might be just right for putting on an ipad & using on sites for initial planning & design ideas. For my project, I ended up using Inkscape (Free is good!). I like how you can create layers – and it has a large selection of tools (including text & bezier curves) – which was really handy in drawing the different phases of my project. But I am not sure that would be absolutely necessary for most applications. I was wishing it had graphics for various shrubs & trees, but I think my design was ok without them.2014-12-04 at 8:14 am #55036
Yes, I like free as well! Using open office for the presentation piece. I have been so distracted lately and haven’t worked on mine for about a month. Getting back to it so I can get it turned in and test before my year runs out in March! YIPE. My design is pretty much ready to submit. Just putting finishing touches on the presentation piece. Hopefully, I won’t have too much sent back for correction…….
My design will be ever evolving as well. I am constantly finding new ideas that I think would work for our little plot of ground. New (to me anyway) idea: rent a goat herd to clear the land! I have a tiny back yard on a steep hill and gave up mowing years ago. I take the weed wacker back there a couple times a season to knock them back and that is the spot I will eventually get all planted up with food crops. We had discussed getting a couple goats but I don’t think we have the minimum space needed for them. So renting might be a good alternative. We shall see……
Thanks for your ideas Blythe. I will be checking out your page here very soon.2014-12-04 at 9:37 am #55037
“Rent-A-Goat” – from RAGs to Riches! Great idea for a business stream! We aren’t in position to have farm animals at the moment either – and renting a goat (maybe tethered so they wouldn’t eat the rest of the garden or some kind of temporary fencing?) would be just the ticket. Would love to rent some chickens & a tractor, too! Good luck on your project & presentation, Mary Ann!2015-01-02 at 11:53 am #55532
I’m almost ready to submit my presentation. I am confused about what they mean by feedback loops and how to test my solutions. Does anyone have thoughts on that? Am I just trying to read too much into its meaning? I have put in a request for explanation to Vladislav. Hope I can get that cleared up and finish. My Mollison book is waiting for me at the library and I’ll have 3 weeks with it to take the exam before I have to return it. I have to pick it up by tomorrow……
Pretty gloomy here in Cincy right now. Weather is perfect for working outside today, unfortunately my back has been out all week and I can’t get any work done. Grrrrr…….2015-01-02 at 1:38 pm #55534
Hi Mary Ann – congratulations on your progress! I know what you mean about the concepts of “feedback loops” and “testing solutions” being a bit confusing, because every place and every project is very different, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I interpreted it to mean going back to Step 1: observing nature and seeing what it is telling you. What is working? What not? What changes do you see – are they regenerative? a part of succession? or something totally different? For me, I noticed a lot more birds, insects, and small mammals, changes in microclimates, a definite increase in fruit yields, lower requirements in water – many things I would expect, but also some surprises. I still have a long way to go, but my beginning projects (“solutions”) are already transforming our property. You can read about it at http://barbolian.com/permaculture-journey/perspectives/ (I am in the middle of changing the theme on my website, so if it switches layout on you or gives you a 404 reading, don’t be surprised – just try again in a few minutes). My project is already underway, so the changes at times have been quite dramatic. On something that is still in the planning stages, you might be able to anticipate what changes you might see under various scenarios – or how something you do might help advance the project toward your particular goals. Whether something is working or not are both opportunities for learning, adapting, and working with nature. Nature will tell you. If your project is more social-oriented, you might have other measures for progress. Would love to hear more about what you are doing! Best of luck to you!2015-01-02 at 1:55 pm #55535
Thanks Blythe. I wondered if it had to Do with actual changes i see on property. I am only beginning to implement the design so not seeing a lot yet. I think i already talked a lot about what changes i expect to see so maybe i have covered it. I’ll see what Slav has to say. Could it be that I’m result finished?! Yahoo
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