General Question

YoBob's avatar

Any recommendations for a good landscape planning/visualization app for iMac?

Asked by YoBob (12823points) June 10th, 2011

I would like to do some landscape planning and am looking for a good app for iMac that will help me do 3D visualization (preferably through multiple seasons). I prefer something that will let me take pictures of what is already there and then enhance rather than having to first draw in the existing features from scratch.

It would be nice if the app can take into account shade caused by existing trees and structures as a couple of the areas I want to landscape are shaded by both trees and buildings (so it’s hard to get grass to grow). I would also like it to be able to do things like masonry retaining walls, rock water features, etc…

So… suggestions?

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7 Answers

crisw's avatar

Most of the really good products for doing this are Windows-based. I really like the Better Homes and Gardens (now Chief Architect) products- you would probably want this one.). Would you consider setting up Windows on your Mac? It’s easy to do, and the BHG products work well under virtualization.

YoBob's avatar

@crisw Thanks for the recommendation. I’m not too keen on setting up Windows on my Mac. It took me a couple of decades to shake the yolk of Microsoft and I don’t plan to go back ;)

I would be kind of surprised if there weren’t some good mac visualization products out there as the mac really shines when it comes to image processing.

Once again, thanks for the reply!

crisw's avatar


It is surprising- but there just isn’t much home design software out there for Macs (unless something new and great has come out in the last year or two.) I looked long and hard when we were contemplating designing a home a few years back. Here’s an article about the situation, specificaly for landscape software.

BTW, don’t be tempted by Punch- their products are terrible.

YoBob's avatar

@crisw – Thanks for the link! I’ll consider Fusion, but I’ll look around a bit first and will let you know if I find anything worthwhile.

crisw's avatar

I haven’t used Fusion yet- I have used both VMWare and Parallels; both have worked fine for me. I’d avoid BootCamp because of not being able to use both systems at once as you can with the others.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’m glad you asked this question; I’ve been wondering the same thing. I have been playing around with Sketch-Up, which is free on google, but it isn’t doing what I want. It seems I used to have something on my old mac that did landscape plans. If I can figure out what it was, I will post it.

gorillapaws's avatar

Live Interior 3D is a neat app, but it focuses on the interior. I suspect you could make it work for landscaping too if you were willing to get creative.

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