Archive Page 2

Side Project: Life of a Bee app

We have just launched a little side project called Life of Bee.

This is educational app aimed at 6- to 10 year olds and covers bees, butterflies, pollination, life-cycles and much more.

The app is available for iPad and Android tablets (with windows tablets added soon).


Update, including new drawing tool

The latest update to Garden Planner is version 3.7.22. This update includes a new drawing tool that lets you draw out kitchen benches. This is the first stage in adding more outdoor kitchen options to Garden Planner. benchtop

You can draw out kitchen benches just like drawing a wall. Then in 3d view you can change the shape of the bench top and choose from a range of styles for the side of the bench.

While built for kitchen benches you can also use this tool to create modern bench style seating. Just lower the height of the bench and add a few cushions and there you have it.


Finally, also in this update is a new option to change the font size of measurement lines. You will find the option under Measurement Settings.

You can now add points to a shape or path

Garden Planner version 3.7.14 is now available and adds in the ability to add extra points to an existing shape. For example: add an extra point on a path or a garden bed.

To do this you simply right click (or cmd click on a mac) and you will see a little menu item that says add new point here. Which does what it says. Quite a few people requested this feature – I hope you find it useful.

Easter eggs

In the world of software an Easter egg is a hidden feature or element in the software. In the late nineties quite a few Easter eggs slipped into Microsoft applications, like a flight simulator hidden in Excel and a pinball game in Word.

So, are there any Easter eggs in Garden Planner? Yes, just one which I recently added in. I had a user request to add in a Joshua tree and just couldn’t help myself. So the Easter egg is if you add a Joshua tree to your plan and then rename your Joshua tree so it’s title is u2, then have a look in 3d view and you will see what has changed.

Garden Planner 3.7 is now available

The latest update to Garden Planner is now available – version 3.7

This version includes some new objects, including 6 new trees – with new 2d and 3d graphics. This the start of including a few more common trees. Initially Garden Planner focused on generic plant and tree symbols but with the introduction of the 3d view it has become useful to have some specific trees – because a 2d representation of a willow tree or an oak tree may look much the same, however they need to look quite different in 3d.

There is also a bunch of bug fixes in this update.

Side Project: Bee Anatomy

As well as Garden Planner I’ve also been involved in a side project to create an educational app that covers bee and insect anatomy, pollination etc. It is targeted at younger students (around 6 – 10 years old)

When released the app will be available for iPad, Windows and Mac.

While the final project will be an app, I reused some of the assets to create a small interactive for the web and have put it online as it may be of use to teachers or students.

You can access the Honey Bee and Butterfly Anatomy interactive here.

It uses webGL so it will work for most browsers on most computers, but alas wont work in Safari on iPads or if you are using an old version of Internet Explorer on Windows.



Adjusting Terrain and minor update

Garden Planner version 3.6.36 is now available (actually it’s been out for a little while).

This update adds in some more objects into 3d view, in particular Sliding Doors and a Hot Tub (both user requests). Also there is now an option in the advanced settings screen that allows you to set a specific path for the My Plans folder. So if you wish to customise the location of that folder you now can.

Finally this update includes some general bug fixes and in particular some improvements to making sure all wall fence types correctly follow the terrain under them

A little while back I put up a video showing the basics of adjusting terrain in Garden Planner. If you haven’t seen it yet it is here: adjusting terrain.


How to merge two plans together in Garden Planner

I’ve just put up a tutorial in response to a users question. It explains how to merge two plans together in garden planner.

The way you do it is to use the power of Garden Planner’s My Objects category.

Any object in a plan can be added to My Objects, so for example you could create a custom flower with a specific name, size and colors and add that to My Objects so you can easily drag that custom flower onto any new plans as you wish.

But you don’t have to just add one object to My Objects. You can add a section of a garden or a garden bed (with all its plants) or even add an entire garden to My Objects and then drag and drop that onto any other plans you wish.

Three Hidden features in Garden Planner

I thought I would highlight some of the lesser known but rather useful features in Garden Planner.

  1. Firstly Title Blocks


In architecture and landscape plans a title block is often added near the bottom of the plan to provide clear details on who created the plan and when. In Garden Planner you can drag and drop a title block onto your plan and place it anywhere on the plan. You will find Title blocks hidden away at the bottom of the general objects category. Add the block to your plan and then select it.


Click on the edit title block button to customize the contents of the title block.

2. The second hidden feature is the ability to Duplicate in a line.

This can be very useful if you want to make a line of identical plants. You will find this in the Selected Objects menu.

3. And finally we come to my favorite hidden feature. 3d Billboards

billboard1What is a 3d billboard?

We’ll say you want to add an image to the 3d view in garden planner but you don’t want it flat on the ground but rather standing up in 3d view.

For example maybe you want to add a picture of  building or a wall behind the garden.

Then scroll down the walls and fences list to the bottom where you will find a 3d billboard. It looks just like a wall and can put anywhere in the plan. When you go in 3d view and select it you will see the settings options shown to the right. Just click on Select Image to add an image from your computer and it will instantly appear in the 3d view.

What’s more you can use jpeg images or PNG images with transparency. This actually gives you a lot of power. Say you really wanted to add a plastic flamingo to your garden and Garden Planner doesn’t have a plastic flamingo. The just find a picture of a plastic flamingo and add that in.


Now a plastic flamingo adorns yours lovely garden.

Garden Planner update

The latest update to Garden Planner is version 3.6.31

If you haven’t used Garden Planner since version version 3.6 came out I recommend checking it out. There were a whole bunch of improvements but the most interesting is that you can try out the 3d view of plans within Garden Planner.


To try it out simply choose Turn on 3d view from the help menu. Then all you need to do is click on the 3d view tab to see your 2d plan turned into 3d!

But what is in the very latest update? Version 3.6.31 adds in a button to let you save the current 3d view as an image. What is exciting about this is that you can set the resolution of the saved image. This means you can save  a 4K image even if your computer is a much lower resolution. I tested on an older windows pc that runs at 1600 x 900 and it only took 2 seconds to generate a 4K ultra high def. image (3,840×2,160) of the current 3d view!