The Garden Sketch App is very user friendly with a quick start up and easy learning curve.  Here are some step-by-step instructions for using the features to create a plan for your customized garden space. You can make multiple plans for the property you input, and the most difficult part will be deciding which plan wins!

When you first open  Garden Sketch, you will be prompted to enter the dimensions of your property.

 

As soon as you enter the measurements you will see a blank planning canvas appear with grid marks. If you don't know the exact dimensions you can simply select a shape that looks similar to what you will be working with.

As soon as you enter the measurements you will see a blank planning canvas appear with grid marks. If you don’t know the exact dimensions you can simply select a shape that looks similar to what you will be working with.

 

After you click ‘Done’ you will be prompted to add a house to your space.   Select the image that most resembles your home.

 

Select the house you want by tapping your finger on the appropriate image.

Select the house you want by tapping your finger on the appropriate image.

 

Next, tap an area on your grid to place the house.  You will find that it is highlighted by a red square with an ‘X’ through it. This is to let you know that your house can be moved around and re-sized.  This will also be true for any item you place in your garden.  When you tap on something, it will become highlighted by this red box, indicating that it can be edited or deleted.

 

Since this house has landed hanging off our property, we will need to make some adjustments!

Since this house has landed hanging off our property, we will need to make some adjustments! Press the Resize tab to begin. By touching the middle of the red square, you can slide the house around to place it in the right spot.  By touching the far right line of the square and sliding towards the middle, you can make your house smaller until it’s appearance on your grid closely resembles the true size of your lot.

 

Press ‘Done’ when you are finished and you will be taken to the next screen.  Here you will be asked to point an arrow indicating where North is in relation to your garden on your property.  This will help you to keep in mind where and when the sun will hit different areas of your space.

 

To complete this step, place your finger on the arrow and slide it around the circle until it points to your North.

To complete this step, place your finger on the arrow and slide it around the circle until it points to your North.

 

Now the fun begins! You may have a plan in your mind already that you’re anxious to implement, or you may have no idea where to start.  A great first step is to record items already in your space.  We’ve chosen the leafy tree that is in the corner of the yard.  Select the item, a colour to represent it and the relative size and place it on your grid.  The beauty of getting to sketch your garden first is that everything can be deleted or moved around without having to get on your hands and knees, dig something up and get dirty!

 

Press the element you would like to add first. We went with a Leafy Tree. When you press the item, options to select a size and colour will appear. Press on your choices and then touch your finger on the area of your grid where you want it to be.

Press the element you would like to add first. We went with a Leafy Tree. When you press the item, options to select a size and colour will appear. Press on your choices and then touch your finger on the area of your grid where you want it to be.

 

You will have the ability to move your item around, or delete it, any time you highlight it.  Next, we added a tile area.  This was done by using the same steps as the Leafy Tree.  We placed our tiles near the tree because we wanted a little sitting space in the shade of the tree.  We used the Freehand Lines to add a set of table and chairs.  The Freehand Line option is just above the plant choices.  We selected a line thickness and colour, then simply drew right on our tile area!

 

The freehand draw option could be used to draw out a swing set, hang a hammock between a couple trees, or anything else you might be envisioning for your paradise.  If you'd prefer not to draw, you can simply leave a space for these items and add a note to explain what you plan to put there. (We will explain how to make notes in a minute!)

The freehand draw option could be used to draw out a swing set, hang a hammock between a couple trees, or anything else you might be envisioning for your garden paradise. If you’d prefer not to draw, you can simply leave a space for these items and add a note to explain what you plan to put there. (We will explain how to make notes in a minute!)

 

As we placed the tree, you can set other items.  We put a couple flower pots by our tile area and laid out some colourful plants.  Most of the items will give you choices of sizes and colours.  This helps you get your plan just right.

 

Placing hedges is one example.  When you press on the word Hedge, you will see the size and colour select options, but you will also see something that says 'Rotate'.  Slide your finger on the direction you would like your hedge to face.  You can see how we used two different directions in our upper right corner.

Placing hedges is one example. When you press on the word Hedge, you will see the size and colour select options, but you will also see something that says ‘Rotate’. Slide your finger on the direction you would like your hedge to face. You can see how we used two different directions in our upper right corner.

 

One of the other custom drawing options is to create spaces.  We used this to design a path through our garden.  Simply press on the option labeled Area and select your colour.  We chose grey to represent a sidewalk.  You then draw the outline of your planned area.  When your lines connect the space will be  filled with your chosen colour. We also used this option to create a little pond by our hedges.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time.  You can always delete and try again.

As you continue to design your garden you may wish to make notes to explain what your plans are.  These can be handy reminders of your daydreams, or  notes if you want to share your plan with fellow gardening friends.  You can also use notes to identify specific plants.

 

Select the 'Notes' option from the top left of your screen. The first note you write will produce the letter A above your plan. When you are done your note, slide the A on top of the area of your garden it refers too. Each note you make will correspond with concurrent letters of the alphabet.

Select the ‘Notes’ option from the top left of your screen. The first note you write will produce the letter A above your plan. When you are done your note, slide the A on top of the area of your garden it refers to. Each note you make will correspond with concurrent letters of the alphabet.

 

This is what your plan will look like after you place your letters for your notes.  Once you return to the 'Plans' screen the letters and notes will be hidden, viewable only on the 'Notes' screen and then on your finished garden when you share it.

This is what your plan will look like after you place your letters for your notes. Once you return to the ‘Plans’ screen the letters and notes will be hidden, viewable only on the ‘Notes’ screen and then on your finished garden when you share it.

 

Unfortunately, our dreams are sometimes limited by the reality of the space we have to work with.  You will know if something will not fit in your garden if the image of it is larger than the grid space you are designing on.  Don’t ever let us tell you something’s impossible though…our sizes are general and you might be able to find a smaller customized version of your vision at a retail location.

 

There is clearly no room for a Gazebo in this garden!

There is clearly no room for a Gazebo in this garden!

 

Instead of the Gazebo, we decided to create an area for growing vegetables.  We used the 'Area' option to do that, and then placed the smallest size plants on top. You can see we also started to add some other plants and a different type of tree in our space.

Instead of the Gazebo, we decided to create an area for growing vegetables. We used the ‘Area’ option to do that, and then placed the smallest size plants on top. You can see we also started to add some other plants and a different type of tree in our space.

 

Now it’s time to really start filling in the garden! There is another feature we want to show you that will help you to place many plants faster.  When you press on most of the items you will see an oval with arrows representing the concept of repeating.  Pressing this little image allows you to make your size and colour selection once, and then tap your finger around on your grid in a rapid-fire way, continuously placing the same item.  You can the place each individual plant.

When working with smaller plants, it may help to zoom in on you design.

 

Look along the walkway at the front of our house.  You can see where we have started to place little pink plants to border it.  To the right of the walkway we created the entrance pathway to our house using the 'Straight Line' option.

Look along the walkway at the front of our house. You can see where we have started to place little pink plants to border it. To the right of the walkway we created the entrance pathway to our house using the ‘Straight Line’ option.

 

Here's a look at our garden all filled in!

Here’s a look at our garden all filled in!

 

You can start a new plan for the same space at any time and your current designs will be automatically saved as Plan 1.  To start a new plan just select  ‘Plans’ from the upper left and then press the  ‘+’ sign at the bottom of your screen.  Create as many different layouts as you like.  You can even give each of your plans it’s own special name!  If you just want to modify an existing plan, use the copy function and modify the new version.  That way you can choose the best design between the two!

 

Under the 'Plans' tab, press your current garden plan. You will see four options come up.  Select the one that says Rename and type in what you would like to call your plan. Press 'Done' when you are finished.

Under the ‘Plans’ tab, press your current garden plan. You will see four options come up. Select the one that says Rename and type in what you would like to call your plan. Press ‘Done’ when you are finished.

 

When you are finished and ready to share what you have created to get input from other garden lovers, follow the same steps as explained above, but select ‘Share’ instead of ‘Rename’.  When you press the blue square with the arrow in the upper right corner you will be given options for sending your beautiful work out into the world!

 

Within the share screen you will see your completed garden with all your notes.

Within the share screen you will see your completed garden with all your notes.

 

We’re quite pleased to see how much we were able to fit in our garden, and the space feels quite appealing! Perhaps we’ll grow some mint for brewing tea for us to enjoy at the table under the tree!  We hope you become inspired to breath some new life into your garden.  Happy Sketching!