Garden Software

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Garden Software

Post by James Yourc » Mon, 17 May 1999 04:00:00



Hi gardeners,

   I was browsing the software section of my local CompUSA and noticed
several different gardening programs available, one each from Broderbund,
Sierra, Burpee, which look like they might help gardeners.  Have any of you
tried these programs and could recommend one?  If so, what features make the
program worthwhile.  If you have tried a program but can't recommend it, why
did it fall short of your expectations?

Thanks in advance and happy gardening,

Jay

 
 
 

Garden Software

Post by Hood » Tue, 18 May 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
>several different gardening programs available, one each from Broderbund,
>Sierra, Burpee, which look like they might help gardeners.  Have any of you
>tried these programs and could recommend one?  If so, what features make the

The Sierra Landscape program (I forgot the actual name) is now
available at Sam's Club for $19.95 after a $20 rebate. I don't own the
software so I can't give you any opinion on it.

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Please remove the obvious pest deterrent
in my address for personal replies.

 
 
 

Garden Software

Post by Jutta Haa » Tue, 18 May 1999 04:00:00


I have Microsoft's "Gardening" CD and like it very much.
Quote:

> Hi gardeners,

>    I was browsing the software section of my local CompUSA
> and noticed
> several different gardening programs available, one each
> from Broderbund,
> Sierra, Burpee, which look like they might help
> gardeners.  Have any of you
> tried these programs and could recommend one?  If so, what
> features make the
> program worthwhile.  If you have tried a program but can't
> recommend it, why
> did it fall short of your expectations?

> Thanks in advance and happy gardening,

> Jay

 
 
 

Garden Software

Post by Andrea M. Elkin » Tue, 18 May 1999 04:00:00


I've got the Sierra product: The Complete LandDesigner.

It includes five products: 3D Landscape, Photo LandDesigner, a Garden
Encyclopedia, and 3D Deck. Only ones I've used so far are the 3D Landscape
and the encyclopedia.
Might be worth the $20 after rebate; I paid $40, I think.

The 3D Landscape is a nice product, but unfortunately it doesn't quite
deliver on its promise. The basic idea is that you "draw" your home in 3
dimensions, and can change the view to see how it looks from all sides. Then
you add in plants and structures, moving them around until you find a
pleasing arrangement. There are tools that allow you to see how the
light/shadows will change over the course of a day, month, or year; and a
"time-lapse" element to let you see how big your trees and other plants will
get in the course of X number of years. (Unfortunately, it doesn't take
pruning into account! My tiny 2' junipers ended up 6' high at the end of 5
years!)
You can spend quite a while reproducing your existing house and structures,
but there simply aren't enough variables to allow you to make a truly
realistic representation. In other words, the plants that you can "plant" in
your yard represent maybe 1% of the total species. You're limited
drastically in how realistic the view truly is.
The 3D walk-around is cool, and it gave me an excuse to go out and actually
measure the lot dimensions. Best part was probably the shadow tool, so that
I could see that "Oh, I guess the back patio only gets 6 hours of sunlight a
day," not the 10 I'd thought. Nice program, but you might be better off just
using the graph paper method. I'm a beginning gardener, and thought that
these programs might make the job easier -- NOPE! Just a fun toy. (Note:
"fun" if you're pretty computer-literate and have had some experience with
design software. My boss bought the same program the same weekend I did
[weird coincidence] and she had a darn time trying to figure it out.)

The Encyclopedia isn't great, and the search function is poor. You'd be
better off with a couple of good reference books.

The Photo LandDesigner allows you to actually scan in a photo of your house
and try out plantings -- but I'm not sure how that works. And the greatest
drawback: the two designer programs don't work together! They're completely
separate.

I have hope for Sierra though. Perhaps in another few years, they'll make a
product on 10 CD-Roms rather than 2, with more comprehensive plant
information.
Oh - another note, you can download extra graphics (gates, fences,
birdbaths, etc.) from the Sierra website. Nice if they keep adding things.
(Hrmm, I should probably check this evening. It's been a while since I
visited.)

Whew - my 2 cents' worth!

Quote:




> >several different gardening programs available, one each from Broderbund,
> >Sierra, Burpee, which look like they might help gardeners.  Have any of
you
> >tried these programs and could recommend one?  If so, what features make
the

> The Sierra Landscape program (I forgot the actual name) is now
> available at Sam's Club for $19.95 after a $20 rebate. I don't own the
> software so I can't give you any opinion on it.