Monday, August 03, 2009

Digital Landscaping - The Seniors Center

Do you like those makeover television programs? I'll admit I like to see bad hair and sloppy clothes get transformed, or be amazed by houses that are fixed up and decorated. My virtual landscaping program allows me to do the same for gardens, by just plugging in a photo of an existing space. Actually, the full program allows 3D assembly of houses too, so you could do an exterior renovation of your house while you're at it.

We pass the new seniors' social center nearly every day, as it is just down our street. Hopefully, it is not going to experience the same disappointment as the town's welcome sign, which lingered on for a long time un-landscaped, (though I did offer some stunning and ridiculous ideas with digital landscaping, as posted on my blog). Currently, the building is a nice blue, but very plain. Maybe next year we'll get to see some landscaping to brighten things up. In the meantime, here are my ideas. I think I designed quite a reasonable and low-maintenance landscape. If anyone responsible for this building reads this post, please feel free to use any or all of my ideas!
Seniors Center before the makeover:

Seniors Center after the makeover:

RLM doesn't think that they will cover those posts with brick, seeing no foundation for such a structure. Too bad. Maybe they could build trellises on them and train climbing roses up them? Yeah right. Maybe that's not quite realistic for La Ronge, where the landscaping standards are set pretty low. Besides, someone would have to maintain this.

The plantings in front of the deck include spirea and mugo pines. In the little triangle at the left is a "Diabolo" ninebark.

Along the right side of the building are a dogwood shrub, a gold-foliage ninebark, three highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) shrubs, a bergenia, a dwarf balsam fir, and a mugo pine. In the center of the lawn is my one fanciful touch: a weeping Norway spruce. I just think that it is a really cool tree. At the right are two Lindens, which I think are a perfect tree, having nice leaves, bark, and shape.
A variety of shrub textures and colors:

Nice outdoor sitting area:

The pines and spruce are evergreen, while the dogwoods has pretty twig colors, so as to provide winter interest. The highbush cranberries provide food for the birds (and people, if so desired). Of course, all these plantings are hardy to our area.

If you have a space that could use a makeover, you can send a picture to me and I might post the results on the blog. I use Realtime Landscaping Pro 5, a PC program which is pretty simple to learn and use. It's an entertaining way to waste some time, at the very least!
Other digital landscaping projects on my blog can be found here:


Sigrun said...

Could you send me the name of the program you have to do the digital landscaping?

Sigrun said...


Gardenista said...

The program can be found here:

I have Realtime Landscaping PRO, but for two years before I upgraded, I also was happy with the "Plus" edition. I only used the "photo" part of the program (without the 3D part) to do this little project.

Chookie said...

I don't like teeny islands in the lawn (for some reason I thought a Norway Spruce was a bigger tree? At any rate, I think it needs company). I'd run a shrubbery down the side, under the lindens, to balance the driveway on the other side. I'd also make the plantings close to the Centre deeper, and provide some seclusion to that eating/chatting area at the front.

Have you thought of suggesting a sensory garden with raised beds?

Gardenista said...

Chookie - I think you are exactly right. I don't think the spruce by itself looks quite right. I'll probably do some other versions of this landscape.

Alvaro Rogers said...

The most important element of your garden remains the flower and it is the selection of garden flowers and their perfect arrangement in the garden that gives it a great look. The color and fragrance of the flowers chosen should be in sync with your taste and flavor. Since most of the flowers bloom only in a particular season, you should have a mix of them in your gardening area so that it looks fresh in every season.

Cecile said...

This is a good tool in coming up with a great landscape design. Would it be possible to use the program interactively and let the user decide on certain parameters before coming out with the design? Is it made up of menus with a lot of choices and easy to use?

snohomish landscaping

Gardenista said...

This program is quite easy to use. You can certainly decide how you want to landscape any space - pick your own plants, trees, mulch, lawn ornaments, edging, etc. Very fun to use!

lanscaping said...

I think adding planters and boulder rocks always adds to the exterior of your property, Thanks and more power!

landscaping said...

I thinking boulders and rocks will add character to your yard. I have tried that and it was really looking awesome.