Landscape Design Drawing: DIY for Beginners


As the demand for sustainable and personalized spaces is on the rise, landscape design has no longer been confined to luxurious courtyards. From greenery planning along the streets to small gardens in front of residences, landscape design plays a pivotal role in elevating residential quality. If you are also interested in the beauty of landscape design and intend to cultivate it as a personal skill, please read this post further. It will walk you through how to complete landscape design drawings, starting from the tools required to the content to be drawn. Now, just scroll down and explore them all!

What to Prepare for a Landscape Design Drawing

What to Prepare for a Landscape Design Drawing

Landscape design drawing involves dimension measurements and drawing sketches at its core, so measurement tools and drawing instruments are essential. Besides, given the increasing importance of computer-aided design in landscape design, it is also necessary to have landscape design software prepared if you are inclined toward its convenience. To be specific, the following tools are indispensable:

  • 100-foot steel tape measure
  • Ground stakes
  • String or twine
  • Colored pencils
  • Rulers and erasers
  • Various drawing paper
  • Landscape design software
  • Interior design software (optional)

What Is Included in a Landscape Design Drawing

Whether created manually or through computer-aided design, superior landscape design is closely related to standardized drawings. These drawings not only help construction teams understand but also prove beneficial for subsequent maintenance and renovations. Hence, it is crucial to define the key design elements as follows:

  • Landscape Area: A landscape area is set aside for arranging different landscape features. You need to decide how big it is and what kinds of landscapes you’d like to include based on your preferences and reality.
  • Dimension & Scale: No paper is large enough to design the landscape around a house on a one-to-one scale. So, the key is to pick the right drawing scale after defining what you want in your landscape design. This makes it easy to draw on different-sized papers and helps the construction team understand the plans better.
  • Softscape and Hardscape: Softscape is all about plants while hardscape generally includes structures, sculptures, lighting fixtures, and other items. If your landscape area is big enough, it’s a good idea to mix both for a varied and layered aesthetic in the landscape design.
  • Landscape Symbols: Specific symbols are used to represent different landscape features in standard landscape design drawings. For instance, trees and flowers have their special icons, and walls or fences are shown with various types of lines.

How to Draw a Landscape Design Plan

How to Draw a Landscape Design Plan

Now that you have drawing tools ready and have identified the necessary design elements for landscape design drawings, you can proceed to measure the property and start designing around it. Now, check the process below and have a try.

Measure the Property

The first step in landscape design drawings is to clearly define and measure the areas around the house suitable for landscaping. You can refer to the deed map received during the purchase to determine property boundaries and dimensions. Alternatively, check with local authorities or access property information websites online. In case this information is temporarily unavailable for older properties, you may as well try to measure it yourself. This is where the 100-foot steel tape measure comes in handy.

Use the tape measure to determine the lengths of the four boundaries of the property. If it seems inconvenient to pull the tape measure directly, consider driving ground stakes into evenly spaced positions and gauge each segment individually before totaling them. Next, check the dimensions of your house. It is crucial to determine the available landscape area. Don’t forget to measure existing features like flower beds or ponds. If their shapes aren’t rectangular, use string or twine to get the enclosed sections.

Determine the Scale

Landscape design drawings should be scaled to depict and design the actual property and features. The typical scale is 1:10, with other common scales being 1:4, 1:5, 1:8, 1:16, and 1:20. To select the scale for landscape design drawings, you should depend on the chosen drawing paper or CAD software. Larger paper sizes are generally recommended for smaller scales. This will make them easy to read. If you prefer not to scale down the landscape drawing, multiple sheets of paper can be used to draw different landscape areas separately.

Consider Softscape & Hardscape

Before introducing new landscaping elements, it’s important to decide whether to retain existing features, modify their appearance, or replace plants. All these decisions need to be noted in the landscape design sketch. Next, you can turn to add fresh softscapes and hardscapes to the sketch.

If the budget allows, it’s advisable to include hardscape elements like sculptures, paved pathways, and driveways in the design. These features can complement the plants, enhancing the overall cohesion and coordination of the landscape design. For softscapes, additionally, beyond flowering plants, try to incorporate various elements such as lines, shapes, textures, and colors into flower beds, fountains, or traces to enhance the visual appeal.

Start to Draw Landscape Plan

Once basic property measurements and landscape planning are completed with sketches, you can embark on the landscape design drawing. Both manual drawing and landscape design software are good options, but the latter tends to be more efficient. Not only does it reduce paper wastage before finalizing the design, but computer-aided design also reduces human design errors with precise scale and templates. Better yet, advanced landscape design software like ZWCAD can integrate with other third-party design tools through APIs. This can help you automate design with commands and is conducive to output for printing and viewing.

However, if you choose to manually draw landscape design plans, it’s crucial to accurately depict various landscape symbols. Some of them can be quite similar, especially the symbols for trees and flowers. Meanwhile, keep in mind the scale and pay attention to details like information blocks and annotations. It’s also suggested to make multiple copies of the basic design to avoid starting from scratch if modifications are needed later on.

Color Landscape Design Drawings

The last step in landscape design drawing is coloring. If you’re using CAD software like ZWCAD, the “Hatch” feature can help you color specific areas with one click. Also, it can introduce diverse textures to the landscape. For manual drawing, colored pencils are suitable. However, it’s important to ensure that the colors match real-life elements and avoid overly complex hues. To seek a more vivid effect, you can enhance landscape design drawings with highlights and shadows.


To wrap up, landscape design drawings generally involve two main parts: property measurements and drawing creations. During drawing, you can use drawing instruments manually or opt for CAD software. While this entire process may be time-consuming and challenging, practice makes perfect. Hope you can steadily refine your drawing skills and progress further with knowledge in this post.

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