Plan-a-Garden Help

Getting started with your garden design.

Selecting Plants and Structures

Getting a Better View

When I zoom in on my design, my design seems to disappear.

Each time you zoom in or out, the workspace re-centers itself. For example, if your design is near the left edge and you zoom in, you will need to pan to the left using the left-pointing pan arrow.

I can't see plants or structures under the trees.

You can temporarily "turn off" the trees by clicking the "Hide Trees" button. To bring back the trees, click the same button (which now will say "Show Trees.")

When I drag trees to my design, they don't appear on the workspace.

Check to see that the "Hide Trees" button is in place. If you see a "Show Trees" button, you will need to click the button to show the trees you are dragging to the workspace.

The program freezes or looks odd on my computer.

Plan-a-Garden works best with "Flash Player 6" installed on your computer. This small program works with your web browser. To obtain this program free, click the link below.

Also, Plan-a-Garden runs best on a PC with browser versions 5 or later. To check your version number, click the Help menu above, then select About . . . If you need to update your browser, click the link below.

Click here to download the Flash Player

Click here if you need to update your browser

When I click to zoom, nothing happens.

Be sure you are clicking the "+" or "-" buttons, not the indicator bars. There are four zoom levels.

How can I tell what plants I have when I print?

Before you print, click "View Plan." This will change all plants to outlines. Use the letter codes within each outline and the Plant Key (the last page of this Help document) to identify your plants.

My design prints too small.

Be sure you are using the Print button under the workspace, not your browser's print function.

  • Select a zoom level before placing items. The widest view (about 70 feet square) is best for placing large structures and trees. The next two levels down are best for shrubs and similarly sized structures. Use the closest zoom level (about 8 feet square) for placing flowers.
  • You can recognize general plant types by their shape and color. Evergreen plants are a darker shade of green. Flowers have scalloped edges. Shrubs have flattened teeth on their edges. Trees have points along their edges.
  • If you need a plant that isn't on any of the lists, use the generic version (for trees, shrubs, or vines), or select a flower that looks something like the plant you have in mind.
  • To size items accurately, drag them to the center of the workspace, then click the Info button on the item. (Click the item once if necessary to make the Info button appear.) Type in the desired dimensions, then click "Done." This process is best for representing the trees you have on your property already.
  • To create areas of groundcover, combine one or more Beds/Shapes items to create the shape you want. Color the shapes green to represent the groundcover. Beds/Shapes items can also be used to create driveways and sidewalks (colored gray) or mulched areas (color brown or red).

The codes below are used in the Plan View of your garden design. Use them to identify the plants you have selected.

ag - Ageratum al - Allium an - Anemone, Japanese ar - Artemisia arb - Arborvitae art - Arborvitae, Eastern as - Lily, Asiatic ash - Ash, Green at - Aster auc - Aucuba azl - Azalea ba - Balloonflower bam - Bamboo, Heavenly bar - Barberry, Japanese bb - Bachelor's Button bc - Bloody Cranesbill be - Bethlehem Sage bee - Beech, European bg - Begonia, Wax bh - Bleeding Heart bi - Iris, Bearded bir - Birch, River bl - Blanket Flower bm - Blue Mist Shrub box - Box, Common br - Barrenwort, Young's but - Butterfly Bush ca - Calendula cam - Camellia, Japanese cb - Carpathian Harebell ce - Celosia cf - Coneflower, Purple ch - Cheddar Pinks chl - Cherrylaurel, Common chy - Cherry, Flowering cl - Bellflower cm - Columbine, Hybrid cn - Coneflower, Orange co - Coleus cot - Cotoneaster, Rockspray cp - Coreopsis, Threadleaf cr - Chrysanthemum, Garden crb - Crabapple crp - Crapemyrtle, Common cry - Cryptomeria, Japanese cs - Cosmos cy - Century Plant cyb - Cypress, Bald cyp - Cypress, Leyland da - Daffodil dap - Daphne de - Delphinium, Hybrid dog - Dogwood, Red Osier dwd - Dogwood, Flowering dy - Daylily euo - Euonymus, Winged fa - False Blue Indigo fcn - False Cypress, Nootka fcy - False Cypress, Hinoki fe - Ferns fir - Fir, White for - Forsythia, Border fot - Fothergilla,Large fri - Fringe Tree, White frt - Firethorn, Scarlet fx - Foxglove, Common ga - Gazania ge - Geranium gin - Ginkgo gl - Globe Amaranth gol - Golden Raintree gr - Grass, Ornamental grd - Gardenia gy - Gayfeather, Spike he - Heuchera hem - Hemlock, Canadian hlo - Holly, Oregon Grape hny - Honeylocust, Thornless ho - Hollyhock hol - Holly hyd - Hydrangea im - Impatiens ir - Iris, Siberian jas - Jasmine, Winter jmp - Maple, Japanese jnp - Juniper, Pfitzer jo - Joe Pye Weed jun - Juniper, Creeping kat - Katsura Tree la - Lantana le - Lamb's-Ears lr - Lenten Rose li - Lily-of-the-Valley lil - Lilac lin - Linden lit - Lilac, Japanese Tree lm - Lady's Mantle lo - Lobelia lok - Oak, Live lor - Loropetalum, Chinese lv - Lavender, Common ma - Marigold mag - Magnolia map - Maple mo - Bee-Balm ne - Nepeta, Faassen ni - Nicotania oak - Oak ole - Oleander osm - Osmanthus, Fortune's pag - Pagoda Tree, Japanese pe - Petunia per - Pear, Bradford ph - Phlox, Garden pie - Pieris, Japanese pim - Pine, Mugo pin - Pine pn - Pincushion Flower po - Poppy, California py - Peony pp - Poppy, Oriental ptl - Potentilla pw - Phlox, Woodland px - Phlox, Annual rdb - Redbud rho - Rhododendron ro - Rose, Hybrid ros - Rose, Rugosa rsh - Rose of Sharon sa - Salvia sd - Sedum 'Autumn Joy' se - Sedge, Bowles sh - Shasta Daisy shr - Generic Shrub ski - Skimmia, Japanese snb - Snowbell, Japanese sou - Sourwood spb - Spirea, Bumaldi spi - Spirea, Bridal Wreath spr - Spruce ste - Stewartia, Japanese stj - St. John's Wort su - Sunflower sum - Summersweet svc - Serviceberry, Downy tre - Generic Tree tu - Tulip ve - Verbena, Rose vi - Viola, Horned vib - Viburnum, Doublefile vik - Viburnum, Koreanspice vin - Generic Vine vr - Virginia Bluebells wch - Witchhazel, 'Arnold Promise' wei - Weigela, Old-Fashioned wlo - Willow ya - Yarrow yew - Yew zi - Zinnia

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