Landscape Exercise 03 – Concept Plants

  1. Using the same file that you saved in the previous exercise, create a new Layout view and name it Concept Plan Layout.

In this way we will have the existing site plan on one Layout drawing sheet and a concept plan on another. The advantage of this method is that you have the entire projects CAD data in the one file and when changes are made to say the site boundary or position of existing trees due to a survey update for instance, that change is reflected in the concept and proposed planting plan automatically.

The disadvantage of this method is that the CAD file can become very large and use up valuable computer resources. More importantly, if the file becomes corrupted or is lost, the entire job is gone!

The alternative file management method is to simply save the previous file using a new name and thus having a separate file for each drawing or each stage of the project design.

For the purpose of wider learning, we will use both methods in this course; the first method for the Existing Site Plan plus the Concept Plan that we are about to begin, then we’ll use the alternative method for the Proposed Planting Plan of the following exercise.

With the existing site boundary, features and trees now on your drawing you’re ready to begin a basic concept plan. Focussing on the back yard of this property, let’s insert some new features that delineate the different areas of use. Be sure to select a suitable Style Set for your various feature lines.

  1. Using Layer switching, switch off layers ‘Trees to be removed’ and ‘Structures’. Items on these layers do not need to be in our concept design.
  2. Place new lines and curves to indicate new garden beds and pathways. You can copy the design below or create your own design. This is not a design competition so don’t get too carried away!
  3. Once you have the areas defined you can select the Insert Concept Plant icon to reveal the Select Concept Plants dialog as shown

This dialog box provides you with a wide array of different plant symbols, and associated with some of those symbols are pre-typed blocks of text. This heading and label text are fully editable.

You are not limited to the symbols provided ‘out of the box’. You can add your own symbols and edit the text in the database as desired. There is a detailed section on how to do that in the LANDWorksCAD Reference Manual so let’s just use what we have for this exercise.

  1. Pick your desired plant symbols and add them to the drawing. The Scale 2 Points method is usually best for concept plants as you can adjust the size of the plants as you insert them.


  1. Use copying methods to add additional plants, rather than inserting one at a time. The Ctrl + Drag (Command + Drag) method is the most common way to copy plants at this stage.

Now we’ll insert some text to describe the type and purpose of our planting choices. Each unique symbol has some text associated with it. The software will automatically use the text that was associated with the symbols you inserted.

You can either insert the text in the Top view or switch to the Layout view before selecting the command.

Inserting text in the same Top view as the plants you inserted means you don’t have to switch between views when working but doesn’t allow you to see the text in the context of the drawing sheet border and title block and you have to be more mindful of the plot scale effect on the text.

  1. Select the Label Concept Plant icon and the first block of text is revealed.
  2. Edit the Heading and Label text as desired.
  3. Select the Option buttons to set the desired Font style and size.
  4. Ok the desired font settings and then insert the Heading and Label text into your drawing. The command will repeat for each unique symbol you’ve used.
  5. Copy one of the headings and its label to use as the heading and label for other existing trees. Simply double click on the text and edit it as desired in the dialog box.
  6. You can add leader lines (pointers) if desired for clarity as shown, by inserting lines or curves.

There is no hard and fast rule about how you use concept plants for your concept plans, and it is perfectly OK to use Proposed Plants for concept plans too, however only Concept plants have blocks of text associated with them for faster labelling.

You may have noticed when selecting your desired plant symbols that some of them have a colourful image option that you can choose.

  1. If you selected a plant that had this option then it is possible to swap from the Component style to the image style, even after you’ve inserted them into your drawing.
  2. Select the Plant Display Switching tool, then tick the Show Bitmap option and select OK. Choose modify all plants when asked. The plants that have a matching bitmap image file will change as shown.

If you want only some plants to change then preselect the desired plants in the drawing before selecting the command.

Spend a little time adding more detail to your drawing including planes to represent any paved, lawn or water areas.
Remember that you may need to divide and trim the boundary outlines to insert planes successfully.
Use Transform, Copy-Along for the edging and alter the line weights to add depth to your drawing. You will soon develop a style that is distinctly yours.


If there is a particular style you would like to emulate in some way but don’t quite know how, ask the team at CAD International or your CAD tutor to assist you.

The primary points to consider are:

  • Various line weights to create depth and levels of importance in the drawing
  • Hatching styles to indicate various materials and areas without dominance
  • Shading to provide ‘shape’ to objects such as trees
  • Shadows to provide a 3D feel and depth to a 2D image
  • Colours to enhance the mood of a garden of environment
  • Level of detail to ensure the viewer is not distracted by too much information
  • Transparency to ensure items beneath other items are still visible
  • Haloing around text and certain line-work to ensure clarity
  • Block-out (whiteout) to minimize overlapping details when not required
  • Labeling to provide relevant descriptive information
  • Size and scale to ensure legibility of the entire design
  • Key to ensure no ambiguity when reading your plans
  • Elevation and 3D views to bring important regions of your design to life
  • Photographs that link to zones, features or dominant plantings in your plan
  • Style consistency so your drawings do not look like a ‘dog’s breakfast!’

There are some design tips at the end of this course material to assist you.