Garden Design: From Concept to Reality with SketchUp

Garden Design: From Concept to Reality with SketchUp

Garden designers and landscape architects and designers use SketchUp to communicate their vision and bring their clients’ ideas to life. Carly Tong Garden Design talks about her design philosophy and using SketchUp.

The last two and a half years have taught many of us a lot about how we use and occupy available outdoor spaces; gardens, patios, yards, balconies and window boxes, all are important connections to an outdoor space in our immediate vicinity. These spaces provide many of us with solace, places to contemplate, busy ourselves, plant, create and more.

Over the next couple of months we hope to introduce many more customers' stories that throw light on SketchUp's capabilities for garden and landscape designers.


After graduating from the KLC School of Design with a Distinction, Carly Tong founded her Solihull based garden design business at the end of 2020. A challenging period for many, but a bold move that is paying off for this emerging garden designer. Carly shares some insight into her philosophy, influences and the role that SketchUp plays in communicating her ideas and vision to clients. 

Please tell us about your design philosophy

I work closely with my clients, helping them reimagine their own outdoor space(s), creating designs that work for them, fulfilling their needs and requirements, a space they’ll enjoy using and engaging with. I love problem-solving and the challenges involved in turning an unloved space into a place of happiness underpin my design philosophy and practice. By having a usable (outside) space we are proud of can contribute so much to our overall sense of wellbeing.


How long have you been a SketchUp user and why?

In 2021, I began incorporating Sketchup in my design process. I have found it extremely versatile to present my ideas to clients from concept sketches through to presenting final visualisations.

I use Sketchup alongside my hand drawings. I love the way you can start with shapes in 2D and when modelled in 3D the design can be shown in simple terms before the rendering stage begins. I am able to use Sketchup for 2D & 3D without the use of other CAD software, making it good value for money.

Pulling entourage objects from 3D Warehouse is a time-saver for many, providing a huge library of objects from vegetation, furniture through to vehicles. Do you use the 3D Warehouse?

Yes I do. The Sketchup 3D Warehouse has been invaluable in helping to bring my gardens to life, with the vast selection of planting, garden furniture and small accessories. Without this tool it would be a laborious task to model all these items.

Balance and symmetry or clean geometric lines? Where does your inspiration come from?

Visiting historical gardens, Italian gardens being a fond favourite, that’s where I derive much of my design influences from. The late John Brooke's (renowned landscape designer) creation of garden rooms to enable a garden to become a liveable space and an extension of the home is another strong influence in my design processes. Brooke introduced this philosophy in his book, A Room Outside, a classic that has considerable relevance today.


Creatively, what really challenges you

Having too many ideas! Creatively, that’s what really challenges me. However, I am focussed and that focus comes from following the criteria set out in the client’s brief.

We'd like to thank Carly for speaking with us about her work and how SketchUp is in an integral part of her design processes and output. 

This is a good example of the kind of efficient and economical way SketchUp can make things easier for garden designers and landscape architects and designers. Include the 3D Warehouse and its plethora of models free to SketchUp users to utilise in their projects, you have an all-in-one design, modelling and presentation solution that is simple to use and that generates slick and professional output. 

Interested in learning more about Carly Tong Garden Design, check out the company's Instagram profile.

Cadsoft Solutions customers interested in being featured as a case study should contact our marketing team.

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