Designing gardens with Google Sketchup
If you posses a creative mind and you feel capable of designing your own garden then Google may have something that you might find useful. The Google Sketchup software is free to download and according to Google, very easy to use.
It gives you the ability to plan and build several combinations of terrace or pergola and be able to save the file to your computer.
Many garden designers are already well ahead of the game when it comes to using Sketchup although others have referred to it as their "quick and dirty system" and still prefer to use Vector or CAD. For the more advanced user there is Google Sketchup Pro enabling you to push and pull your work in and out of any CAD package. Pro will also support a host of file extensions making it a truly versatile and workable garden design package.
Before you put pen to paper (or should I say finger to keyboard), you may want to check out Lanscape Juice's articles on simple garden surveying parts one and two - this will give you all of the basic measurements for creating your garden to scale.