- Concept Plants Overview
- Placing Groundcover Polyline Borders
- Creating a Mix of Seeds or Plant Species
- Converting Concept Plants to Project Plants
- A Note on the Concept Schedule Text Style (Discontinued March 2019)
- Related Webinars
When you design using our Concept Plants, you'll work with a group of plants that capture the general intent of your design. Use the Concept Manager to access the Concept Plant symbols you want to place in your drawing.
We made some major updates to the functionality of Concept Plants in 2018. The crux of the update was to engineer an option to include Concept Plants in the regular Plant Schedule. You can now drag and drop plants into the Concept Palette from the Plant Manager to build your palette. You can also move between a Concept Schedule and a regular Plant Schedule with a few clicks, showing all individual plants, configured perfectly with your assigned percentages – plus it even auto-assigns percentages if you didn’t. This is wildly awesome capability, all driven by numerous amazing wishlist requests over the years.
For more information on Concept Plants, including instructions on how to add them to your project, see our Concept Manager documentation page.
Generic Plants vs. Concept Plants vs. Project Plants
We offer three basic ways of placing plants in your drawings, each with its own specific purpose in the design phase:
- Generic Plants are “dumb” plant blocks (that is, they have no data attached to them). Designing with Generic Plants is like designing the old way – just putting plant symbols in your drawing without assigning them to plants from a database. Essentially, they serve as placeholders until you’re ready to replace them with actual plants from our database using our Match Properties tool.
- You can use Concept Plants to complete a high-level conversation plan with the client before locking into your final plants. You can replace them with actual plants from our database when ready.
- The Plant Manager is for when you know the exact plants you want to use.
Concept Plants Overview
- Concept Plant Schedule Overview
- Plant Spacing & Percentage Fills
- Combining the Concept Plant Schedule With the Standard Plant Schedule
- Schedule Text in Uppercase (or Upper and Lowercase)
- Rearranging the Column Order in Your Schedule
- Some Notes on How the Concept Plant Schedule Works
The Concept Plant Schedule lists all Concept Plants you've used in your plan. You can place a Concept Schedule in either Paper Space or Model Space.
As of July 2018, we've made some major updates to the functionality of Concept Plants. The crux of the update was to engineer an option to include Concept Plants in the regular Plant Schedule. You can now drag and drop plants into the Concept Palette to build your palette. You can also move between a Concept Schedule and a Plant Schedule with a few clicks, showing all individual plants,
Concept Plant Schedule Overview
Choose an option to begin creating a Concept Plant Schedule:
F/X Planting ribbon, Concept Schedule flyout
Open the Concept Manager and click Schedule
F/X Planting menu, Concept Schedule option
Plant Concept toolbar
or type FX_PlantScheduleConcept in the Command line
The Concept Plant Schedule dialog box will open.
1. Destination: Select one of the following :
- Place the schedule directly in your Drawing.
- Export the schedule to a Spreadsheet.
2. Entire Palette: Check this box to list the entire Concept Plant palette in the schedule.
3. Include Xrefs: Check this box to include Concept Plants from Xrefs in the schedule.
4. Options: Select an option in the pull-down menu to determine how the Concept Plant names will display in the schedule: Botanical/Common, Common/Botanical, Botanical, or Common.
5. Remarks: Check this box to include remarks, or notes, in the schedule.
6. Size: Check this box to show the size of each plant in the schedule.
7. Quantity: Check this box to show the quantity of each plant in the schedule
8. Fill/Spacing: Include the percentage fill and plant spacing of Concept groundcovers and Shrub Areas.
9. Cost: Include a per-unit cost for Concept Plants.
Click OK to place your schedule.
You can now place the Concept Plant Schedule in your drawing by clicking in either Model Space or Paper Space.
- Use the Up and Down buttons in the Concept Plant Manager to organize the order in which the Plant Design Group will appear in the Concept Plant Schedule.
- If a project's Concept Plant palette and related symbols seem applicable to future projects, save it as a template from the Plant Manager. The next time you have a new project that is similar, simply click the Add from Project button in the Plant Manager. A list of templates and current projects will appear, allowing you to select one. All design groups, plant palette plant names, and the related symbols will be added to your new project for immediate Concept Plan use.
- After you complete a Concept Plan, all plant data entered into the Concept Plant palette will be ready for creating a working drawing planting plan. You may continue to add more plants as necessary during the working drawing process to fine-tune your design.
Plant Spacing and Percentage Fills
The Plant Info dialog box, where you edit Concept Plants, includes entries for Plant Spacing and Percentage Fill. This data is also included in the Concept Plant Schedule, as shown below.
Combining the Concept Plant Schedule With the Standard Plant Schedule
Good news! We've engineered the ability to include your Concept Plants in the regular Plant Schedule.
When creating a Plant Schedule, just make sure the Include Concept Plants option is checked. Your Concept Plants will be completely integrated with your project plants in the schedule. To exclude your Concept Plants from the Plant Schedule, just uncheck this option.
Schedule Text in Uppercase (or Upper and Lowercase)
You can control whether the text in any of your schedules appears in all uppercase, or in upper and lowercase, from the General Preferences. For instructions, see our Schedule Text in Uppercase article.
This setting will apply to all schedules you place in your drawings, including:
- Plant Schedule
- Irrigation Schedule
- Details Schedule
Site schedules such as:
- Reference Notes (RefNotes) Schedule
- Lighting Schedule
- Concept Schedule
- Zoning Schedule
- Site Development Schedule
- Grading Schedule
Rearranging the Column Order in Your Schedule
In the interest of keeping our software easy to use – and limited by some restrictions from the CAD platform – we’ve decided to limit the built-in arrangement options to more widely accepted arrangements. However, you can easily rearrange your schedule columns at will while also keeping the ability to regenerate the schedule.
Some Notes on How the Concept Plant Schedule Works
The Concept Schedule and Flats
We've found the Concept Schedule to work better in not displaying quantities in flats, so this option is currently not available for flats.
Now that the regular Plant Schedule provides the option to include Concept Plants, you essentially have three options in generating a Concept Schedule:
- Concept Schedule
- The two options in the Plant Schedule for including Concept Plants (pictured to the right):
- Plant Schedule including Concept By Group
- Plant Schedule including Concept By Plant
Of these three schedule options, the Concept Schedule has the most “overall” quantities. As the system assembles the Concept Plant quantities from your drawing, it only sees each hatch area as the Concept Design Group it represents. When you run a Concept Schedule, an overall total area quantity of those hatches is calculated. Then, as the system creates the individual line items in the schedule that correlate to these areas, the percentage fills of each individual Concept Plant within that group are multiplied by the overall quantities within the areas. As a result, if you were to label these areas with our pending new itemized label type, you would see rounding differences between the total of the individual label quantities and the overall schedule quantities.
Next, in terms of accuracy, is the Plant Schedule including Concept Plants by Group. This option should always provide an exact match with what the Concept Schedule is showing – which, again,is not perfectly accurate. For example, let’s say you have 9 Concept Trees placed, with 2 member trees within that Concept Tree Group. Without percentage fills assigned to them, both trees will automatically receive a percentage fill of 50%, which calculates to 4.5 and then rounds to 5. In the Plant Schedule, the line item for each of those member plants will show a quantity of 5, even though the line item directly above, for the group, clearly shows 9. We are currently working out a way to engineer a fix for this discrepancy.
The highest form of quantity accuracy is the Plant Schedule including Concept Plants by Plant. The way this schedule assembles quantities ensures the highest level of accuracy. As it processes each hatch area, it calculates all individual plants that would be within the area, rounded up to the next whole plant. Further, as it processes groups such as our example Trees from above, the first tree is assigned 4.5, which rounds to 5, but as it processes the next (and last) member of the group, that member plant will receive the remaining quantity – hence 4 – thus matching exactly with what the plan shows.
Stay tuned for further news in our efforts to engineer these vast amounts of code. (For example, the Plant Schedule alone comprises 3,500 lines, which if printed would take up 140 pages.) It's a slow and careful process – and one we're motivated to carry out with accuracy, which takes time.
Issue: Error: Non-planar entity
The Concept Manager will open.
1. Select the option for your desired plant category (example: Trees).
2. Highlight a Design Group within the selected plant category (example: DECIDUOUS).
3. Highlight a plant from the selected Design Group Plant Palette.
4. Click Place to place the Concept Plant in the drawing.
You can also place Concept Plants by double-clicking the symbol thumbnail image in the top right corner of the Concept Plant Manager.
Want to use our Exclude Shrubs tool? It will work with Concept groundcovers, but only manually – and only with shrubs you've added and placed from the Plant Manager. When you're about to place a concept groundcover, press the E key to trigger the Exclude Shrubs option when you place the groundcover. Note that Exclude Shrubs will not recognize and exclude individual Concept shrubs.
Click to place the plant, and repeat until you've placed all your desired instances of the selected plant. If you're placing a groundcover or Shrub Area, place it just as you would place a groundcover or Shrub Area you've added as a project plant.
All Concept Plants are placed in Model Space.
To continue placing other Concept Plants, right-click to open the Plant Manager.
Concept Plants allow you to express design intent in a somewhat abstract fashion. The Concept system is equally important for firms and students because:
- Different sets of Design Groups can be saved as templates, and when a new project is started, it is based on the appropriate template, thus saving a great deal of time.
- Maximizing of time efficiency is important because you want to allocate time for big picture decisions, and not focus on the little minutiae in creating a plan.
Placing Concept Trees and Shrubs
To place a Concept tree or shrub, select it in the Concept Manager and click to place it, just as you would a tree or shrub from the Plant Manager.
Keyboard Commands for Placing Concept Trees and Shrubs
When placing Concept trees or shrubs, you can type K to see the available keyboard commands. These commands correspond to the keyboard commands available in our Plant Shotgun feature.
Type any of the following commands on your keyboard. (The Keyboard Commands dialog box is only informational – the key buttons won't actually fire the commands.)
- 1–0: Set a number of Concept Plants to place (aka Shotgun Mode).
- Q/E: Toggle to the previous/next available Concept Plant in the Concept Plant Manager.
- T: Enter Paint Mode, where you can "paint" an area with copies of the selected Concept Plant.
- W/S: If placing multiple Concept Plants, set a wider/smaller spacing for them (aka Shotgun Spacing).
- A/D: Rotate the Concept Plant(s) you are placing to the left/right.
- X: Enable our Xhair Angle tool, which allows you to place Concept Plants at a set angle.
- V: Switch to our Copy along Line tool.
- C: Switch to our Copy along Arc tool.
Placing Concept Groundcovers and Shrub Areas
Groundcovers and Shrub Areas are placed as hatches, much like these plant categories when used as normal project plants. As with project plants, you can either select an existing polyline boundary to place one of these planting areas, or draw a polyline boundary on the fly.
Drawing a Hatch Boundary "On the Fly"
If you haven't yet drawn a polyline boundary for a Concept groundcover or Shrub Area, you can do so "on the fly" after selecting your hatch pattern.
When you go to place a planting area, the Command line will prompt you to Select polyline or interior point to hatch, [Draw Exclude shrubs Multiple].
Start drawing your closed polyline. Once you close it, the hatched area will appear within the polyline boundary.
Placing Groundcover Polyline Borders
Concept groundcovers are represented by a hatch and require a non-plot controlling polyline border.
To add a graphical edge to the groundcover areas, use one of our Line Graphics to border the area.
In our example, we'll use our Scallop Line tool to draw an edge for the groundcover. Make the active layer L-PLANT-EDGE for a thicker line, as well as to provide control of the lineweight you use.
The image to the right shows an example of a Scallop Line.
A Scallop Line can serve as an edge of a hatched area. A Scallop Line is also a polyline, so if you use it to encircle the entire area, it will provide the hatching border.
Add the groundcover hatch fills at the intended groundcover areas by either using the non-plot border polyline or a closed Scallop Line.
Our Random Pointy Line tool can also be useful for this purpose.
Creating a Mix of Seeds or Plant Species
We make it easy to create your own custom mixes of seeds, sods, grasses, or other plant species. You can do so by creating a Design Group in the Concept Plant Manager.
Converting Concept Plants to Project Plants
When you create a concept plan, the ultimate goal will be to convert your concept plants to project plants (that is, actual plants that you've added to your plant palette). In the interest of avoiding confusion, it's a good idea to select new symbols for the project plants when you make the conversion. That's why we recommend selecting Concept Plant symbols you're unlikely to use in your actual planting plan.
A Note on the Concept Schedule Text Style (Discontinued March 2019)
We've removed the Concept Schedule style as of March 2019. The Schedule Text style will now apply to Concept Plant Schedule text.
Want to give your Concept Plant Schedules their own text style, separate from the Schedule Text style? Here's how.
We've discontinued the Concept Schedule Text style to simplify and improve several tools. We recommend updating your office's Preference Set standards in accordance with this change, and only using the solution linked above for past projects.
- Concept Planting Tools: Learn all about this valuable set of tools, which allow you to set up an initial planting plan – even before you’ve built your palette. (1 hr 1 min)
- Modular Planting Design: If you’re trying to design with plant communities, have you tried using the plant mix tools in our Concept Plant Manager? Tune in to see how these tools simplify this planting design process dramatically – including the details. (1 hr 1 min)
- Excel With The Right Tools: No matter how much you can accomplish in AutoCAD, sometimes MS Excel can do the job better. We’ll give you some examples of how Excel can improve your design process by adding everything from shade analysis reports to MAWA calculations and in-depth watering schedules. (1 hr 5 min)
- Excel With The Right Tools Part 2: Now that we've gone over the basics of what MS Excel can do for you, join us for a more detailed look into the capabilities of this powerful application, including named ranges, templates and reusable macros, and more. (1 hr 5 min)