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bob cleaver

advice on creating new plants

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Has someone a workflow for saving a new plant and having it as part of the VW plant database ?

I have created several new plants and when asked about saving the plant I quickly click on save and for no good reason, I label them 'test'

Now I have many text files with plant info and they are in my application support folder in my HD library labeled 'test' with a number (see screen shot)


Navigating the dialog box for saving the plant is the key - I assume 

The help manual does not appear to guide this solution 

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 11.19.28 AM.png

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Bob, I like to generate a file called "Dump File" this is a great place to set all symbols you create till you have a better time to clean them up. If you are using Workgroup Folders then create one there or create the file and save as a Favorite. This will give you rapid access to everything in your Resource Manager.

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Thank you Bryan for sharing

I like your dispatching newly developed items to a place to get access to them 

Are you organized enough to place new plants into the VW plant database when you create them ?

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Posted (edited)


I haven't been involved in planting plans much since we got Vwx 2019, but I always used to create the plant in the plant database in the first place, then assign that definition to a symbol. Then it's automatically in the database. I thought Vwx 2019 had a better system though, and would auto-update each from the other, shame if that's not the case!


Edited by Amanda McDermott

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yes you can set VW to update the database with plant style changes. This is done when going to Landmark>Choose Plant Data Source. This will allow for a two way street between the plant dialog window and the Database. As for plant symbol creation you can create a plant symbol and leave it blank (no data attached) if you choose. You can then chose the symbol in the Resource Manager and Edit Style at that point you can add the data. Of course you can add the data at creation of the symbol. Key takeaway here is find what works for you in your process. If creating an image or graphic is your mindset at that moment just do that and continue with your design. VW is great at letting you go back later to do the details. Keep in mind work hard but have fun with it! 🙂

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Hi guys,


It seem that my question is a bit a derivative of what this tread is about. Nevertheless, let me shoot it.


I am pretty new to VW. We only recently purchased the 2019 version.


What I was trying to do is to define typical styles for, let's say, standard nursery stock trees, multi-stems, herbaceous etc. I thought I would need one style per each, so it presents the label and so on as we are used to it in the office. But, it seems to me that I need to create individual styles to each species and plant characteristics I am proposing in the given project. Is that really so, or I have missed something?


In an example, I have a few standards (like 12-14 cm girth) in my project, as well as multi-stem feature trees and a mixed herbaceous layer. I created the styles, but when I apply a style to a tree it can only be of a species that goes with that style. Can I do it generic and then just change/ specify the species?


Can you help or point me to the right discussion?

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@bob cleaver and @Michal Zarzecki, not sure if it helps but this has been my own workflow since left college 7 years ago, and I am aware is used in other garden design practices, including the last two I worked with:


  • I created a separate VWS file, which I am going to call 'Plant Database' file here.
  • I collected all plants worth keeping from previous projects in that file.
  • When creating a new plant, this can either be created on the new design file and then imported in the 'Plant Database' file or viceversa, depending on which workflow suit best. I prefer creating them in the 'Plant Database' file rather than in the new design file, but occasionally (i.e. in a rush) I do the opposite.
  • When working on a planting plan I have the 'Plant Database' file open alongside the design project file, and I access the plant symbol I need from the resource manager palette. This leaves the original plant in the 'Plant Database' file and create a copy of it in the new design file. This is particularly beneficial when let's say one wants to keep the plant's original features (For example sizes at maturity) for future uses, but for a specific project a smaller size is needed. Let's say I have a crab apple with a 5m spread in the 'Plant Database' file but once the plant symbol is imported in the new design file (a small town garden where I know I will not let it grow more then 2.5m),  I can adjust the size accordingly in that project, while keeping the original symbol intact in the  'Plant Database' file for future use. In your case, @Michal Zarzecki you could have generical plant symbols in the  'Plant Database' file such 'Multistem tree', 'Deciduous tree' etc etc,  then amend the label in the new design file into 'Multistem tree 1', Multistem tree 2' etc etc to present the concept/initial design. Once the plants have been decided, you can simply select the generic plant symbol and replace it with a specific plant symbol in the Object Info palette through the 'Replace Plant Style' button.
  • You can of course add the 'Plant Database' file in the vws library (Apps---> VWS 19--> Libraries ---> Favourites) , but I prefer to have it as a separate file on the cloud/server. 
  • The 'Plant Database' file can be made into a shared working file if appropriate, just make sure everyone is up to speed on how shared projects work to avoid loss of data. You can also divide your 'Plant Database' in perennials/shrubs/trees and whatever category is appropriate to your work. 
  • I love seeing the database growing from project to project, and creating planting plans become quicker and quicker each time


This is my workflow anyway....hope it make sense and is of any help. Would love to hear what other designers do. 

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@NoemiM ,


Thank you so much for sharing your workflow with me/ us here.


It seems that VW does require a separate style for each plant. Your workflow seems reasonable to me and I have a feeling I would end up with something similar.


In my previous practice, where we used another software, I used to create an array of squares with the associated specification of planting areas (i.e. wither individual species or mixes) and tree/shrub symbols which effectively was my swatch pallet. I would then use the 'Copy Specification' command to populate the planting areas and specimen plants in my project. It was like a blitzkrieg. 


Different soft, different methodologies. I would prefer it to be more flexible, but hey-ho! Working out a good and efficient workflow is essential with these tasks, therefore your option is a much appreciated time-saving tip.


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