Most designers will draw a closed polyline to indicate the area to be planted to a ground cover species and hatch it as shown in the example below.
They would then calculate the number of plants of the ground cover species required to fill the area taking into account spacing. In the example above, 90.DC is the convention used - 90 Danthonia caespitosa (Wallaby Grass) specimens will fill the cross hatched area.
At other times, especially where small areas and close planting is required, the area enclosed by the polyline is left unhatched as shown below. Nine specimens of Dichondra repens (Native Violet) are required to fill this rather small area.
Ground cover automation tools
The gCADPlus drop down menu has a two options to automate these calculations.
1. One tool asks for selection of the polyline defining the area, the routine then 'locks' a particular ground cover species to the space by calling up the plant database file presently attached to the drawing, calculates the number required and applies the label, leaving a marker code indicating the area to be planted.
2. The other tool prints a schedule of ground cover planting.
The figure below shows the ground cover group of tools in the gCADPlus drop down menu.
The resultant marker
The first ground cover option (simply called ground cover) asks a user to point to the polyline. This results in the appearance of a small multi-entry dialog box (shown below) requiring information about the units of measurement for an area - square mm, meters or feet and the spacing distance, the species name (from the gCADPlus plant list), along with a short text code to indicate the species to be used.
Once the data has been entered, gCADPlus calculates the number of plants required and starts the leader command, enabling tagging the area with the appropriate information. In the example below, 63 plants of (Austro) Danthonia ceaspitosa at a spacing of 1200 mm were required to fill the area.
The process begins by starting the sequence described above and concludes by placing a small marker in the area to indicate the number of the ground cover zone. This marker is used in the generation of a ground cover plant schedule.