Tips for making your landscape better
A Plot Plan includes the structure of your property and is the basis for all other plans.
How to analyze the environmental features of your landscape.
Checklist for assessing wants and needs in the landscape.
Creating landscape areas according to specific tasks.
Good design rarely results from following rigid rules. Read about design concepts to selectively meet individual landscape needs.
Options for building the hardscape of your landscape project.
The first step in working out a good working landscape design is preparing a Plot Plan. Once the Plot Plan has been created, the next step is doing a Site Analysis.
A Site Analysis is just taking a little time to study your landscape site or property and analyze the basic features found there. Think of it as a brief description of your property, listing it's assets and liabilities by area, as well as environmental factors that may effect a final design (i.e. sun angle, wind direction, pleasant views, unpleasant views)
A Site Analysis helps understand unique problems associated with the property and how they can be best used to create a functional and enjoyable outdoor living space.
Place some tracing paper over the plot plan that was created in the previous step. You can then use this tracing sheet for your Site Analysis and incorporate your assets and liabilities list to visually identify the areas being described.
The Site Analysis is like a road map of your property as it relates to the seasons. When done, the Site Analysis will show the direction and angle of the sun throughout the year, interesting views of the house's exterior, as well as views from inside the house. It also considers views you have of your neighbors as well as what your neighbors can or can't see of you.
The Site Analysis includes prevailing wind directions across the property, and notes if those winds are sufficiently strong enough that they may need to be diverted in some way to add comfort to your outdoor living areas.
In other words, a Site Analysis should include important items that should be addressed in creating an overall landscape design. For example, if you don't want nosey neighbors looking at you when you sunbathe in the backyard, then maybe privacy plantings may be in order. If there's an unpleasant view of a parking lot to one side, then ways of hiding that should be considered. Likewise, if you have a view of the lake but can only see it in the winter when the leaves have dropped off, you probably wouldn't want to include tall evergreens that would block the view permanently in a few years.
The Site Analysis looks at these issues and makes note of them, it doesn't address how to deal with them at this point.