Site Inventory and Analysis for Water Wise Landscapes (experienced)

The site inventory and analysis are steps in the design process used to assess existing conditions and determine how or if they will or should change. Avoid the temptation to start designing until these steps are completed.  

For the more experienced gardener, a thorough site inventory and analysis will provide a solid base for creating a more functional and beautiful landscape.


A site inventory is simply a list of elements that currently exist on the property. Elements that exist …

Landscape Design: Creating Unity (experienced gardeners)

  Japanese garden theme. Photo source: Landscape Design Advisor Media Director Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


Repetition of color, plant material, and shape, are used to create unity in this more formal symmetrical design. Photo credit: Landscape Design Advisor Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


Unity, in landscape design, is the overarching design principle that is used to create a sense of wholeness or harmony in the landscape.

Using too many individual plants or other objects in the landscape often leads to a cluttered …

Residential Landscapes: Opportunities and Constraints for Design

Opportunities and constraints or pros and cons in residential landscapes are identified in the analysis phase of landscape design following a complete inventory  of all elements on the property.

Identify all elements on the property and note them on the landscape or plot plan. Decide what elements should be kept or enhanced and what should be changed or removed. Also, get a sense of how the site “feels”. For instance, the site might feel exposed due to a lack of …

Residential Landscape Design: Keeping a Garden Journal

  Keep an eye out for beneficial as well as insect pests and note plant affected, time of year, and weather conditions. Close up of a green stink bug.
Photo credit: David Cornwell Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Record plant locations on a simple map and save plant tags in case replacements are needed.
Photo credit: Susan Buffler

Keeping a garden journal during the  landscape design process is an excellent way of keeping track of valuable information that will guide future changes …