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 on adjacent properties should also be considered if they impact the future design.
The location of inventoried elements can be recorded on a base map or simple plot plan. Arrows and other symbols can be used to indicate elements such as views, wind, and sun.
The site analysis is an evaluation or judgment of features on the site. Once all of the elements on the property are identified, the pros and cons of each element are then evaluated. Often, the site inventory and analysis phase of design occur at the same time.
The overall average of long term weather patterns includes temperature, precipitation, amount of sunshine, winds speed and direction, days above freezing, weather extremes, and local geography. Information can be found at state climate center websites.
Wind and Precipitation
Florida: Landscape Design: Ten Important Things to Consider
Florida: Balancing Structures and Plant Masses
Georgia: Xeriscape: a guide to developing a water-wise landscape
South Carolina: Xeriscape: Landscape Water Conservation in the Southeast
South Carolina: Five Steps to Landscape Design