University of Illinois Extension
Site Assessment - Stepping Stones to Perennial Garden Design - University of Illinois Extension

Site Assessment

Gardening, the slowest of the performing arts!

It is very difficult for a homeowner to objectively look over their property. Familiarity causes us to see what we want to see and block out what we don't like.

It is also difficult to visualize change and predict its outcome. But, determining the pro's and con's of a site is critical when placing any landscape addition. Don't assume that every location is the same. When determining a garden site you need to consider the viewing angles, existing features and the existing growing conditions.

Earlier you determined your views from both indoors and outdoors. This should have given you a better idea of where you want to place the garden. Your yard is divided into three areas when it comes to landscape design. The public area is the front of your home or the area that is immediately visible to visitors. The private/family area is that area where we retreat to, away from public view. Generally this is the back yard. The third area is the utility area, which can serve as a storage area, vegetable garden, compost site or clothes drying area. Perennial gardens should be placed in the public or private areas.