Garden Design Essentials 4: site analysis – what is it?

If you are learning to design a garden, site analysis is the essential step which brings together the previous three steps in the garden design process:  the client brief, the survey and the site assessment.  This step informs the next step, zoning.  In this case study, we’ll share extracts of the site analysis of a current project – the rear garden of a grade 2 listed property in Ripon.

If you’re looking to design and plan your own garden, or decide to hire a professional, then I hope you find this blog helpful to take the next step.

Garden Designer, Ilkley Skipton Otley Menston Bingley

What is site analysis?

When designing a garden, site analysis is about processing the physical characteristics and environmental conditions of a particular site to determine how these will inform the design and development of a garden. Probably sounds a bit dull to many of you…

The goal of site analysis is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the site, including its topography, drainage, soil quality, climate, existing vegetation, sun exposure, and any other relevant factors that could influence the successful design of the site.

For example, it helps us work out the best place to relax, enjoying the best views, in the warmth of the sun or dappled shade.

The information we need is gathered during client consultations and whilst on site (during the site assessment) and during the survey.

Back at the studio we process this information, and carry out a site analysis using various sketches and plans and annotating them.

Our clients in Ripon would like to add parking to the rear of the property.  Circulation to and from the house and cars will be an important consideration during the site analysis.

“Site analysis is another part of the garden design process I enjoy – it requires a methodical, analytical and patient mind.  Although my family may disagree with the latter (!), it’s a nice way to tap into my technical and science background.”

Melissa Morton