Design commissions – typically a 3 month waiting list. Consultations allow 4 weeks.  Please get in touch if you would like to plan ahead.

How to design a garden 4: site analysis

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 design - site analysis of family home in Yorkshire

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.

Garden design in Ripon - clients wish to add carparking at the rear of the garden
“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
Garden design - site analysis of family home in Yorkshire

Final thoughts

Site analysis helps garden designers make informed decisions about the layout of the garden, the incorporation of hardscaping features (eg. patios, paths, walls, drainage) and focal points such as water features.

By conducting a thorough site analysis, garden designers can develop a plan that takes into account the unique qualities of the site, while also meeting the needs and preferences of the client.

“A successful garden design must fulfil the client’s wishlist (as much as we possibly can), whilst respecting the natural environment (which we have little control of). Site analysis is one step of an organised, systematic approach to designing an elegant, outdoor space. One which functions well and connects seamlessly with the architecture of the house.”
Garden Designer, Ilkley Skipton Otley Menston Bingley
Melissa Morton