Site Assessment for Better Gardens and Landscapes

Editor's note
The following abstract describes a publication that is only available for purchase. A link to ordering information is on this page.

Plant and Life Sciences Publishing

CoverEver wonder why some gardens and landscapes look dazzling year after year, while others decline? Or why does a planting look great at one location while the same plant looks skimpy and unattractive nearby? The characteristics of the site determine whether a plant will thrive. Site Assessment for Better Gardens and Landscapes describes how to evaluate site characteristics that are important to plants.

Intended for novice gardeners, experienced gardeners, and landscape professionals, the 81-page spiral-bound book includes 50+ color photos, a glossary, an index, and references and web sites for further information. Through 30+ hands-on activities, soil type, drainage, sunlight, compaction, slopes, minimum and maximum temperatures, wind, existing plants, wildlife and more are evaluated. 

When you've gotten to know your property using this book, you'll have:  

  • A site sketch with information useful in preparing a landscape design. 
  • A notebook with information collected during the assessment.
  • An inventory of existing plants including how they fit into future plans. 
  • A checklist of important site characteristics. 
  • A draft landscape design with a prioritized to-do list.   

Completing a comprehensive site assessment should be the first step when you purchase a property, make changes to a landscape, or expand a garden or landscape into a new area of your property. The assessment can be done in a few weeks or over a longer time. Site assessment saves time and money, helps avoid future problems, and results in an easy-to-care-for, sustainable garden or landscape.    


  • Compaction
  • Existing plants
  • Gardening
  • Hardiness
  • Landscape
  • Microclimates
  • Slopes
  • Soil characteristics
  • Space dimensions
  • Sun and shade
  • Wildlife interference
  • Wind interference


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