Landscape Design Checklist

This questionnaire will help you and your designer focus on your needs and desires, and the special character of your site. These questions are not meant to be comprehensive, but to stimulate your own thinking about how you might derive the greatest satisfaction and enjoyment from your outdoor living spaces.

The Functional Environment

Please check activities and family members that the exterior design should accommodate.

bullet Spouse/Partner? bullet Reading
bullet Children? How many? What ages? bullet Playing/listening to music
bullet Other family members? bullet Sports
bullet Pets? What kind? How many? bullet Games
bullet Outdoor dining? How many people? How often? bullet Hobbies
bullet Indoor/outdoor entertaining? How many? How often? bullet Gardening
bullet Reading bullet Other (Please describe)

DESIGN MOOD. Please check all that apply.

bullet Relaxing bullet Soothing
bullet Secret/private bullet Open
bullet Social bullet Exciting
bullet Energizing bullet Serene
bullet Uplifting bullet Playful
bullet Spiritual bullet Sheltered
bullet Nourishing bullet Other (please describe)

Your Environment’s Vital Statistics

  • Do you consider your home to be a permanent residence or an interim home?
  • What is the age and style of your home?
  • Does your landscape face North, South, East, or West?
  • Does the garden get sunlight between 9 a.m. and noon? Noon to 3 p.m.? After 3 p.m.?
  • Do you have plot plans or surveys?
  • Describe your property’s topography.
  • Are there existing underground utilities, irrigation or drainage systems?
  • Have you experienced any drainage problems?
  • How would you describe the character of your site?
  • Are there existing features you would like to remove?
  • Are there features that you wish to renovate and keep?
  • Are you or your neighbors planning any major construction?

Hardscape – The Structured Environment

DESIGN THEMES. What are your preferences? Please check one or more.

bullet Asian (symbolism, simplicity, more green than flower colors, use of stone)
bullet California (native plants, 12-month interest, Mediterranean feeling)
bullet Contemporary (dramatic foliage, strong color contrasts, mass plantings)
bullet Country (colorful mixed borders, perennials, winding paths, eclectic)
bullet Formal (symmetry, clipped hedges, topiary, classical architecture)
bullet Tropical (hot strong colors, bold foliage, jungle-like abundance)
bullet Other (please describe)

DESIGN FORMS. Please check the shapes and styles you prefer.

bullet Curves bullet Raised beds
bullet Rectangles bullet Tiers/steps
bullet Formal bullet Hidden
bullet Informal bullet Sunken
bullet Rustic bullet Other (describe)

BUILDING MATERIALS. Please check all that appeal to you.

bullet Concrete bullet Wood
bullet Flagstone bullet Bark
bullet Gravel bullet Copper
bullet Slate bullet Steel
bullet Marble, limestone bullet Wrought Iron
bullet Rocks, boulders bullet Glass
bullet Brick bullet Other (describe)

UTILITY STRUCTURES/AREAS. Please check features you would like to include.

bullet Paths bullet Firewood Storage
bullet Fences/Gates bullet Extra parking
bullet Pet run bullet Garbage/Recycling storage
bullet Maintenance Shed bullet Bike/Toy storage
bullet Compost area bullet Other (describe)
bullet Potting area

LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES. Please check features you would like to include.

bullet Deck bullet Paths/Steps
bullet Patio/Terrace bullet Retaining wall
bullet Gazebo bullet Outdoor kitchen
bullet Pergola bullet Fireplace/firepit
bullet Swimming Pool bullet Lighting
bullet Hot tub/Jacuzzi bullet Greenhouse
bullet Sauna bullet Child’s play area
bullet Water feature bullet Sports court
bullet Sculpture bullet Other (describe)

Softscape – The Planted Environment

The plants selected for your outdoor living areas can provide many things. Take a moment to consider the goals below. Please check each goal you would like to achieve through your plantings:

bullet Grow edibles bullet Reduce undesirable noise
bullet Create a sanctuary space bullet Provide cut flowers
bullet Attract wildlife bullet Provide for exercise
bullet Reduce wind bullet Create privacy
bullet Add fragrance bullet Low maintenance
bullet Add texture bullet Low water use
bullet Add soft sounds bullet Other (please describe)
  • Are there plants you are particularly fond of?
  • Are there plants that you dislike or are allergic to?
  • What colors would you like to have around you in your garden?
  • Do you wish to have a lawn? For what purpose(s)? How large?
  • Circle your favorite season:
    • Spring       Early Summer       Late Summer       Fall       Winter
  • When will you be using your garden?
    • Early morning           mid-morning             noon
    • Mid-afternoon          early evening           evening or nighttime
    • Week days              weekends

Installation, Care and Maintenance

  • How much time will family members spend on maintenance each week, if any?
  • Do you or will you employ a gardening service?
  • Do you want an immediate landscape or will you install it in phases?
  • Will you hire a professional to install the landscape or will you do it yourself?
  • Please circle the budget figure that is closest to what you would like to invest in your landscape design and installation:
Under $5,000
$10,000 to $25,000
$50,000 to $75,000
$100,000 to $150,000
Over $200,000
$5,000 to $10,000
$25,000 to $50,000
$75,000 to $100,000
$150,000 to $200,000
Other (please explain)