Use the questions below and the checklists on the next page to assess your existing landscape and dream about future possibilities. Be sure to involve all family members in this process.
- Who is the family? List all current and prospective household members, from children to older relatives.
- How do you live? Ask each family member: Where and how do you spend most of your time indoors and outdoors? How does this change seasonally?
- Are pets part of the picture? What are the current or foreseeable needs of your pet(s)?
- How do you see the future? How long do you plan to live in this home? Do you plan to make any structural additions or major changes?
- How do you use the yard? List your favorite activities as well as any desired forms of recreation. Do you have places to exercise as well as relax? Is there room to store furniture and outdoor gear?
- How much time do you spend outside? How many hours, on average, do you spend monthly on yard maintenance, gardening, and outdoor fun?
- Is company coming? How often do you entertain outdoors? How many people are involved? What activities are included?
- How do you play? Is there ample room for the activities that typically occur in your yard?
- Do you grow your own food? Is there adequate space for enough fruits, vegetables, and herbs to supply your household? Are these spaces located conveniently near the kitchen?
- Is there enough parking? How many vehicles must be accommodated daily? (Include guest parking.)
- Where do you enter? Which entryways are most commonly used by family members and guests?
- Where are the pathways? How do you circulate in and out of the house, onto and off the property? Think in terms of all kinds of traffic: foot, bike, and vehicle.
- Do you feel safe? Are there areas of the property where you don't feel secure? If the yard is not entirely fenced, is fencing feasible? Is there adequate lighting? Is it safe to pull out of the driveway and use the sidewalks? Would thorny shrubs bolster security?
- Do you have privacy? Is privacy adequate, especially in areas where you want it most? What might your neighbors or the city do that would change that?
- Is your landscape easily maintained? Is there enough room to use and store maintenance equipment?
- Does the landscape suit your region's climate? Do the plants and structures work together to create a beautiful landscape that withstands the weather?
Continued on page 3: Landscape Features Checklist