The number of draft designs, sometimes called preliminary designs, depends on the size and complexity of the project. A rough draft is redeveloped until the designer is satisfied with the results and ready for the completed landscape design.
Draft designs continue to define what is happening in the concept plan. The concept lines and spaces created in the concept plan now have specific forms and functions. Some designers refer to these spaces as the outdoor rooms of the residence or business.
It is at this point in the landscape design sequence that the consideration of sustainability is very important. While sustainability is sometimes lost when larger spaces are created, it is the design within these larger spaces and the smaller spaces next to them that have the greatest effect on sustainability. Spaces containing plants are where the largest gains and losses to sustainability occur.
Plant spaces are usually identified by a specific classification (tree, shrub, annual flower, etc.) or by their function (screen planting, foundation planting, or patio garden). The location of the plant spaces on the draft design helps determine plants or plant groupings.
The order in which specific plants and plant groupings are located on the draft design is also important. Plants with important functions are usually located first. This will vary with the specifics of each individual project, but trees are generally located first during the development of draft designs.
Plants and Plant Groupings
- Key plants
- Entry gardens
- Patio gardens
- Screen plantings
- Foundation plantings
- Border plantings
- Corner plantings
- Freestanding or group plantings
- Accent plants
- Specimen plants
- Mass plantings
- Annual Flower Gardens and perennial flower gardens
The following draft design identifies plant spaces:
As the draft design evolves, more specifics may be added. Hard-features may now have precise dimensions but may still be lacking texture, color or specific material selection. Plant beds and borders may now be composed of mass plantings, accent plants, trees and specimen plants.
For more information on sustainable landscape design, please see The Completed Landscape Design section.