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Horticulture 1000
HT1081 - Landscaping - User Needs
Amenity Horticulture Environmental factors
2

User Needs

Part of the reason for landscaping includes changing an outdoor environment to make it more user friendly. The change can be to make the area both visually attractive and  physically more useable and manageable. The following are some of the factors to be considered for users.

Aesthetic needs

These cheerful red lilies planted together are protected from the wind by the shrubs planted behind them.
These cheerful red lilies planted together are protected from the wind by the shrubs planted behind them.

Aesthetic needs can include:

  • screening to hide an eyesore or to provide privacy
  • hedges, fences and mass plantings of shrubs used as a backdrop to display other plants or garden features
  • soft and hard landscaping to provide any combination of beauty, peacefulness, colour and so on.

Physical needs

A ramp giving access into a school.
A ramp giving access into a school.
Modern public toilets at the entrance to a park.
Modern public toilets at the entrance to a park.

These are related to age, mobility or family.

  • Properties with young children and dogs need to be safe, so fences may need to be built to provide a secure area.
  • Young children need a flat, weather-proof surface to play on.
  • Both young children and elderly people need areas that are physically easy to access so ideally there will be few stairs. If  a slope needs to be accessed then a shallow ramp could be built instead.
  • Ramps in public places help with pushchair access, and wheelchair access is often a legal requirement.
  • Utility areas for rubbish bins, recycling bins, compost, clothes lines, tool sheds, wood storage and so on all need to be considered.
  • Vehicle access, car parks and toilet facilities and may need to be included especially in the designs of public places.
  • Ideally, there should be walking access to a welcoming front entrance and around the section.
  • Tables, seating and barbeques can be included in both home gardens and public landscapes.
User needs sheet

Click the image above for a larger version.

Questions to ask

Here are some questions that may need to be answered before beginning a design.

  • What is the climate/microclimate of the site?
  • What are the physical features of the site such as the soil type?
  • What are the users’ needs? What will they use the site for?
  • How can the area be improved to help plant growth?
  • How can the area be improved to make it a pleasant, sheltered and safe area?
  • How much are the users willing to spend on the redesign?

Complete Activity 2A in your workbook

Key points   Key point

  • The users’ needs must be considered in any redesign of a landscaped area.

What's next?

Go to: 3 Environmental factors.

Amenity Horticulture Environmental factors