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Southern Nevada Water Authority

The Landscape Plan

Landscape Plan

Drawing a landscape plan will help you
visualize the final result.

Once you've figured out what you want from your landscape, the time has come to draw a landscape plan. This is an important step even if you have decided to use a landscape professional. You don't have to be an artist or landscape architect to create a landscape plan -- this is just another opportunity to visualize the end result.

Plot Plan

A plot plan provides a bird's-eye view of your lot, using a scale to place all existing features. Accuracy is important in drawing the plot plan so that you have identified the space available for planting. The plot plan should show:

  • The scale used (common scales for residential lots are 1:8, where one inch equals eight feet)
  • A north arrow to signify direction
  • Any slopes or drainage patterns
  • Existing plants
  • Any underground utilities

Functional Plan

A functional plan uses function "bubbles" to lay out different areas and their potential uses. This plan helps determine how your space will be divided and used. Draw bubbles on the plan to roughly define areas and to approximate the size and shape of different features. For example, bubbles can be drawn to represent a patio, an outdoor grill, a garden area or plant beds with unique watering needs. View an example of a functional plan.

Final Concept Plan

A final concept plan provides the complete picture of your landscape design, including plant selections. You've already separated your spaces into bubbles, now you'll begin strategically placing your plant selections. View an example of a final concept plan.

The completed final concept plan should include:

  • A title block with the property name and address
  • The scale used
  • A north arrow to signify direction
  • Date the plan was drawn
  • A complete plant list with name, size and number of plants used (create a list on a separate sheet of paper)
  • Symbols legend
  • Other features included in the landscape (mulch, boulders, retaining walls, etc.)
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Video: Planning a Water Smart Landscape


Use these tips to plan your landscape design. Play

Photos: Landscape Awards Winners 2013


View the winners of the SNWA Landscape Awards. See

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