Landscape Performance Metrics // The Process

What can I say, I like metrics. Metrics give us the ability to quantify complex information and help us make better decisions.

It is important to learn from your successes AND mistakes if you want to get better at something. Performing a post-occupancy evaluation is one of the best ways to do that.

My goal was to create a simple process to quantify landscape performance and provide visual feedback. This metric provides a wealth of knowledge and helps answer many of the complicated questions related to landscape performance. I will use this information to build a database that will enable me to make informed design decisions on future projects.

The planting plan below was developed from scratch (90%) based on a real-word project I analyzed. I decided to keep that project confidential as my goal is not to criticize. I will share the spreadsheet results and talk about what I learned in a future post.

So let’s get to the point. Here is the process I developed:

Step One:
Color each plant on the site plan based on health.

Green =  (Excellent Health)
Yellow =  (Declining/Poor Health)
Red =  (Dead)


Step Two:
Score each plant based on health. Input this data into a spreadsheet.

Green (Excellent Health) = 2 points
Yellow (Declining/Poor Health) = 1 points
Red (Dead) = 0 points

The Formulas:
Landscape Performance Score = Possible Score / Total Score
Plant Survival Rate = Plants Alive / Plants Dead


Step Three:
Analyze the results.

Did a certain plant not perform as expected? Why did it not thrive? Why did it die? Too much water? Too much sun? Not enough shade? etc.

Did a certain plant perform better than expected? Why?

Metrics simplify and help us answer these complicated questions.

One Reply to “Landscape Performance Metrics // The Process”

  1. Agreed on metrics, and I originally had a basic metric to measure projects and clientele, but not this good! Maybe that’s why I didn’t apply those metrics more consistently?

    My only thought is to weight larger impact plants (trees more than perennials, or whatever is more important in a particular project). To me a few sycamores doing well might counter many blue gramas, unless the purpose is a grassland garden.

    Great post!

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