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Landscape Glossary

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Accent - The use of a plant or object to draw attention to or punctuate a space.

Acidic soil - Soil with a pH value of less than 7.0.

Acre - A unit of area in the U.S. customary system, used in land measurement and equal to 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet.

Adventitious bud - Latent or dormant bud on a stem or root.

Alkaline soil - Soil with a pH value of more than 7.0.

Alternate - Single buds, leaves, or shoots occurring at a node.

Annual - A flowering plant that lasts only one season.

Anther - The organ that is borne at the upper end of a stamen, and that secretes and discharges pollen.

Apex - The tip of a stem.

Apical bud - The bud at the tip of a stem.

Apical dominance - Controlling influence of the apical bud over the growth of a stem, which restricts the development of lateral buds. If the tip is removed apical dominance is broken, and lateral shoots below will grow more vigorously, competing to become the new leader.

Arbor - A shady garden shelter or bower, often made of rustic wood or latticework on which vines, roses, etc. are grown.

Baffle - A built structure or planting that slightly obstructs the view into or out of an area.

Balance - The visual weight of the garden as measured on either side of a real or imaginary line in the garden.

Ball & burlap - The wrapping of the root ball of a field-grown tree or shrub in a single piece of burlap usually held together with twine. The organic nature of burlap allows it to be left in the hole when planted.

Bare root - Describes plants that have been packaged without any soil around their roots. (Often young shrubs and trees purchased through the mail arrive with their exposed roots covered with moist peat or sphagnum moss, sawdust, or similar material, and wrapped in plastic.)

Bark - The surface layer of the trunk and branches of woody plants.

Barrier plant - A plant that has intimidating thorns or spines and is sited purposely to block foot traffic or other access to the home or yard.

Beneficial insects - An insect that has positive value in the garden because it preys upon harmful insects and or pollinates plants.

Biennial - A plant that grows vegetatively one year, produces flowers, fruits, and seeds the next year, and then dies.

Blade - The broad, flat part of a leaf.

Bleeding - The oozing of sap through a cut or wound.

Bract - A modified leaf, usually at the base of a flower, which resembles a petal.

Branch collar - The thickened ring at the base of a branch.

Broad-leaf - Having relatively broad leaves. Said of evergreens such as rhododendrons and holly to distinguish them from needle bearing evergreens such as pines and spruces.

Bubble diagram - Crudely shaped drawings on a site map that indicates general use area of a piece of property.

Bud - A condensed shoot containing an embryonic leaf, leaf cluster or flower.

Building code - Rules, regulations and laws determining exactly where and how a structure or feature is to be built, and whether any inspections are required along the way.

Bulb - A fleshy underground plant structure that contains the nutrients, energy and seed to produce a plant. Bulbs are typically buried in the ground at least one season before they emerge. Daffodils, lilies and tulips are common examples of bulbs.

Calcite, Calcitic (adj.) - A common crystalline form of natural calcium carbonate, the basic constituent of limestone, marble and chalk.


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